Miami is Now the 2nd Fastest Growing City

  Miami’s housing market growth ranks 2nd in the nation. Year-over-year growth was 8.9% in November, and Miami came close to doubling the nationwide rate of 4.7% annual growth. Miami’s housing market continues to outperform the nation, but its growth still lags behind the faster pace of recent years. “The party can’t go on forever,” said Kwame Donaldson, an economist at Moody’s Analytics. Single-family home prices in the Miami metro area — which includes Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties — rose by 8.6% in November from a year earlier, compared with double-digit growth in 2013 and most of 2014. That was still the second-biggest gain among 20 big cities tracked by the S&P Case-Shiller index, the most closely watched barometer of residential values. Developers and market analysts said the slowdown was expected, and healthy. The growth in prices began to lessen last spring, and home sales have also slowed in Miami-Dade recently. Demand for houses over the past two years has largely been driven by investors with a nose for a deal and Latin American buyers looking to purchase second homes, according to Donaldson. “But as prices go up, the bargains aren’t there like they used to be,” he said. A Moody’s forecast expects Miami’s housing market to keep growing in 2015 but at an increasingly slower rate. “We’ve been climbing out of this historically deep hole, so as we get closer and closer to the pre-recession peak, we’ll see growth moderate somewhat,” Donaldson said. Miami’s housing market reached its high point in 2007 after annual growth of nearly 30%, which proved unsustainable. The Case-Shiller index now values the...

Walmart Opens in Liberty City Area of Miami-Dade

Walmart opened a new 182,000-square-foot store in the Liberty City area of Miami earlier this month, saying it is the first new development in the neighborhood in decades. Walmart has been opening new stores in South Florida at a rapid pace and bought the 23.2-acre site at 3200 Northwest 79th Street in 2012 for $12.7 million. The retail giant just opened a store in Miami Gardens on Jan. 7. Several more stores are in the works,the company said, including ones in Hollywood, Tamarac, Fort Lauderdale and Davie, as well as one in Midtown Miami that has faced fierce neighborhood opposition. Overall, the company said Florida represents its largest state after Texas. Source: The Real...

Wynwood is Ranked South Florida’s Hottest Neighborhood

Wynwood is the hottest South Florida neighborhood in 2015, according to a Redfin ranking released Thursday. Coral Terrace, South Golden Glades, Buena Vista and Golden Pines followed. The median sales price in the Wynwood Art District was $373,000 and homes spent an average of 94 days on the market. The hottest neighborhoods were ranked by affordability and convenience. “Considered by many the ‘Brooklyn of the South,’ Wynwood is a popular destination among professionals who seek to live in a hip and vibrant neighborhood,” Redfin agent Aaron Drucker said in a statement.“Wynwood is also one of the few remaining neighborhoods where you can enjoy a beer for under six bucks, depending on the venue.” Redfin used data based on pageviews and user favorites, as well as insight from the company’s local agents, to come up with the lists. The brokerage released the 10 hottest neighborhoods of 2015, as well as the five hottest neighborhoods in each of its 27 metro areas. “Many homebuyers have recoiled from the dramatic increase in house prices in urban centers posted over the past three years,” Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson said in a news release. “They are now searching for more affordable places farther out. Expect the neighborhoods on this list to see high demand in 2015 as rock-bottom mortgage rates and a more lenient mortgage lending environment help make homeownership in expensive cities less costly.” Source: The Real...

Christian de Berdouare, ‘Chickenologist,’ Lists Miami Home for $35.9 Million

Christian de Berdouare, self-described“chief chickenologist” of the Miami based restaurant franchise Chicken Kitchen, is selling his under-construction Miami Beach home for $35.9 million. The house is located on a ½-acre lot on North Bay Road, an exclusive waterfront stretch where actor Matt Damon recently sold a house. The home will be roughly 14,000 square feet and will include seven bedrooms, 10 bathrooms and two kitchens. There will be two pools, one of which is located on the more than 3,300-square-foot roof deck overlooking Biscayne Bay.  Construction began in August 2013 and will wrap up in the spring. Mr. de Berdouare, 58, was a commodity trader before entering the restaurant business about 27 years ago, he said. Chicken Kitchen has about 30 locations, mostly in South Florida, and is known for its signature dish, the “chop chop” grilled chicken. He bought this property for $3.075 million in 2008, according to public records. Mr. de Berdouare said he built this home as an investment property, but initially planned to live here temporarily while he tore down and rebuilt his primary home down the road. He owns two other homes on North Bay Road. The home will also include a movie theater with seating for eight, an atrium with a vertical garden and waterfall feature, an elevator and a bathtub “for a Roman emperor,” cut from a single piece of marble from Italy, Mr. de Berdouare said. There is also more than 100 feet of water frontage on the property. He said he has put about $11 million into construction and custom-built Italian furnishings, which will be included in the sale. Listing is...

Report: Miami-Dade Shows Strong Apartment Market for 2015

Miami-Dade landlords can expect another strong year with rents forecast to rise more than 4%, according to a new study. Rents rose 3% in 2014.  Average rent price for a 1-bedroom in Miami $1,700 per month. Vacancy rates are expected to rise slightly to a still-low 3.5%, driven by an increase in finished construction units.   But apartments will still be in demand with an expected increase of 35,000 jobs in Miami-Dade during 2015, according to the Marcus & Millchap National Apartment Report. Overall, Miami-Dade ranked 9th nationwide in lowest rates for apartment rental vacancies, up four places from last year and atop all other Florida metros. Broward County ranked 26th overall in the report.  The county’s vacancy rate is forecast to rise 5.1 percent and 4,000 new units are expected to finish in 2015, the largest number in 15 years. Source: The Real...