I heard this week through my grapevine that 60 Minutes is doing yet another segment on Miami Beach real estate.   I started thinking…..”hmmmm, I wonder what their angle will be?  Foreclosures?  Walk-aways from condo contract-holders?”  It’s gonna be just miserable. Same story done for the last three years, I’m sure.

Then, I had a flicker of hope in my head that someone “up there” would want to get the actual story, not what they THINK is going on here, but waiting to see until they get here and, then, actually finding out what the deal is and then do the segment.  Novel, huh!

I deal with a lot of media.  Inevitably, the first words out of their mouths are:  “We’re doing a story on Miami being the worst city in the World,” or something to that extent.  Some people are media ho’s and will tell them whatever THEY WANT TO HEAR just to get their name in some, ANY, media.  Not me.

So, then I had my thought for this post.  General thoughts on Miami real estate.  So here it goes.

How is Miami Real Estate?

Miami has been dealing with two problems:

  1. Sub-prime (which really isn’t affecting many of the properties below above $800,000)
  2. The condo over-supply on the Brickell/Biscayne Corridor area.

If someone from the media were to ask me my thoughts about the Miami real estate market, here’s what I’d have to say:

There hasn’t been anywhere near the walk-a-ways that were predicted two and three years ago.  Sure, it is much harder to get people to the closing table, BUT that is in part due to the bank failures and the liquidity issues, in general.  Most of the walk-a-ways couldn’t get finanacing.

The market has bifurcated.  Some areas are doing okay and some aren’t.  For example, luxury Miami Beach condos in South Beach have fared quite well, with consistent year-over-year increases.  Coral Gables is doing well as a city and Pinecrest is having a tougher go of it.  Homestead is foreclosure central.  So a responsible journalist CAN’T say, “oh Miami real estate is in trouble,” because it’s just not true.

On Miami Beach

I’ve watched the city become PACKED in the last two weeks.  Lots going on.  The Fontainebleau is opening as I write this.  A $500M renovation of the infamous hotel which will make the Fontainebleau South Florida’s largest resort.  Rumor has it, Mariah Carey is going to be there (I wish I was there–thanks Nadine Johnson!).  The Victoria Secret Fashion Show (televised) is taping tomorrow.  The $500M Canyon Ranch Living-Miami Beach just opened a 586-room resort just up the street from the Fontainbleau at 68th  and Collins.

Art Basel, the country’s biggest contemporary art show returns to Miami Beach.  From the Miami Herald:

The center’s four-day art show has exploded into a week of festivals from the mainland to Miami Beach, with a global following paying sky-high hotel rates and generating a stream of private jets that tourism officials say rivals a Super Bowl.

An Irresistable Allure

What Miami has in spades, is sex.  Sex still sells–It will ALWAYS sell.  Miami is sexy.  Take the real estate discussion of Miami away and people will have nothing but great things to say.

If the economy is so bad (and it is–just not so much here), how come Bal Harbour Shoppes, which is the HIGHEST grossing mall per square foot in the country, was packed today?  Why can’t I find a parking spot? ANYWHERE.