The real estate industry in South Florida is experiencing a very sweet moment which is evident by the numerous projects approved and under development in the area, where cities like Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale are attracting prospective buyers looking for prices cheaper than what is currently available in Miami, said Diego Besga, COO and Business Development Director at Team Real Estate Development (TRED).
Markets emerging around Miami, such as in Hollywood, represent an opportunity for Team Real Estate, Besga pointed out. That is why they have leapt into investing in land in the heart of Hollywood, near the city’s main commercial area of shops and restaurants, and in close proximity to where the H3 Hollywood complex, a 15 storey building with 247 units, including studios and one, two, and three bedroom apartments, is being built.
“There is a group of buyers who don’t have access to the Miami market due to the prices that are being generated in the city.” Besga explained that these are buyers with budgets of less than $ 400,000 but who are looking for similar alternatives, and there are other cities in the south of the state where such properties are available.
Almost 50% of H3 Hollywood is already sold and buyers include mainly Argentines, Colombians, Russians, and Venezuelans, followed by locals and Canadians. To Besga, the price is very attractive at under $300 per square foot, while, according to data from Zillow Web which specializes in United States real estate, the average price in Miami currently stands at $379.
According to Zillow, the real estate prices in Miami rose by 10.6% last year, and are expected to rise this year by another 2.1%. Compare the $379 per square foot average price in Miami to the $159 per square foot average price in the metropolitan area of Miami-Fort Lauderdale. An average home in Miami is priced around $388,350, although the average selling price is $323,500, while the average rent is $2,200 per month in Miami and $ 1,800 in Fort Lauderdale.
For Besga, everything emerging north of Miami and west of downtown, as well as Miami’s Brickell area, is starting to become an attractive product, especially if the price is right.
As to whether Miami could be incubating a new real estate bubble, such as that suffered in the 2008 crisis, Besga emphasized that the situation is not the same. “I see a very strong market, for many years ahead. I do not think a new bubble is being created, amongst other things, because of the deposits required,” he pointed out.
Currently, most presale operations require deposits of 50% for closing, while a few years ago they were 10%.
Although Besga does believe that there will be a small price adjustment downward, he is convinced that nothing like 2008 will happen, because Miami is considered, especially by Latin Americans, as a safe place for protecting their wealth, and where it will continue generating value. “Prices are a little high, but not for a situation like that of 2008 to occur,” he said.
Team Real Estate Development (TRED) is a firm consisting of four Argentine partners, and which operates mainly in Argentina, and in the states of Florida and Georgia. Apart from the H3 Hollywood project, they have a wide portfolio of properties in both states, including rental properties, offices, hotels, and off-plan developments. In Fort Lauderdale they have a new residential development on the drawing board, which they hope to start building in early 2015.