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Tags:  Icon South Beach, South of Fifth, Continuum South Beach, Murano Condos, South Beach Condominiums, miami beach condos

I'm constantly asked, who's buying in these challenging economic times?The answer is highly qualified end-users primarily from Europe and Latin America! Based on my recent experience, Eastern and Central Europeans, Brazilians, some Venezualan and Colombia, and Argentine high net worth individuals. Today's buyers primarily look for premier waterfront luxury homes and condominiums in South Beach as a great investment opportunity given the recent price reductions and limited inventory.

Especially in such premier waterfront ultra-luxury condo buildings such as The Continuum North and South Towers, Icon South Beach, The Murano Grande, Murano at Portofino, and Apogee Condos have drawn strong European and Brazilian luxury buyer interest.

Miami Beach Condos Continuum South Beach

It's my belief hat these condo buildings draw strong international buyer attention due to their prime waterfront locations in the Miami Beach's South of Fifth Neighborhood / District. These contemporary condominium buildings are located in an area of Miami Beach with stringent building restrictions (no waterfront land is available for future development). Also, The Continuum on South Beach boasts such amenities as TWELVE amazing Oceanfront acres at the Southernmost tip of Miami Beach. The individual condominiums in all of the mentioned buildings feature a minimum of 9' floor to ceiling sliding glass doors and windows, top of the line European Kitchens, incredible views of the Ocean, The Downtown Miami skyline. All of these condos feature oversized bathrooms with whirlpool bathtubs, European cabinetry in Bathrooms and Kitchens, private beach and pool cabanas, and state-of-the-art amenities.

For example, at The Continuum on South Beach, residents have an on-site three-story fitness center (A Marco Borges Concept) with an incredible selection of free weights, yoga and pilates classes, a private lap pool, THREE sunken Oceanfront Tennis Courts, Men's and Women's private jacuzzi's, massage rooms, as well as steam rooms and dry saunas.

A common cliche is that real estate is all about location location location (and long term supply and demand). Luxury waterfront condominiums in Miami Beach, and particularly in South Beach's South of Fifth Neighborhood, are an excellent example of the BEST location with VERY LIMITED future supply. Due to Art Deco Preservation League & City of Miami Beach zoning restrictions, NO new waterfront buildings are to be built for the foreseeable future.

That's right, NO new supply is planned, given the current physical and legal constraints imposed by the City of Miami Beach. The Murano at Portofino, The Portofino Tower, Apogee, Icon South Beach, The Murano Grande, and The Continuum on South Beach's are all direct waterfront condo buildings. All of these luxury condo buildings are located in the heart of the South Beach's South of Fifth Neighborhood- with world-class food, boutiques, and the many other unique attractions within Ten minutes walking distance!

Is this a fantastic medium to long-term investment opportunity? Come and take a look at a few of the condominiums I highlighted in this post, and decide for yourself!


Tags:  Miami Beach South of Fifth Neighborhood, Icon South Beach, miami beach condos, Miami Beach Real Estate, Continuum South Beach, Miami Beach West Avenue Condos

Trulia recently released results from its Rent vs. Buy Index, which tracks whether buying a home or renting is less expensive in America's 50 largest cities, based on current market conditions. This index calculates the price-to-rent ratio using the average list price compared with the average rent of two-bedroom apartments, condos and townhomes. So I was curious- How this index specifically applies to Miami Beach condominiums, especially price reduced waterfront condominiums in such ultra-luxury buildings as The Continuum on South Beach, The Murano Grande, and Icon South Beach in the South of Fifth Neighborhood. I also decided to compare some of the more affordable waterfront condo buildings (due to the recent drastic price reductions), such as The Floridian and The Bentley Bay along Miami Beach's West Avenue.

Example #1: The Continuum on South Beach- North Tower #905 (Regular Sale)
Closed Sales Date: 06/30/10
Sales Price: $1,200,000
Rental Price: $8,000/month (2009 Actual Rent)
Price-to-Rent Ratio: $1,200,000 ÷ ($8,000 x 12) = 12.5

Continuum on South Beach

Example #2: The Murano Grande at Portofino #1705 (Bank Owned Sale)
Closed Sales Date: 10/08/10
Sales Price: $548,400
Average Rental Price: $4,000/month
Price-to-Rent Ratio: $548,400 ÷ ($4,500 x 12) = 9.8

Murano Grande Miami Beach

Example #3: Icon South Beach #906 (Bank Owned Sale)
Closed Sales Date: 03/15/10
Sales Price: $475,000
Average Rental Price: $4,000/month (2009 Actual Rent)
Price-to-Rent Ratio: $475,000 ÷ ($4,000 x 12) = 9.8

Icon South Beach

Example #4: The Bentley Bay #1411 (Bank Owned Sale)
Closed Sales Date: 08/31/10
Sales Price: $460,350
Average Rental Price: $3,500/month (2009 Actual Rents)
Price-to-Rent Ratio: $460,350 ÷ ($3,500 x 12) = 10.9

The Bentley Bay Miami Beach

Example #5: The Floridian (West Avenue) #2010
Closed Sales Date: 01/31/10
Sales Price: $270,000
Average Rental Price: $2,250/month (2009 Actual Rents)
Price-to-Rent Ratio: $270,000 ÷ ($2,250 x 12) = 10.0

The results for Miami Beach, South Beach waterfront condominium buildings to be exact, indicate a slightly HIGHER index (as compared to downtown Miami) due to the downward pressure on annual rental prices. Miami Beach condominiums have been competing with an oversupply of downtown Miami condominiums available for rent at bargain prices. Also of note, the lower-end condominiums with LOW index values in buildings such as the Floridian, Murano Grande, and Icon which are either bank owned or in a short sale situation make much more financial sense (from a cash flow perspective) than the ultra-luxury buildings such as the Continuum on South Beach or the higher end & premier luxury condos. This also makes sense, as the ultra-luxury condo buyer looking for a premier floorplan / view is typically less price sensitive when it comes to potential rental cost vs. purchasing scenarios.

Trulia's Rent vs. Buy Index - Interpretation Key
Price-to-Rent Ratio of 1-15: It is much less expensive to own than to rent a home in this city.
Price-to-Rent Ratio of 16-20: It is more expensive to own a home in this city. The total costs of ownership of a home in this city are greater than the costs of renting, but it might still make financial sense depending on the situation.
Price-to-Rent Ratio of 21+: The total costs of owning a home in this city are much greater than the costs of renting.

Top 10 Cities to Buy vs. Rent:
1. Arlington, TX -Price to Rental Ratio: 7
2. Fresno, CA - Price to Rental Ratio: 8
3. Miami, FL - Price to Rental Ratio: 9
4. Mesa,AZ - Price to Rental Ratio: 9
5. Phoenix, AZ - Price to Rental Ratio:10
6. Jacksonville, FL - Price to Rental Ratio:11
7. Detroit, MI - Price to Rental Ratio:11
8. Columbus, OH - Price to Rental Ratio:12
9. El Paso, TX - Price to Rental Ratio:13
10. Nashville, TN - Price to Rental Ratio:14

The price-to-rent ratio uses the average list price compared with the average rent on two-bedroom apartments, condos, townhomes and co-ops listed on This Index considers both the total cost of home ownership against the total costs of renting (examples of costs for both home ownership and renting outlined above). Note that variations in maintenance dues among the different buildings located in Miami Beach is not taken into account in this study, strictly the sales price. Monthly maintenance dues range from a high of $1.18/S.F. at Bentley Bay to $ 0.72/S.F. for Icon South Beach.

Data Sources: Southeast Florida Multiple Listing Service


Tags:  miami beach celebrity homes, Palm Island Homes, Miami Beach Real Estate, Miami Beach Homes, Hibiscus Island Homes

Many celebrities and, few notorious notables, today call Miami Beach and the surrounding island communities home including: Alonzo Mourning, Anna Kournikova, Antoine Walker, Barry Gibb, Chayanne, Cristina Saralegui, Don Shula, Dwayne Wade, Gloria Estefan, Hulk Hogan, Janet Reno, Jennifer Lopez, John, Secada, Julio Iglesias, Lenny Kravitz, Madonna, Matt Damon, O.J. Simpson, Pat Riley, Ricky Martin, Robin Gibb, Rosie O’Donnell, Shakira, Shaquille O’Neal, Sylvester Stallone, and Gianni Versace.

I'd like to highlight the latest estate sales in the South Beach and greater island of Miami Beach over for the past three months:

A total of TWENTY FOUR waterfront properties have SOLD on Palm, Hibiscus, North Bay Road, Sunset Islands, and the various other island chains off of Miami Beach since June 30, 2010. This is not surprising, given that Miami Beach waterfront real estate is the most desireable address if you are a view & location devotee and want to live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet! In my opinion, the most desireable waterfront homes and condominiums look out over Biscayne Bay, revealing amazing sunsets.

The six most recent noteworthy recent waterfront sales in Miami Beach:

  1. 6396 North Bay Road SOLD for $12.3M on 9/10
  2. 5245 Pine Tree Drive SOLD for $5.25M on 9/10
  3. 5005 Lakeview Drive SOLD for $2.5M on 8/10
  4. 216 Palm Avenue SOLD for $2.425M on 9/10
  5. 81 North Hibiscus SOLD for $2.175M on 7/10
  6. 803 East Dilido Drive SOLD for $1.9M on 7/10

Today's savvy buyers are taking advantage of the last few years price reductions, realizing there’s real value in premier waterfront real estate in the island communities of Miami Beach, along North Bay Road (facing Biscayne Bay), the Sunset Island Chain I - IV, the Venetian Island Chain which includes San Marco and Biscayne Islands, as well as Palm and Hibiscus Islands between Miami and South Beach. These premier waterfront homes are in limited supply- you can't grow or build another island!

Miami Beach Palm Island HomesMiami Beach HomeMiami Beach home for sale


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