The Miami Beaches Market Pulse – February 2016 vs. February 2015

The Miami Beaches Market Pulse – February 2016 versus February 2015

The Miami Beaches
The Miami Beaches, Intra-coastal Waterways & North Biscayne Bay

Welcome to this month’s edition of the Miami Beaches Market Pulse!  I apologize for the delay, as it was my original intention to publish the January results circa the middle of February, however, recent business did not allow for the time and concentration required to perform a reasonably decent analysis; and THEN I seemed to have lost all the data files for the month of January!

Recent evidence suggests that the 16+ month long market correction on the beach has even impacted the luxury market.  I witnessed & read an article in February where the both famous & beautiful Anna Kournikova sold her Miami home for a tremendous 2 million under ask price! See Details of this here!  Even the famous “Jills” (arguably the de facto sales associates for the rich & famous) are feeling the pain (from a “typical” commission of 3-6% perspective) of a $60,000-$120,000 dollar  “loss” in projected commission revenue!  This saddens me, of course, as every Realtor® wants to be participating in a thriving market and given the usual Co-Broker nature of the business we generally all want to see each other succeed and make more money.  They are great agents with an excellent reputation, so if you choose not to use me, I would definitely look into using them for your luxury residential real estate needs.

Over the past month I have been speaking to a number of experienced real estate investors and brokers.  The general consensus is that a larger dip in the real estate market is forthcoming after the election.  I will not, at this point venture to guess the future as I am a data driven individual; however, I do see certain underlying, and as-of-yet, unquantifiable threats to the residential real estate market.  These “threats” are, admittedly, in one respect, conjecture; only because none of us are omnipotent, but the possibilities are significant enough to, at the very least, justify maintaining a watchful eye and remain cautiously optimistic at best.  In this issue I begin with the usual publication of the comparative numbers (February 2016 versus February 2015) by zip code, and provide commentary.  Then I go into what I perceive to be the top 4 threats to the South Florida Real Estate Market, something I should have probably expounded upon some time ago.

Reports by Zip Code

33139 – South Beach

Median Est. Home Value: $385K, Up 0.3%; Median Est. Listing Price: $275K, Up 1.8%; Median Days in RPR: 117,  Down –7.1%; Sales Volume: 80, Down –27.3%

Click here to receive the Market Activity Report – 33139!

Click here to receive the Neighborhood Report – 33139!

As I published in the December Report, I saw the market, specifically in Bal Harbour, showing signs that the Beaches were reaching an inflection point.  It does not surprise me that the downward trend in the data has been leveling off, after all, how low can it go?  This is Miami Beach!  However, let us keep in mind that the data you are seeing is suggesting that Sales Volume (for MLS related sales only) is down 27% year over year, and it is currently at a 3 year low.  Last year, this number was showing a drop (from 2014 year over year) as well, into the -30-50% range.  This indicates the Market Sales Volume is actually off by as much as 75% when compared to the Sales Volumes of the years 2013 & 2014.  The long and short of it is: yes, we are seeing an uptick; but to get back to normal conditions we need to see a sustained surge in transactions on existing home sales, which is the benchmark for home valuations.  Valuations being supported at lower volume, to me, indicates weakness in the market and market vulnerability to surges in new inventory.  Current Listing Volume (see the Neighborhood report for this) has passed the 3000 mark, a 3 year high.  So we have the most supply in three years, and the least demand in three years.  For sure, I believe prices are susceptible to further correction, especially if any of the “threats” I discuss later in this article begin to weigh on the market more heavily than they already have.

33140 – North Beach

Median Est. Home Value: $484K, Up 5.3%; Median Est. Listing Price: $426K, Up 20.9%; Median Days in RPR: 114, Down –20.3%; Sales Volume: 35, Down –41.7%

Click here to receive the Market Activity Report – 33140

Click here to receive the Neighborhood Report – 33140

Following suit with 33139, Sales Volume for 33140 is down a whopping 41.7%, a 3 year low; and Listing Volume is at nearly 1500, a 3 year high!  I do not think much commentary is needed given my commentary for 33139.  We are certainly seeing an uptick, which arguably could be seasonal, or due to an influx of retirees etc.  One thing remains certain, the market is nowhere near it’s recent “healthiest” which we saw in 2013 & 2014.

33141 – North Bay Village

Median Est. Home Value: $270K, Up 9.8%; Median Est. Listing Price: $245K, Up 1.7%; Median Days in RPR: 101 Down –17.2%; Sales Volume: 35, Down –66.7%

Click here to receive the Market Activity Report – 33141

Click here to receive the Neighborhood Report – 33141

I stand by my comments regarding this area from my December analysis; this area, I believe, has the greatest potential for long-term gains.  It is ideally situated, and a wonderful town to live in.  It is also the most affordable housing in the Miami Beaches by far.

Following suit (I rarely repeat myself as a practice of good writing, but I have a feeling I will be saying that statement another two times in this article; and I cannot understate, therefore must emphasize, the market action of the past 16 months plus), 33141’s Existing Home Sales Volume for MLS listed homes is off by a massive 66.7%.  Considering that is circa how much it was off this time last year as well, it means the sales volume is off by as much as 80-85% versus the 2013 & 2014 numbers.  The Realtors in the area must be hurting!  Sales Volume is currently at 35, a 3 year low, and Listing Volume is over 1500, a 3 year high!

This begs the question why so many people, when they find out I am in real estate, say “Oh, you must be doing great then!”.  It is truly amazing how long the sentiment created by the bounce of 2010 into 2013/2014 is lasting; and I find it surprising how many are simply unaware of the more-than-a-year-long correction in the Real Estate Market…even other agents & brokers (surely they have to notice they are not making as much money?!).  The fact is that my real “bread & butter” is commercial real estate.  I practice in residential real estate because I truly enjoy it; and residential Realtors® throw parties!  Nothing like a good Broker’s Open House 🙂

33154 – Bal Harbour

Median Est. Home Value: $665K, Up 22%; Median Est. Listing Price: $469K, Up – (flat); Median Days in RPR: 119, Down –7.8%; Sales Volume 31, Down –44.6%

Click here to receive the Market Activity Report – 33154

Click here to receive the Neighborhood Report – 33154

Incredibly, the Median Estimated Home Value is up a tremendous 22% year over year.  How this is possible against the backdrop of a market correction evades me (for right now).  I am going to call my reporting company and see if they can tell me how they are calculating Median Estimated Home Values.  As of right now, I do not know; but I will.  Regardless of this, the same thing holds true in Bal Harbour as it does on the previously reported zip codes.  Sales Volume is at a 3 year low (down by 44.6% year over year) and Listing Volume is at a 3 year high with just under 900 units currently listed on MLS.

33160 – Sunny Isles Beach

Median Est. Home Value: $345K, Down –0.3%; Median Est. Listing Price: $285K, Up 10%; Median Days in RPR: 115, Down –11.5%; Sales Volume: 132: Up 11.9%

Click here to receive the Market Activity Report – 33160

Click here to receive the Neighborhood Report – 33160

Sunny Isles Beach is where I call home.  Surprisingly, Sunny Isles Beach has bucked the trend of the rest of the zip codes on Miami Beach!  Sales Volume is actually up, a first in more than a year of looking at these specific reports.  I believe this may be due to something unusual skewing the data, such as Pre-Constructions and unsold New Constructions being listed on MLS, and therefore when the sales of these new projects ultimately close, they get logged.  Most pre-constructions and new constructions are never listed on MLS as they are typically absorbed by the market via the Builder’s own sales office.

Listing Volume is at a 3 year high, and Sales Volume, while not at a 3 year low, is close to the 3 year low.  Median Sales Price has spiked, markedly from the low 200Ks to the high 700K range.  This tells me that one or more VERY expensive properties sold this past month.  Regarding Sales Volume, please keep in mind that most of last year (you can check my May 2015 report and others) regularly demonstrated, month after month. Sales Volume being off by 50+% every month year over year.  While this spike in activity is encouraging, as I said before, we will need to see a sustained surge in market activity before anyone can begin declaring the market correction is over.

An article in Real Deal recently came out demonstrating how home prices in South Florida are still substantially off of their peak.  It also goes into some of the things I touch on later in this article.  The article is entitled “South Florida Home Prices Still Far From Peak: Report – Price Growth Could Continue To Slow Due To Global Macroeconomic Uncertainty”.

Lastly, I do not believe that Home Values have truly begun to reflect the market correction.  When I find more on how this is being calculated, I will update this article further and, with any luck, have something cogent to share regarding Home Values respective of actual market activity.

 

Potential Market Threats

First and foremost in my mind is the result of the appreciation of the US Dollar against virtually every other currency in the world; and in many respects, currency appreciation is a good thing (unless you are and exporter or producing goods to sell abroad, which equates to your goods & services being more expensive than similar goods and services produced in a nation with a weaker currency).  However, after the mortgage crisis, foreigners “ran towards the blast” (Peter Schiff, Las Vegas Money Show Lecture – 2013).  As a result of this substantial foreign direct investment, our currency has been enjoying a “propping up” effect.  I will explain further but for a really good (and funny) analysis, I recommend clicking the Money Show Link above.  I do believe that this recent boost in the dollar is temporary as our increasingly socialist policies have put the Dollar in a downtrend starting as far back as the 1960s.  Here is a long-term chart of the US Dollar:

US Dollar remains in a long-term downtrend
US Dollar remains in a long-term downtrend

Several years ago there was a deluge of foreign direct investment into the United States (especially in South Florida) as foreign nationals sought to:

1) take advantage of the distressed asset market which was the result of the 2008-2010 mortgage crisis,

2) expatriate capital from more socialist countries where the government risk to their capital is greater (reference the austerity measures in Cypress, where nearly every wealthy citizen with more than 100,000 USD equivalent on deposit in the country saw an overnight, and substantial, haircut out of their bank accounts), and escape ludicrously abusive tax policies to fund their extraordinary entitlement programs,

3) gain permanent resident status (“Green Card”) via the United States EB5 program (or other methods) by investing substantial (at the time, 500K and 1M dollar investments) amounts of capital into the United States.

5 Year Chart of the Canadian Dollar versus the US Dollar
5 Year Chart of the Canadian Dollar versus the US Dollar

Threat #1 – Currency Risk:  In many cases, international financing was used, typically 50% equity & 50% financing.  When this occurred (for example purposes we will use a Canadian citizen using Canadian Dollars), the Canadian Dollar was par with the US Dollar (meaning one US Dollar was equal in value to one Canadian Dollar.  This has changed significantly over the past couple of years.  Now, the Canadian Dollar is approximately one half the value of the US Dollar.  Understand that US Dollars were borrowed, and now it takes nearly 2 times the number of Canadian Dollars to pay for each US Dollar that was borrowed.  In this non-fiction example, the drop in commodities prices, specifically oil, has crushed the Canadian Dollar versus the US Dollar over the past several years.

The example is +/- true & valid with numerous currencies throughout the world, such as the Russian Ruble (rightwhich “fell out of bed” in late

The Russian Ruble versus the US Dollar - 5 Year Chart
The Russian Ruble versus the US Dollar – 5 Year Chart

2014 into early 2015),  Brazilian Real (rightmajor political upheaval in progress as a decade plus of corruption and embezzlement is being exposed AND the fall in commodity prices, especially sugar, has weighed substantially on their currency, which has also moved into double digit inflation!), the Argentinian Peso (belowwhere long standing socialist policies have made the currency virtually worthless), and the Venezuelan Bolivar (belowwhose chart clearly demonstrates the effects of communism).

The Venezuelan Bolivar versus the US Dollar - 5 Year Chart
The Venezuelan Bolivar versus the US Dollar – 5 Year Chart

To make matters potentially darker, these international loans have a 3-7 year lifespan.  They are NOT 30 year mortgages!  At the very least, even if only 5% of all international borrowers get

The Brazilian Real versus the US Dollar - 5 Year Chart
The Brazilian Real versus the US Dollar – 5 Year Chart

hammered by the result of the Currency Risk they are now getting burned by, we are still looking at thousands of distressed assets flowing onto the marketplace nationwide; especially here in Southeast Florida, which has rapidly grown into a top international destination that has attracted billions of dollars in foreign direct investment!

The Argentinian Peso versus the US Dollar - 5 Year Chart
The Argentinian Peso versus the US Dollar – 5 Year Chart

I should note that my firm’s best opportunities & customers are Argentinian and Venezuelan groups who are, for lack of a more accurate term, “Crowd Funding”, and bringing large amounts of capital into the United States.  These investors are doing everything they can to expatriate money from their home nations and invest in the United States; which begs the question in our own political forum; “If Socialism works so well, why are so many people trying to come to the United States to escape it?”.  It should be obvious in the charts that socialism is not healthy for a nation’s currency.  This leads me to my next “threat”.

Threat #2 – Our Government:  The Democratic Party candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have either stated (Bernie) or all but stated (Hillary), they wish to lead our nation down the same path (to ruin it would appear).  This year is an election year, and I believe that the United States is at a precipice, and never before has an election carried such weight on both the near and far future of our economy; and socio-economic stability.  These two candidates wish to create and expand entitlement programs, to be fueled by greater taxation and use of our nation’s printing press.  Members of the Democratic Party and Congressmen have floated ideas on doing away with your ability, as a homeowner, to deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage from your taxable income.  To do away with it entirely would be catastrophic to average households throughout the United States!  Others have suggested “modifying” it further than it already has been; and in my experience the government has a short-sighted habit of throwing boulders into a lake not realizing the tsunami it creates at the other side of that proverbial lake.

Consider this, a $200,000 home at 4%, on the first year of purchase, would allow you to deduct $8,000 from your taxable income; and this benefit allows you to essentially save $2,000 on your tax bill if you are in the 25% tax bracket (making between 37,650 and 91,150 if you are a single filer.  See picture for more detail below).  These two politicians would have you believe that the US Economy is recovering due to the policies their party supports; however, data suggests otherwise. Money Magazine published an article in September 2015 entitled “Typical American Family Earned $53,657 Last Year”.  It is good reading and can certainly help put things into perspective, especially when evaluating how, if we should see yet another Democratic Party Candidate ascend to the Presidency, home values & net incomes may be effected.

http://taxfoundation.org/article/2016-tax-brackets
Source: http://taxfoundation.org/article/2016-tax-brackets

This equates to about 3-5% of total gross income FOR THE YEAR for the average tax paying citizen!  That $2,000 is extremely important to many American families; and even if it is not (for some), it has a wide array of better uses than in the Federal Government’s hands!  This is money that can be invested (for college, retirement etc), or can be spent on goods & services, thus further fueling our economy and increasing our economy’s Velocity of Money, which today is abysmally and historically low (see chart from 1959 until end of 2015 below):

The Velocity of Money Chart
Gross Domestic Product Adjusted for Monetary Base
Velocity of Money Chart
Velocity of Money Chart

 The Democrats/Liberals/Progressives/Socialists (all synonyms) claim that the 100+ Billion dollars that would be generated in tax revenues by eliminating deductions for the “rich” could be used to reduce the national debt, and they are correct; those revenues could be used in such a manner.  However, all of them have been pontificating about expanding entitlements and creating new ones.  In my view, should they move ahead with further reforms, they will find new and interesting ways of squandering our nation’s (your) wealth.  In addition, once you start taking money away from the “rich”, a better term for them would be “The Employer Class”, they (the “rich”) begin to pull back (i.e: they start firing people and cutting expenses and limiting new investments which create jobs), and so goes the cascading tsunami across the lake (borrowing from my previous analogy). Furthermore, according to the National Association of Realtors, home values would see upwards of a 15% decline, on average, throughout the country if this is done away with.

Lastly, these candidates have a “print more money” policy, as if this does not have consequences.  Every nation in the world has begun hedging away from the US Dollar as it is nearly obvious to anyone with a reasonable amount of education that The Dollar’s status as a Reserve Currency is in serious jeopardy.  The media deliberately does not put this in front of you, but the fact remains you can only print money for so long before it becomes valueless.  If the United States continues on this path, it will eventually find itself (sooner than later many reputed economists believe) in the midst of a Currency Crisis.  To explain this; if I had a way of turning all the sand of Florida’s beaches into gold, how valuable would gold be?  I conclude “Threat #2” with the chart below which depicts the United States Money Supply.

The United States Money Supply has gone hyperbolic!
The United States Money Supply (our monetary base) has gone hyperbolic!

Threat #3 – New Construction & Glut of New Inventory

Last summer I read an article in the Miami Herald.  It is entitled:  At least a dozen new South Florida condo projects in limbo amid changing market conditions.  I have been hearing rumblings that pre-sales have slowed, and while it could be the market pulling back to do some digesting, it could also be the “inflection point” they mention in the last paragraph of the article; meaning we have possibly seen the peak of this real estate cycle.  In either case, we have many thousands of new units on hand in inventory, and should it be the end of the most recent boom in the market, developers will rush to finish their projects as fast as possible and dump the new inventory on the market.  If we are not at the end of the boom, we have already seen over 3000 new units come online, over 10,000 more currently being built, and a projected 28,000 in the planning stages.  Should all of these come online, it will only put further pressure on the existing home sales, and in my opinion, drive prices down as listing volume rises and sales volume continues to plummet due to already deteriorating global macroeconomic fundamentals.

Threat #4 – The Weather

Hurricane Wilma in the Gulf of Mexico, October 23rd 2005
Hurricane Wilma in the Gulf of Mexico, October 23rd 2005

I believe I am stating the obvious here, however, it is worth mentioning as it is a factor.  It has been over 10 years since the last major hurricane struck South Florida.  In that time tens of thousands of people from all over the nation, and the world, have moved here to make Florida their home.  I was here during the 2000s, and I can tell you that after Hurricane Wilma (October 2005), the entire South Florida Real Estate Market completely stalled, as the shock and awe of the event set in to the population.  I am fairly confident that a strong Category 2, to (God forbid) a Category 5 hurricane making landfall between Homestead, FL and West Palm Beach, FL would create a rush to sell in this region as there are many people who will be panicked after such an event, and currently cannot comprehend the vast power of one of these storms.  Following such a storm, they will strongly reconsider their wanting to live in a place where such a beast is possible.  While I hope the current pattern holds and these storms continue to remain out at sea, we are fast approaching Hurricane Season 2016 (beginning in June).

That concludes my analysis for this month.  If you have any questions, comments, feedback or would like to explore purchasing a home; give me a call any time.  Keep in mind you can always use http://REBroker.Miami to browse Homes for Sale and For Rent on the Miami Association of Realtors MLS.

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BeachBroker.MIAMI’s New Facelift is Completed (mostly)

The New Theme

My Blog has been reborn as BeachBroker.MIAMI, and implies a moniker that I am comfortable with and hope to strengthen as I continue to build my real estate business on Miami Beach & elsewhere!

The new theme for BeachBroker.MIAMI (formerly Real-Estate-of-Miami.com; and former to that, RealtorOfMiami.com) is based on a Magazine Layout Format.  The idea, over the next few months, is to create an authoritative, information rich resource that organizes not only my publications & analyses of the market data for the 5 zip codes constituting the Miami Beaches, but provide useful links, documentation, and other resources from known & respected third parties to the general public.  I also seek to further integrate my own social media presences into this site, so as to make it a one-stop-shop to see what is moving & shaking with The Beach Broker ;).

In December I was longing for a change, and wanted to set a new tempo for my business; something that was more fresh and exciting than the usual doldrums of Commercial Real Estate, a major part of my business.  For many years I worked in Corporate America, in New York City.  Even when I had moved to Miami, all I had really done was trade a dark room with computer screens in NYC, for a dark room with computer screens in Miami.  Upon leaving Corporate America to start a real estate business over 4 years ago, I landed in the same dark room, only instead of designing & costing global banking systems, I was researching commercial properties and creating packages & reports for investors.  While I do enjoy this aspect of the business, commercial real estate is not a profession that takes you outside often enough to really enjoy the Sun on your face.  Therefore, I decided to split my time and balance my workload so I could do both commercial real estate, and residential real estate.  For the record, residential real estate is WAY more fun!  I love getting out, meeting new people, seeing new places and discovering new things.  Showing property to prospective buyers is a welcome respite from sitting in an office all day creating commercial real estate packages.

This blog is starting to become a big part of my profession, and my heart and soul.  I love doing market analysis, and using all of the cool toys the Miami Association of Realtors provides it’s agents and brokers to educate the public and facilitate smooth transactions between buyers and sellers.  While I had a very successful career in information technology, I have not looked back and I do not miss it.  I know I made the right choice, and my past couple years of compounding successes continue to remind me of what a great decision I made by following my heart into something that I knew I would love and enjoy.

Please let me know what you think of the new layout!  I will be adding a couple more pages, and posting LOTS more information on properties, markets and neighborhoods over the coming weeks.

Some people have asked me why I have not integrated MLS/IDX listings into this website.  I decided I wanted this to be a site where I had absolute control over the content.  However, I did create a website that is MLS/IDX enabled so customers & clients can browse the local listings – REBroker.MIAMI

REBroker.MIAMI is a residential real estate search site for property & rentals!
REBroker.MIAMI is a residential real estate search site for property, pre-construction deals & rentals!

 

I thank you for visiting BeachBroker.Miami and hope you will click the link on the right of the home page to FOLLOW my blog; this way you will automatically be emailed a copy of every analysis I publish on this website.  I hope you find my insights and information useful!

Cheers,

 

Miami Realtor, Realtor of Miami, Miami Real Estate
Christopher J. Lazaro, Miami Beach Real Estate Broker & REALTOR®

Top Listings of the Miami Beaches – January 2016

Miami Beaches Most Expensive Listings (01/03/2016)

Back in December, prior to the facelift of Real-Estate-Of-Miami, now BeachBroker.Miami, and the launch of my MLS/IDX Site, REBroker.Miami, I had an idea to begin publishing monthly articles of the top listings from each of the 5 zip codes constituting the Miami Beaches.  In this article, I feature 5 properties, one in each zip code, that is the single most expensive listing in each zip code as of January 3rd, 2016.  Each of the links below will download a full report in PDF format and contain pictures, as well as other pertinent information to each property.  Call me any time with questions or for showing appointments!

33139 – South Beach

For a $42,000,000 listing in South Beach, the listing agency only posted 7, less-than-choise photographs to describe this otherwise very large low-rise unit in SoFi, and as such, I will only a picture of the building.  The home features 4200 square feet, 6 bedrooms and 7 baths.  I find the listing confusing, and will have to call the agent because the MLS record contins verbiage such as: “floor plan possibilities”, “flexible zoning” etc.  In my opinion, as a home, this property would not sell for $10,000,000 let alone 42 million.  However, it came in on top (as the most expensive listing in South Beach).  Fear not though!  February’s top listing for 33139 will not disappoint!

GetMedia-6

You can see the virtual tour of this property here:  http://www.propertypanorama.com/instaview/mia/A10006586

The Property Report can be download here —>  Property-Report_90-Alton-Rd-Miami-Beach-FL-33139_2016-01-03-20-39-50

 

33140 – North Beach

Moving on to far greener pastures indeed, this top listing lies just off Alton Road at the intersection of where the canal north of 48th Street meets the Bay.  Featuring 7 Bedrooms and 10 bathrooms with 17,055 square feet under air, this property screams “wretched excess”; right up my alley indeed!  It has a truly remarkable modern design and finishings throughout.  One look at this place and it would make you wonder on what planet the guys listing the 90 Alton Road property (featured above) are thinking!?

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The Virtual Tour can be found here:  http://www.propertypanorama.com/instaview/mia/A2047735

I highly recommend viewing this property report!:  Property-Report_5004-N-Bay-Rd-Miami-Beach-FL-33140_2016-01-03-20-37-25

 

33141 – North Bay Village

This beauty is expected to be completed before the end of March 2016.  Featuring a whopping 15,000 square feet, 7 bedrooms & 9 bathrooms, panoramic views of the bay; this extravagant home is listed at $30,500,000 USD.

Take the hands free virtual tour here –> http://www.propertypanorama.com/instaview/mia/A2189183

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For More Information & Pictures, Click Here –> Property-Report_6440-N-Bay-Rd-Miami-Beach-FL-33141_2016-01-03-20-34-57

 

33154 – Bal Harbour

Listed at $36,000,000 USD, this 8 bedroom, 10 bathroom mammoth home features 20,198 square feet under air conditioning.  Newly built (2015) and situated on nearly a half acre of property, this property has all the usual amenities one would expect of a home of this caliber.

I commend the listing agent on the quality of the photography and use of words in describing this work of art:

  The ultimate subtropical modern oasis, this just completed, museum quality residence was impeccably designed by award-winning architect Chad Opennheim in the most exclusive and secure community in Miami Beach, Bal Harbour. The residence was masterfully de signed to seamlessly blur the lines of indoor-outdoor with over 17,000 sqft of living space. Experience spectacular water and sunset views from a vantage point just 300 yards from one of only 2 inlets in Miami Beach, where the ocean meets the bay.

252 Bal Bay Drive

252 Bal Bay Drive Chad Oppenheim

GetMedia-13

252 Bal Bay Drive Chad Oppenheim 252 Bal Bay Drive Chad Oppenheim

The Virtual Tour can be found at this link:  http://www.propertypanorama.com/instaview/mia/A2211507

The Property Report can be downloaded from here:  Property-Report_252-Bal-Bay-Dr-Bal-Harbour-FL-33154_2016-01-03-20-31-09

33160 – Sunny Isles Beach

The most expensive listing in Sunny Isles Beach is a private island which as been listed for more than 1900 days (that has to be a record or something).  Listed at $49,500,000 USD, as of January 3rd it was listed as Pending Sale (hooray for tat listing office!).  The lot size is a total of 8.13 acres, perfect for a billionaire’s compound, or several large mansions, or even an extremely nice rental complex for an exclusive subset of the affluent & sophisticated 35-50 year old jet-set business professionals.

Here is the Property Report: Property-Report_4044-Island-Estates-Dr-Miami-FL-33160_2016-01-03-17-54-14

I promise something more creative than a piece of land, but I did want to start with the highest price listings on Miami Beach, and here they are as of January 3rd 2016.  I am already compiling my report for February and I will debut it next week.  I am still playing catchup with the massive influx of business my partner and I have received over the past 3 months.  It has been quite extraordinary!

Thank you for reading my article.  I love comments, constructive criticisms, and even the occasional flame.  Let me know!

Cheers,

Christopher J. Lazaro, MBA

Licensed Real Estate Broker

 

The Miami Beaches Market Pulse: 2015 Year End Wrap Up – (February 2016 Update)

Miami Beach
Looking across the intracoastal waterway to Miami Beach

The Miami Beaches 2015 Year End Market Analysis

Hello and Happy New Year to All!  I am a little late in publishing this; life & business sometimes gets in the way; but 2015 is now history (as well as January 2016!).  However, data driven bloggers, like myself, and other analysts continue gathering and compiling their numbers (and putting their tax returns together like everyone else 😦  ) to make their reports.  Heck, it takes whole quarters (or more) for our own government to figure out if & when we enter a recession (obviously they are too wealthy for our own good 😉 ).

I pulled the latest & greatest RPR Market & Neighborhood Reports for the 5 zip codes constituting the Miami Beaches and present to you the December 2015 versus December 2014 Report.  Here are the results:

33139 – South Beach

While I cannot speak for other agents, my firm saw the most sales activity in South Beach compared to anywhere else on the Miami Beaches.  South Beach continues to have a tremendous allure both nationally and internationally.

Median Est. Home Value: $397K (Up 4.2%) / Median Est. Listing Price: $237K (Down –5.2%) / Median Days in RPR: 110 (Down –13.4%) / Sales Volume: 95 (Down –26.9%)

The 33139 Market Activity Report for December 2015:

Market-Activity-Report_Miami-Beach-FL-33139_2016-01-03-20-40-18

Sales volume continues to decline in year over year comparisons of each month; however, I am noticing signs of an inflection point in that the number of days listed before a property sells has dropped by nearly 14%.  If sales volume in the coming months flattens (by comparison to the prior year’s month being compared) or rises, it could potentially indicate a good time to buy in 33139.  My recommendations are based on long term (for the purposes of this blog); 5-10 years or more.  This blog is not intended (unless I specifically say so in a specific article) for Buy/Flip or Buy/Rehab/Flip strategies to be implemented upon.

December 2015 Neighborhood Report for 33139

Neighborhood-Report_Miami-Beach-FL-33139_2016-01-03-20-40-24

Listing Volume (number of homes currently listed for sale) is 50% higher than January of 2013.  This means there is a much greater number of choices available to the buyer.  While oceanside condos are holding steady, a now 13 month long correction in ask prices for homes being listed continues.  In addition, I recall 2 & 3 years ago there not being a large amount of high-end rentals available anywhere on the beaches during the October-April season.  This season I did a quick search on MLS spanning all 5 zip codes of the Miami Beaches for rentals that range between $7000 and $10000 dollars per month and found more than 300 of them!  Further analysis is necessary, but I am fairly confident the luxury market is taking a hit too.

33140 – North Beach

I am not quite sure what the problem is with this market but after several thousand dollars in Realtor.com advertising to acquire buyers for this zip code, I have yet to even show a property in this zip code over the past 2 quarters!  As a result I am on the verge of dropping it all together and seeing if I can buy another slot elsewhere.  Perhaps my luck will change?  With that said, here are the December 2015 versus December 2014 numbers:

Median Est. Home Value: $481K (Up 2.1%) / Median Est. Listing Price: $377K (Up 5%) / Median Days in RPR: 110 (Down –24.7%) / Sales Volume: 49 (Down –10.9%)

The December 2015 Market Activity Report for 33140:

Market-Activity-Report_Miami-Beach-FL-33140_2016-01-03-20-37-35

Clearly a rebound is occurring in this area (and I do happen to love the area personally…it just has not been my best zip code this year).  Sales volume has started to flatten (as I mentioned earlier how this might be a good thing) compared to prior month comparisons, where it was off 50% year over year, and the average number of days a property is listed before it sells has plummeted by 25%.  This is great news for Sellers in this market and a potential warning to Buyers who are looking.

Neighborhood-Report_Miami-Beach-FL-33140_2016-01-03-20-37-41

Listing Volume is 50% higher than it was during the same time period in 2013, however, over that same period of time home values and asking prices have remained stable / mostly unchanged.  This is an area that is currently undergoing many changes in terms of both demographics, new construction, and rehabilitation of older buildings.  I believe it represents a great investment opportunity and it is genuinely a very safe, beautiful area to live.

33141 – North Bay Village & Atlantic Heights

This area, in my opinion, represents one of the greatest values anywhere for the location alone.  The median home value is 100,000+ dollars less than ANYWHERE else on the Miami Beaches.  Average Income Families can actually afford to buy and live here!  I think it is grossly undervalued relative to it’s long term (5-10 years) potential.  In addition, it has a wonderful “small town” / “village” feel & appeal.  New construction is on the rise, and that will absolutely, at some point, begat more assemblage deals for the real estate brokers and developers; and ultimately this area will begin to resemble the other 4 zip codes.  My recommendation is to buy, hold/rent and buy often.

Median Est. Home Value: $271K (Up 10.7%) / Median Est. Listing Price: $185K (Down –22.6%) / Median Days in RPR: 95 (Down –18.8%) / Sales Volume: 60 (Down –38.1%)

The December 2015 Market Activity Report for 33141:

Market-Activity-Report_Miami-Beach-FL-33141_2016-01-03-20-35-11

Once again, listing volumes are over 50% higher than two years prior, sales volume is lower than any time over the past 2 years, and the median listing price is substantially lower, which I attribute to an increase in the number of 1 and 2 bedroom homes in older buildings that quite probably need either rehabilitation or demolition.  I believe this area is two or three real estate cycles from achieving a peak in greatness and desirability; but I would hesitate to call investment here speculation given the values I have personally found, shown and sold in this area (I will not be discontinuing this zip code with Realtor.com if that tells you anything).  To boot, the neighborhood is wonderfully better than it was 10 years ago.  Change is happening; but as we all know in real estate, it happens over years, not days or weeks.

The 33141 Neighborhood Report:

Neighborhood-Report_Miami-Beach-FL-33141_2016-01-03-20-35-22

33154 – Bal Harbour

Certainly one of the most desirable zip codes to live in within the continental United States.  Bal Harbour represents the epitome of affluence with a far more conservative appeal than anywhere else on the Miami Beaches.

Median Est. Home Value: $648K (Up 22%) / Median Est. Listing Price: $387K (Down –7.8%) / Median Days in RPR 119 (Down –9.8%) / Sales Volume: 60 (Up 17.6%)

This is perhaps the best report and comparison I have seen since I began reporting on the beaches just after the market correction began.  33154 has begun to rebound strongly.  Sales Volume is up, Average Number of Days on the Market is down, and the estimated home values have rocketed by 22% in a single year!  In my opinion, an investment in Bal Harbour is akin to buying a “blue chip stock”.  Even during the recent correction it suffered the least, and it appears that it is the first to begin rallying back.

The December 2015 Market Activity Report for 33154:

Market-Activity-Report_Miami-Beach-FL-33154_2016-01-03-20-31-19

Sales Volume, when compared over a 2 year period is above average. Listing Volume is also higher than at any time in the prior two years, however, median listing prices have sharply moved higher since July of 2015.  Median listing prices continue to find support at 375k.

Neighborhood-Report_Miami-Beach-FL-33154_2016-01-03-20-32-56

33160 – Sunny Isles, Golden Beach & Eastern Shores

HOME…that is what I am proud to call Sunny Isles Beach.  Ever since I was a child and my family would vacation here (when it was still North Miami Beach), I always knew I wanted to live on this little stretch of sand.  Back in those days, this was one of the seediest places in all of Miami-Dade County.  However, in the past 20 years Sunny Isles Beach has seen one of the greatest booms and gentrifications in US History (I am willing to bet).  Where once stood small, dilapidated hotel/motels, now stand massive, high-end towers reaching into the sky.  Where rag tag shops used to litter the shopping centers now stand 3 star or better restaurants and designer boutiques, not to mention the sheet concentration of real estate brokerages here is pretty amazing!

Median Est. Home Value: $352K (Up 3.6%) / Median Est. Listing Price: $225K (Down –9.6%) / Median Days in RPR: 113 (Down –11.7%) / Sales Volume: 97 (Down –32.6%)

The December 2015 Market Activity Report for 33160:

Market-Activity-Report_North-Miami-Beach-FL-33160_2016-01-03-17-56-12

Considering where the numbers started when I began blogging the Miami Beach Market Pulse, 33160 appears to have improved somewhat.  Sunny Isles Beach was particularly sensitive to the investment appetites of foreign nationals, and as the Dollar appreciated against every other currency in the world, this led to a drying up of buyers in the general market.  It also exposed foreign buyers to a greater debt load as the dollars they borrowed became more expensive to repay (and this is an ongoing fact that has not fully resolved or come to a head yet).  In addition, a great deal of foreign economies are net commodity exporters; and since commodities of virtually every kind (oil, sugar etc) have crashed, I imagine business is not booming the way it was in the prior decade as commodities soared before and during the mortgage crisis.

The Miami Beaches Market Pulse: The Market Correction Continues…

Miami Beach
Miami Beach

The Miami Beaches Market Report:

January 1st 2015 – September 4th 2015 (October 2015 Update)

As the summer in Miami Beach came to a close I ran these reports on the five zip codes constituting the Miami Beaches ahead of the Labor Day Weekend.  My last report was published shortly before the end the Spring and just ahead of the Memorial Day Weekend; and it was quite was alarming.  Using data from Realtor’s Property Resource, an authoritative database for all transactions listed via the Multiple Listing Service, when compared to the same time period in 2014, transaction volume on the Miami Beaches had plummeted by 30-50% and listing volume was up sharply.

Since then, the stock markets, worldwide, have roiled over the uncertainty surrounding the future of interest rates, let alone the world’s reserve currency, the US Dollar; which, albeit stronger in the last couple of years, remains fixed in a 30+ year long downtrend.

US Dollar remains in a long-term downtrend
US Dollar remains in a long-term downtrend

The recent upswing in the Dollar resulted in properties being more expensive to foreign nationals, and for this reason, amongst others (i.e new construction), I believe is the root cause of what is currently happening along the Miami Beaches.  Please note that the data below DOES NOT include pre-construction or new construction purchases; but also keep in mind that there is virtually nothing, of consequence to the numbers, in the new construction category within the Miami Beaches that is priced under one million US Dollars.

The Miami Beach & South Beach (33139) Market Report

Below is a link for the 33139 Market report.  The data is summarized as follows:

Median Est. Home Value: $397K, Up 10.5%; Median Est. Listing Price $185K, Down –21.1%; Median Days in RPR 105, Down –9.5%; Sales Volume: 87, Down –48.5%

The Miami Beach & South Beach (33139) Market Report

Below is the Neighborhood Report for 33139.

The 33139 (South Beach) Neighborhood Report

As you can see, Home Values continue to rise despite market weakness, however, I expect a shift in this as Median Listing Prices are down substantially and homes are on the market longer.  In addition, the chart goes back as far as 2012, where there were circa 1500 homes listed in the South Beach Market.  Listing Volume has more than doubled in the last 3 years having passed more than 3200 listed homes currently on the market!  Naturally, Median Listing Prices have been declining over the same time period as Sellers wake up and realize their home is not worth nearly as much as they imagined.

The Miami Beach & North Beach (33140) Market Report

Below is a link to the Miami Beach (33140) / North Beach Market Report.  The data is summarized as follows:

Median Est. Home Value $489K, Up 7.1%; Median Est. Listing Price $340K, Down –5.4%; Median Days in RPR 107, Down –4.5%; Sales Volume 62, Down –34%

The Miami Beach & North Beach (33140) Market Report

Below is the Neighborhood Report for Miami Beach / North Beach 33140

The Miami Beach / North Beach (33140) Neighborhood Report

The 33140 area lies immediately to the north of South Beach, 33139 and is, with respect to home ownership and other demographics a stark contrast to South Beach.  North Beach is more of a full-time resident neighborhood and has far less tourist traffic than 33139.  However, it is also not immune to the market correction we have been seeing.  Again, Home Values continue to increase, while Listing Volume also continues increase, having nearly doubled in the last 3 years.  More owners than renters exist in this market, and in my opinion, it is a more family friendly zip code to live in.  Median List Prices are relatively flat year over year, and I expect this sideways trend to dip lower as listing volume increases.  When looking at the the Price Range of Homes Sold, it should be noted that nearly 1/3 of all sales were over $1,100,000 USD.

North Beach & North Bay Village (33141) Market Report

Below is a link to the Miami Beach / North Bay Village Market Report.  The data is summarized as follows:

Median Est. Home Value $267K, Up 6.5%; Median Est. Listing Price $150K, Down –32.7%, Median Days in RPR 85, Down –24.1%; Sales Volume 58, Down –52.1%

North Beach & North Bay Village (33141) Market Report

Below is the Neighborhood Report for Miami Beach & North Bay Village, 33141

Miami Beach & North Bay Village (33141) Neighborhood Report

Following the greater trend, Home Values continue to rise but the Median Listing Price has fallen off a cliff, now down 32%.  I sold a couple of homes in this area in the past quarter and noticed that the recent Market Correction has brought in Ready, Willing and Able American Buyers (both were soon-to-be Retiree Couples).  The Average Days on the Market also fell substantially as Buyers looking for a deal are snatching up properties in this area.  I think that for a second home, investment property, or wanting to simply live in the area of Miami Beach, the best values can be found in this particular neighborhood right now.  It is absolutely a Buyer’s Market with Sales Volume down more than 50% and Listing Volume having more than doubled in the past 3 years.  This is a weaker market than the North Beach (to the south) and the Bal Harbour (to the north) Markets, and in my view, it has led the market correction on the beaches as a result.  I expect the other markets, to a degree, to follow suit prior to the Spring of 2016 (although from May 2015 to September, Bal Harbour has taken quite a beating.  It was “leading” the markets (in terms of resilience at least) in May.)

The Bal Harbour, Bay Harbor Islands & Surfside (33154) Market Report

Below is a link to the Miami Beach / Bal Harbour & Bay Harbor Islands (33154) Market Report.  The data is summarized as follows:

Median Est. Home Value $629K, Up 16.9%; Median Est. Listing Price $323K, Down –23.7%, Median Days in RPR 107, Down –10.8%; Sales Volume 25 Down –62.7%

The Bal Harbour, Bay Harbor Islands & Surfside (33154) Market Report

Below is the Neighborhood Report for Miami Beach / Bal Harbour (33154):

The Miami Beach – Bal Harbour (33154) Neighborhood Report

Bal Harbour is one of the wealthiest communities in the United States, home to one of the most exclusive malls in the world (The Bal Harbour Mall), and is an absolutely beautiful place to behold.  However, it has not been able to hold up against the market correction as well as it was doing back in May when I published my last report.  While, once again, Home Values continue to rise (and substantially here, +16%), Median Listing Prices are down by nearly 25% and Sales Volume is off by a whopping 62.7% (I am glad I am not an agent only specializing in Bal Harbour!).

Listing Volume is at a 3 year high and is currently double what it was in January 2012.  Median Listing Prices have broken through a support range of 375K and are continuing to fall.  One third of all listings sold were under 400K and another third of all homes sold were over 900K.  Therefore this recent market correction has obviously spared no one.  I expect market turnover to continue until Listing Volume begins to decline.

The Sunny Isles Beach, Golden Beach & Eastern Shores (33160) Market Report

Below is a link to the Sunny Isles Beach & Eastern Shores, 33160 Market Report.  The data is summarized as follows:

Median Est. Home Value $356K, Up 9%; Median Est. Listing Price $195K, Down –20.4%; Median Days in RPR 109, Down –12.1%; Sales Volume 113, Down –38.9%

The Sunny Isles Beach, Golden Beach & Eastern Shores (33160) Market Report

Below is the Sunny Isles Beach & Eastern Shores (33160) Neighborhood Report:

The Sunny Isles Beach & Eastern Shores (33160) Neighborhood Report

I have lived in Sunny Isles Beach for the last 7 years and I know this town well.  In fact, I am pretty sure the data has improved in this zip code substantially in the past month due to the sheer volume of Buyers who have called me interested in taking advantage of the recent market correction here.  While Home Values Improved, the Median Listing Price dropped substantially, at one point was off by nearly 30%.  Listing Volume has climbed steadily however, and is currently sitting at a nearly 4 year high.  In September, the trailing 12 months of Sales Volume was off nearly 40%, but a recent spate of closings I believe has reduced this to less than 5%.  Keep in mind that a very substantial demographic change is currently underway in Sunny Isles Beach.  With the construction of numerous beach front condominiums, a breed of extraordinarily high net worth people have been scooping up pre-constructions prices STARTING at $1400 per square foot!  In turn, I have seen a number of beach condominium owners, also wealthy, but, not as wealthy as the newer beachfront apartment buyer, put their condominiums up for sale and inquire about making a purchase on the intracoastal side of the barrier island, an area of older, smaller, less expensive homes and apartments.  This bodes well for home values and tax receipts to the City of Sunny Isles in the future as the demographic of this city becomes, on average, even wealthier.  With few exceptions, I do not see prices declining much further here, however, I do see rents continuing to skyrocket as a result of this shift.

Outlook

Despite the market correction on the beaches, Miami continues to be a top international destination, and barring an apocalyptic event, I do not see that trend softening, let alone reversing, any time soon.  For the last 5 years inbound traffic and hotel stays have set records year after year, room rates continue to rise, and tax revenue from tourism continues to increase substantially.  In tandem, massive non-residential commercial investment continues to pour into Miami-Dade County, and Southeast Florida as a whole.  While the vast majority of the United States, I expect in the coming 1-2 years, will take an economic beating as a result of our Country’s ludicrous fiscal and monetary policies, The Miami Beaches and the City of Miami, I believe, will weather whatever the coming economic storm may bring for numerous reasons.  First of all, the Baby Boomer Generation is retiring at a rate of 10,000 people per day (or 1 person every 8 seconds); and many of them have their eyes set on the warm Sun, sandy beaches and green palm trees of the South Florida subtropical climate.  In addition, even if the Dollar takes a hammering, in an array of ways, that will boost foreign direct investment as wealthy foreign nationals seek to escape from harsh taxation & regulations in their home countries (and our policies are no picnic!).  With that in mind, it should be noted that we are looking at a Buyer’s market here on the beaches and this is an opportunity that prospective buyers should, at the very least, look at closely with a knowledgable & reputable real estate broker.

Lastly, I would like to apologize to my readers for having not published another market update report sooner.  I am extremely busy servicing my own customers & clients (who get the benefit of my analysis and insights on request) in both a residential & commercial real estate capacity; and therefore my time has been constrained with respect to Publishing & Marketing.  As my firm grows, I expect to be able to publish on a more regular basis.

Thank you for your time and attention!

Cheers,

Miami Realtor, Miami Real Estate Professional
Christopher Lazaro, MBA – Licensed Real Estate Broker & International Realtor of Miami, 305-517-3086 x333

Are Prices too High? Miami Beach Real Estate Transaction Volume Plummets!

Miami Beaches Market Activity Summary for  January 2015 through May 2015

While working with my residential customers over the past few months, I noticed something quite alarming about the real estate market on Miami Beach.  Transaction volume (the number of homes sales closed), when compared to last year, is down by as much as  50% when looking at Market Reports for each of the Miami Beach zip codes.

Starting from the legendary South Beach and working north to Sunny Isles and Golden Beach, the data is as follows:

33139 – South Beach – Median Est. Home Value $390K Up 13%; Median Est. Listing Price $217K Down –17%; Median Days in RPR 97 Down –7.6% Sales Volume 109 Down –46.8%  !!!!

Market-Activity-Report_Miami-Beach-FL-33139_2015-05-12-20-29-24

Given that transaction volume is off by nearly 50%, local Realtors in 33139 must be hurting.  My firm alone closed 4 (soon 5) of those 109 transactions so far this year.

33140 – North Beach – Median Est. Home Value $473K Up 5.1%; Median Est. Listing Price $345K Down –6.8%; Median Days in RPR 106 Up 1%; Sales Volume 60 Down –29.4%

Market-Activity-Report_Miami-Beach-FL-33140_2015-05-12-20-30-25

33141 – Surfside & Bay Harbor Islands – Median Est. Home Value $261K Up 6.7% Median Est. Listing Price $175K Down –23.7% Median Days in RPR 87 Down –13.9% Sales Volume 80 Down –37.5%

Market-Activity-Report_Miami-Beach-FL-33141_2015-05-12-20-29-49

33154 – Bal Harbour – Median Est. Home Value $580K Up 9.2% Median Est. Listing Price $395K Down –2.5% Median Days in RPR 102 Down –20.3% Sales Volume 43 Down –36.8%

Market-Activity-Report_Miami-Beach-FL-33154_2015-05-12-20-29-38

33160 – Sunny Isles Beach & Golden Beach – Median Est. Home Value $349K Up 9.9% Median Est. Listing Price $225K Down –10% Median Days in RPR 98 Down –11.7% Sales Volume 98 Down –49%

Market-Activity-Report_North-Miami-Beach-FL-33160_2015-05-12-20-29-07

In every case, we have home values going up while listing prices are coming down and transaction volume is off by as much as 50% year over year!  This makes me beg the question, have prices gone too far, too fast?  Are we finally at a tipping point where Sellers will begin to come back to Earth with more realistic ideas of their home’s value?  I hope so.

I believe there are a number of factors in play that have led to this tragic decline in sales volume:

1)  The Russian Ruble has lost more than a third of it’s value over the past 12 months and Putin has put capital flight controls into place making it very difficult for Russian Citizens to transfer money out of country.  Further, what money can be transferred out, is now worth significantly less against the dollar.  This is greatly dampened investment out of Russia over the past 6 months as well as the spirits of an innumerable number of Realtors.

RUB to USD Chart
RUB to USD Chart

2)  The world is sliding back into a global recession; some argue that we never actually got out of it in the first place.  Whatever the case, governments in Europe and South America have been making it either more difficult, if not impossible, for their citizenry to take their money overseas.  To make matters worse, our own government levies taxes on Foreign Direct Investment and given that at least 5-10% of all jobs in South Florida are created by foreign businesses opening their doors here, one would question the sanity of our politicians in not making it easier and less expensive to invest here!

3)   With all the new construction is not unimaginable that at least some number of prospective Buyers have decided to buy pre-construction & new construction deals.  These numbers would not flow into the reports as these properties were never listed.

4)  “Prices have genuinely gone too far” seems to be the most logical conclusion!  Limited supply of great location real estate and large demand originating from the “steals” of 2009 to 2012 (mortgage crisis) drove prices for the past several years.  As prices have gone up, however, the pool of available Buyers has shrunk; and those who would have been in the market for a Miami Beach property have either given up, or have turned their eyes to the north such as Hollywood Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach and Deerfield Beach.

For the sake of brevity, I have concluded here.  There are other factors for sure, but I believe I captured the majority of the macroeconomic factors.  I am very interested in any reasonable, rational comments, contributions, & critiques.

Cheers,

Miami Realtor, Realtor of Miami, Miami Real Estate
Christopher J. Lazaro, Miami Beach Real Estate Broker & REALTOR®

T: 1-800-798-9192 x333