real estate

Florida Leads Nation In Cash Home Purchases

Sep 11, 2014
Flickr user Images Money per Creative Commons License:

The majority of Florida home purchases were cash transactions in June. That’s according to a new report from California-based real estate analysis company CoreLogic.

Mark Fleming, chief economist at CoreLogic, says the recession and housing bust have resulted in a spike of cash buyers.

“Either because they don’t want to have the mortgage debt burden or, in many cases can’t qualify for mortgage loans,” Fleming says.

Is A Business On Lincoln Road Worth The Rent?

Aug 10, 2014
Flickr user Mr. Usaji per Creative Commons license:

One of the most expensive property sales in South Florida history is in the works on South Beach. Six properties -- currently held by the Terranova Corporation and Acadia Realty Trust -- along Lincoln Road are expected to sell for $342 million.

The properties' current occupants are Starbucks, Armani Jeans, Fossil and the Khong River House restaurant.

As the Miami Herald reports:

Sean Bonini/flickr

Florida’s recession could have been worse if not for homebuyers from other countries. 

The nonprofit government watchdog group Florida TaxWatch says international buyers bought up cheap properties and pumped cash into the state’s economy.

The buyers were mainly from Canada, Latin America and Europe – all regular trading partners of the U.S.

Creative Commons via WikiCommons / Illustration by Wilson Sayre

UPDATE 6/2/2014: The City of Pembrook Pines has won their bid for the empty prison. Mayor Frank Ortis says the City wanted to control what happened with the land which is not far from houses that fall within city limits.


A 66-acre plot of land off Sheridan Street has excellent security features, and it will soon be on the market. The Broward County Correctional Institution, a former women’s prison, is being sold off by the state.

Wilson Sayre

Art Basel satellite fairs are having a harder time setting up shop in Wynwood and Midtown as the area becomes an established, year-round neighborhood.

Owners of vacant lots and empty buildings tend to prefer long-term leases to short-term ones, which is what many of the Basel fairs rely on. When Lock and Load Machine Gun Experience and Gun Range moved into one of those formerly vacant buildings, it forced Fountain Art Fair to look for alternative spaces.

The years 2009 and 2010 were dark days for Miami real estate. Home prices plummeted. Mortgages imploded. Foreclosures soared.

And buyers flooded in from Brazil.

Since that time, Brazilians have become the top foreign buyers of homes and especially condominiums in South Florida. As recently as June, the largest number of foreign-based online visitors to the Miami Association of Realtors website came from Brazil. In 2011 and 2012, most international buyers of residential real estate in the Miami area came from Brazil.

Miami Design Agenda

On July 15, 1997 Gianni Versace left for the morning paper at just before 9 a.m. Nearly everyone in Miami and a great deal of people across the world know the story.

The mentally unhinged Andrew Cunanan then tragically shot Versace to death on the doorsteps of his world famous mansion. Cunanan, who had already killed four other people, set off a manhunt and houseboat siege that captivated the morbid attention of the world.

Thus the unknown fate of those world famous doorsteps and the building behind it was set in motion.

New homes are back in a big way — literally. This summer, a typical new house in Phoenix was more than 20 percent larger than a resale home as builders across the country added more space to accommodate post-recession lifestyles.

Take Jacque Ruggles' family, for example. Four women from three generations live under one roof.

"I'm the matriarch," Ruggles says. "I'm grandma."

The General Motors Building in Manhattan is a majestic 50-story, white marble structure that takes up one full city block. This is prime New York City real estate. A flagship Apple store sits on the ground floor, across the street is the Plaza Hotel, and on another corner is an entrance to Central Park.

The GM building is considered one of the most valuable office towers in the U.S. In May, a large piece of it was purchased by a Chinese real estate developer.

In the last year, over $57 million in illegal assets relating to federal cases in South Florida have been seized by the United States government, according to data provided by the U.S. Attorney’s office in South Florida.

$57,321,390.40 to be exact.

Led by more strong gains in Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles, home prices in major U.S. cities were up just more than 12 percent on average in July vs. July 2012, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report.

The average increase was the largest since February 2006, Reuters adds, and is yet another sign that the housing sector is among the economy's strongest sectors.

Former Versace Mansion In Miami Beach Auctioned For $41.5M

Sep 17, 2013

The former Versace mansion fetched a top bid of $41.5 million from a group that included New York’s Nakash family, which controls Jordache Enterprises, at a court-ordered bankruptcy auction Tuesday.

After the auction, Joe Nakash, the winning bidder and owner of the Victory Hotel next door, said he plans to ask for the right to use the Versace name and operate the mansion as a hotel in conjunction with the Victor.

Lamar P. Fisher of Fisher Auction Co. conducted the auction Tuesday morning inside the ornate 10-bedroom, 11-bath mansion.

Citizens Approved For 6.3 Percent Hike On Homeowners

Sep 9, 2013
Laura A. Ogden

Homeowners covered by Citizens Property Insurance Corp. will see an average rate increase of 6.3 percent next year.

The increase, approved Monday by the Office of Insurance Regulation, is down from a 7.9 percent hike requested on the combined personal-lines and coastal accounts. Citizens officials previously said a 7.9 percent increase wouldn't be enough to cover the projected costs for next year.

The increase doesn't include sinkhole coverage.

Jeff Hester / Creative Commons/Flickr

For 18 months straight South Florida home prices have been rising. One reason is cash. For every 10 homes sold in July in our region, seven were bought with cash: no mortgage, no credit check.  

Moreover, 90 percent of the cash buyers of Miami condos are foreign, which often means less financial oversight is involved in the purchase.

RELATED: What Kind Of Money Fuels The Miami Real Estate Market?

Elaine Chen / WLRN

The housing recovery has come fast to South Florida. But some are concerned that the cash-fueled rebound here may be relying, in part, on dirty money.