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Why New Yorkers are Flocking to Miami

Why New York Buyers Are Flocking to Miami

Stephen Ross and Jorge Perez

MIAMI—For all the talk of foreign buyers flocking to Miami to snap up condos, there’s another demographic that’s migrating south: New Yorkers. Indeed, multiple condo developers and sales teams are reporting a marked uptick in New York condo buyers returning to Miami.

At Palau in Sunset Harbour, the latest boutique condo by SMG Management, developers report that nearly 40 percent of buyers are from the United States, and a large number of those are from the Northeast and New York in particular. The majority of the rest accounting for local buyers.

Meanwhile, Edgardo Defortuna, CEO of Fortune International, which is most recently developing Jade Signature in Sunny Isles Beach, reports an approximate 15% increase in New York buyers overall this year. And at The Ritz-Carlton Residences in Singer Island, where the developer recently announced 80% sales, the sales team reports that there have been 12 Northeast buyers in the last six months alone.

Craig Studnicky of Related ISG, who is handling sales for The Related Group's Casa Costa, says that of the recent 65 sales, nearly one-third are from the Northeast. Even as far south as the Bahamas, where a new condo/hotel project is underway called French Leave Marina Village, developers are seeing strong interest from New York City and Northeast buyers and a return of Canadian buyers.

"Aside from the obvious reasons that New York buyers love South Florida—the ease of transit and the fabulous weather, I believe New Yorkers are, above all real estate deal experts, and South Florida is still an excellent value,” Ophir Sternberg, managing partner at Lionheart Capital, developer of The Ritz-Carlton Residences, tells “For instance, our property in Palm Beach, The Ritz-Carlton Residences Singer Island, sells for between $700 to $900 per square foot.”

Indeed, there’s a value story to tell. Sternberg says a similar quality property with compatible location and services in New York would sell for around $3,000 square foot. If a buyer takes into account the state income tax savings by staying in a Miami condo six months and a day, the price is even lower."

“New Yorkers are buying now because Miami has really evolved over the last couple of years with restaurants, hotels, cultural institutions and new developments opening,” Defortnua adds. “New York buyers now make up about 25% of all luxury buyers, compared to around 10% last year.”

Defortuna expects many New York buyers at Jade Signature, where he assembled a team led by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, Parisian interior design firm PYR, and landscape architect firm Raymond Jungles. He says it was Fortune International's mission to deliver a product that the market has never experienced before in Miami—and he thinks the development reflects exactly that and will attract many New Yorkers.

For her part, Ann Nortmann, who handles sales of Palau in Sunset Harbour, sees many reasons for the resurgence of New York buyers in Miami Beach. It starts with the weather, beaches and entertainment but it goes beyond that.

“The price point in Miami Beach is compelling compared to other options buyers may be considering,” Nortmann says. “Sunset Harbour is unique in that it is a very walkable neighborhood that provides a lifestyle similar to New York living, with an urban center with retail amenities in the immediate area. The rejuvenation of this former industrial area to a trendy residential/retail neighborhood is a theme that has been prevalent in many areas of New York City."


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