So last year at this time I proclaimed, “Miami Beach Luxury Real Estate is Back… and in a Big Way!”

When I made that statement, I had no idea what was to come. The stats I’m putting out today completely blow everything away — everything ever. Miami Beach luxury real estate has gone to the NEXT LEVEL.

Let’s take a quick look back. When I got into real estate in the mid-90s, a $3-5M transaction was a BIG DEAL. And, even though Star Island, Indian Creek Island (Village, technically) and La Gorce Island have always been prestigious, expensive and the creme de la creme, they’ve never enjoyed the desirability that they do now. As an example, below are the waterfront sales (including lots) for each island from 2007 through 2009:

Island 2007 2008 2009
Indian Creek 3 2 2
La Gorce 2 0 2
Star Island 0 0 1

Nothing exciting. I think the real estate activity on the islands, for as “important” as they are, has been lackluster. Historically, buyers have not been that excited about these enclaves. From 2007 to 2009, all the big Miami Beach real estate sales went to North Bay Road. All the celebrities and CEOs, etc., gave up the prestige and security of these islands for two reasons: 1) They love the open, wide-bay views that North Bay Road offers, and: 2) Location. Star Island is just off the mainland, so if the causeway is backed up… tough. Indian Creek is too far from South Beach and all the action. Same for La Gorce Island.

As a Miami Beach real estate broker for almost 20 years, I think the most interesting time here has been the post-Lehman era. The Lehman financial crisis happened in late 2008. 2009 was our nadir in terms of real estate values. Prior to that, even during the so-called “boom,” we were used to one big sale per year, and that sale was usually in the $15 to $17M range. Things started to change in 2010, when, even though our high sale was “only” $16M at 88 La Gorce Circle, La Gorce Island, the market was swiftly and very quietly ascending to the next level. We had another seven sales that year at, near or just above $10M. That was telling. Our high end was definitely beginning to “percolate.”

It’s been typical “broker-speak” the past five years to say, “We only have so much waterfront land.” That blurb NEVER resonated with clients. They seemed to dismiss it as “broker babble.”  After four years of irrefutably steady and impressive numbers, buyers almost feel panicked to purchase. Lots on Star, La Gorce and Indian Creek islands that have been available for YEARS are being snapped up at breakneck speed — and at jaw-dropping prices.

Luxury Miami Beach Real Estate Sales Thru 6/31/2012

Miami Beach real estate sales 2012

Sorry, Bargain Hunters – Prices Are Up Almost 20%

in 2011, the price-per-square-foot for Miami Beach real estate was $769. Now it’s 18.2% higher at $909 PSF. We saw about three years of relatively flat $PSF.  Those days are over.

YEAR SALES VOLUME # OF SALES $PSF
2008 $245,777,500 49 $934
2009 $169,331,447 42 $702
2010 $226,854,000 53 $710
2011 $351,263,033 75 $769

 

Miami Beach Luxury Real Estate – The Next Level

It really hit me yesterday when I read that a $23.94M sale was Palm Beach’s “biggest” this year.  Being the nudge I am, I contacted the most important person in Palm Beach real estate.  He confirmed the $23.94M deal and characterized the “trophy price range north of $20M” as “lackluster.”  From what I’m hearing from my Palm Beach sources, there is a $100M+ deal simmering – which would break ALL records.

Real Estate Records Broken on Indian Creek Island

Miami-Dade had its largest sale ever on Indian Creek Island this year at $38.4M. Congrats to Jorge Uribe at ONE Sotheby’s for that one.  As reported by every major local news outlet, 3 Indian Creek, Indian Creek Village is pending and awaiting closing. Rumor has it that the sale price is in the high $40M range. Another record waiting to be broken.

The Number and Velocity of “Trophy Sales” is Astounding

In 2011, there were 75 “luxury” waterfront sales in Miami Beach, an increase of 41% from 2010.  In 2011, the average waterfront home price in Miami Beach was $4,680,000. For the first half of 2012, we’ve had 45 luxury waterfront sales.  The total sales volume of these properties is $270,997,700, which makes the average price of a waterfront home in Miami Beach $6,022,222.  Additionally, in the first half of 2012, there were six land sales in Miami Beach.  The sales volume for the six deals is $63,150,000. Five of the six land sales this year were either on Star Island or Indian Creek Island.  Land sales volume for all of 2011 was $26,435,000.

More, More AND More

Villa Vecchia – 4821 Pine Tree Drive, Miami Beach

Now, let’s chat about some pending sales. This is an interesting story.  Villa Vecchia, described as a “historic property,” went under contract last week.  Originally listed at $21M in August 2011, and currently priced at $19.8M, Villa Vecchia, which is located at 4821 Pine Tree Drive, was built in 1928 and is the ONLY property in Miami Beach I know of with a formal ballroom; the current owners built it as a “necessity.” The palatial residence has 18,000 +/- int. sq. ft., 13 bedrooms and 12.5 bathrooms. I’ve confirmed through Facebook, of all sources, that the house is definitely under contract for $14.1M.  Whoa! That’s a big chop from the $19.8M asking price. [UPDATE]  The property just closed TODAY for $13.1M or $727 psf.  That’s what I get for trusting Facebook as a source, eeh?  I was only $1M off.  Thanks Zuckerberg.

Villa Vecchia SOLD $14.1M

Here are the goods:  The home has been curiously on and off the market for the last year. When it went pending last week, we brokers got an email notification that it was officially “under contract.”  A few hours later, we got another notification that the property was “temporarily” off the market.  Hmmmm.  I knew there was a story here. According to my sources, the house IS under contract and scheduled to close in about a month. From what I can see, it seems that the broker was relieved of his/her duties of marketing the property.  The rest of the story veers into gossip – and I’m not going there. Here’s a slideshow of Villa Vecchia, 4821 Pine Tree Drive:

 

SBCB Exclusive

This Just In: Another Broken Record! Three Contiguous Properties Close on North Bay Road for $19.6M

Ok, so I was just kinda catching my breath and was going to wrap this long, long info-packed post up, when this juicy tidbit was whispered in my ear.  Get this: three lots – 4666, 4682 and 4700 North Bay Road – with houses on them and arguably the best views on all of North Bay Road – were sold for $19.6M, which equals $369 PSF for land.  This is the highest price ever paid PSF for land, but you gotta pay if you want to play. North Bay Road has long been considered “where the big boys are.”

The buyer, Wayne Boich, who is young as shit and cool as shit, is in the energy business in Ohio.  He plans, of course, to knock down all three homes and build quite possibly the most important estate in Miami Beach. The three parcels of land combine to 300 linear feet of prime wide-bay waterfront and 53,130 sq. ft. of land. Currently, his panty-dropper of a penthouse at ICON South Beach is under contract for OVER the asking price of $19M. It’s rumored to be in the nabe of $21M, furnished of course. Closing, according to the MLS, is scheduled for September 1.

As many know, Lil Wayne lives on La Gorce Island.  This is BIG Wayne Boich, who once dated the lovely and sophisticated Tara Reid.  Judging from his new girl, he took some major steps up. Oh, my god… am I really writing this?  It’s Miami Beach, people.  This is how we roll. (Ugh, I feel like a Kardashian.)

A little trivia for you: Anita Bryant owned 4682 North Bay Road in 1982.  She bought it with her then ex-husband, Bob Green. H/T to the doyenne of the high end, Esther Percal for this tidbit.

Waterfront Land Sales in Miami Beach and Indian Creek Village Thru 6/31/2012

Miami Beach Waterfront Lot Sales
Does not include the above-referenced, three-lot sale on North Bay Road.

So, to bring this baby in for a landing, NEVER has Miami Beach seen this many deals at prices this high - and we have another five months to go.  Hmmm.

2012 Miami Beach Property Sales at $10M+

  • 9 Indian Creek $19.2M
  • 2 Indian Creek $14.5M
  • 14 Indian Creek $38.4M
  • 7 Indian Creek $14.8M
  • 29 Star Island Dr. $14.325M
  • 5130 N. Bay Road $10.6M
  • 1758 W. 28th St. $12.3M
  • 2817 Lake Avenue $9.45M
  • 4666, 4682 and 4700 North Bay Road $19.6M*

Pending Sales

4821 Pine Tree Drive $14.1M (closed for $13.1M)
3 Indian Creek Drive $47-$50M (est.)

*Sale not included in mid-year stats.


Related Reading (as if you’d want to do more):

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