In the News

Sky-high condo, single-family home prices rise to new heights

News that a penthouse at Grand Venetian Miami Beach just listed by Worldwide Properties hit the market for $9.7 million, or just over $2,000 a square foot, would have been remarkable a few years ago. Today, the price is about half that of Miami Beach’s record-setting condo prices. Across the market, condos and single-family luxury homes are setting or approaching record-breaking status at a fevered pace. Dora Puig with Puig Werner Real Estate just sold Ocean House penthouse 702 for $16.9 million furnished, or $3,592 a square foot. The 9,737-square-foot unit at 121 Ocean Drive in the South of Fifth Street (SoFi) neighborhood includes four bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms and a negative-edge private pool. Puig admits her sale was not the market’s highest. Earlier this year, Jeff Miller with Zilbert International Realty handled the sale of penthouse villa B at Setai Miami Beach for $27 million, or $3,800 a square foot. That sale exceeded the Setai’s previous record – the $3,704 a square foot Netscape Communications Corp. founder James Clark fetched for his penthouse there in late 2011. “Two thousand dollars per-square-foot was almost unheard of, even in the boom time of the mid-2000s,” Worldwide Properties CEO Eddy Martinez said in a news release. On nearby Fisher Island, One Sotheby’s International Realty associate and resident Sandra Fiorenza represented the seller in the sale of the highest-priced condo sold on the island since a $13.5 million sale in 2009. The 7,924-square-foot penthouse at 5171 Fisher Island Drive sold for $9.85 million. In Fort Lauderdale’s Harbor Beach, 2400 Del Lago Drive reportedly sold for $14.5 million, or $1,169.35 a square foot, plus the cost of furnishings and commissions. The actual sale price was the most expensive home sale in Broward County since Tim Elmes with Coldwell Banker Previews International sold 1 Isla Bahia Drive for $17.1 million in 2008, Elmes said. Elmes represented the buyer in the sale of 2400 Del Lago Drive. He previously sold the home several years ago for $8 million, he said.Original Article

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Israeli investors scouring South Florida for bulk deals closes $8.6 Million sale

It began almost two years ago, with one of the first bulk purchases since the downturn. Shaul Moshal purchased 26 units at Pembroke Pines’ La Via condominium for $1.4 million in January 2009. The Israelis are part of a growing trend of foreign buyers driving the residential market, as Canadians and Brazilians have been notably moving in on the South Florida region. Since the Pembroke Pines purchase, Israeli investors have been searching South Florida for deals — especially those they can do in bulk, with some dealing directly with fellow Israeli developers. “It’s interesting, there’s definitely an uptick [in Israeli investment],” said Eddy Martinez, CEO of Worldwide Development Services, a Miami-based residential  brokerage firm. “They want to invest here, and they want to be here.” Martinez represented Optibase Real Estate, which is wholly owned by a publicly traded company in Israel, in its purchase of 21 condo units in the Marquis Residences in downtown Miami, which was developed by the U.S. wing of Israeli developer Africa Israel. Optibase paid $8.6 million for the units. Africa Israel did not respond to requests for comment. “Generally speaking, investment groups from Israel are very aggressive, very shrewd,” said Peter Zalewski, founder of brokerage and consultancy Condo Vultures. “They expect to get a fantastic price. These groups demand a ton, but when they get that price and product is available they’ll pull the trigger.” Zalewski said that what tended to separate the Israeli groups from buyers of other nationalities was that “when they ask for the world, and it’s delivered, they’ll pull the trigger.” Other groups, he said, were not quite so decisive in making deals. Zalewski pointed to  Optibase’s Marquis purchase as something of a model of Israeli buyers’ risk-taking strategies. Martinez, who also negotiated a bulk deal last year with W Capital Group, andwhose funding came from Israel, noted that Israelis are buying in Miami in bulk largely because of a perception that Miami has reached the bottom of the market, Martinez said. “There is still some very good real estate to be picked up at a low reproduction cost, and once it’s taken, it’s taken,” he said. Original Article

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Icon South Beach condo sells for $1,260 per square foot, RECORD SALE

A 2,145-square-foot condominium unit at the Icon South Beach tower has been sold for $2.7 million, or about $1,260 per square foot. The average price represents a record high for the property, according to Worldwide Properties’ Eddy Martinez, who represented the seller in the all-cash transaction. The buyer was reportedly a celebrity (Martinez could not disclose the buyer due to a confidentiality agreement). “The rapid sales of the residences at Icon continue to prove that the market in Miami Beach is hot, especially in the ultra-luxury price range,” Martinez said. Icon South Beach was the scene of an over-$20 million penthouse sale in June. Original Article

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Estate Once Home to Michael Jackson Will Go On the Market

A Las Vegas compound once home to Michael Jackson will go on the market for $19.5 million. The pop star rented the gated estate from 2007 until 2009, when he died in California, said the listing broker. According to listing agent Eddy Martinez of Miami-based Worldwide Properties, the 1.8-acre estate includes an 8,500-square-foot, three-story main house with three bedrooms and seven bathrooms as well as an elevator, spa treatment rooms, two kitchens and a large conference room. There’s also a large guesthouse and a chapel done in a Gothic style. Grounds include a tennis court, basketball court and fountain. Mr. Jackson and his children primarily lived in the property’s 5,000-square-foot guest cottage, which has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchen, family room and dining room. Mr. Jackson housed his staff in the main home on the property, according to Mr. Martinez, and converted its master suite into a recording studio. The two buildings are connected by an underground tunnel with a bar and art gallery; Mr. Jackson could use the tunnel to avoid helicopters and paparazzi. The home is owned by Aner Iglesias, a real-estate investor. It initially came on the market in 2009 for $12.8 million. The property has been used meanwhile for private events, weddings and diplomatic ceremonies. Mr. Martinez said the price increase reflects a dramatically improved market from when the home listed previously. Mr. Martinez said his company, along with Chinese international real-estate portal Juwai.com, will market the property primarily to wealthy Chinese buyers and will debut the listing this weekend at Top Marques luxury show in Shanghai. “Many Chinese are/were Michael Jackson fanatics,” said Mr. Martinez in an email. “For a really wealthy fan of Michael Jackson, it would be a dream come true to own the home where Michael lived and recorded/created his music.” Original Article

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Chinese Broaden Real-Estate Horizons

Chinese property buyers are going beyond their traditional markets in London, New York and Hong Kong to seek out bargains from Edinburgh to Miami Beach. Real-estate-industry officials say they expect Chinese to step up their buying in such second-tier markets as they grow more comfortable investing abroad. “Obviously Chinese tourists have been in New York and San Francisco, but now you see them in Miami Beach,” said Eddy Martinez, a real-estate agent in Miami who has sold properties to Chinese buyers. Chinese Broaden Their Real-Estate Horizons Beyond the Likes of New York, London – WSJ

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