South African property buyers drawn by the magic of Miami

The almost surreal golden hues, glistening beaches and Art Deco ambience of Miami in South Florida seems all too familiar, having been brought to our living rooms in popular TV series of Miami Vice and more recently CSI.

Today’s Miami is dynamic and chic, yet laidback and fun. It’s a melting pot of rising skyscrapers and edgy new developments as well as luxury malls, art galleries, bistros, bars and fashion houses.

One of the fastest growing large cities in the world – thereby creating tremendous job opportunities, Miami is the second largest financial centre in the USA and home to over 180 international banks. It also has the second largest airport by passenger volume in the USA and is home to the Latin American headquarters of over 1000 companies.

 A warm climate, great beaches and a host of recreational activities are combined with excellent cuisine and a unique night life. It’s no wonder 18 million people visit each year – with the number of international visitors doubling over the past five years.

Right now, much of the action is in the downtown Miami neighbourhoods of Brickell, Edgewater and The Design District, where over 23 000 condominiums and more than 78 buildings have been constructed in the last eight years.

“Surprisingly, this rapidly growing urban centre still offers property at prices well below those of other large cosmopolitan American cities such as New York, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles, not to mention prime global investment destinations such as London,” says Chris Immelman, MD of Pam Golding Properties International & Projects Division.

“Miami’s notable housing rebound is being propelled by the growing demand for luxury condos and upscale urban living in a vibrant city which is attracting a worldwide following. And for foreigners, investing in property here is simple,” he says. 

“For South African buyers, prices of these apartments are accessible, starting from $250 000 - or R3.055 million at current exchange rates. Return on investment is increasingly attractive. In greater downtown Miami, dramatic increases of 22 percent, 20 percent and 15 percent have been achieved on the resale of condos from 2011 to 2014. Furthermore, a buoyant rental market with high demand has seen average condo leasing prices with yields of 6.4 percent in 2014 soar to 15.6 percent in 2015.”

Pam Golding Properties has partnered with local real estate specialists, Gary Lazarus and Monte Levin, who spent a decade in Franschhoek where they ran PGP’s Winelands International office with huge success – four times being awarded National Agents of the Year for PGP, before returning to the United States – initially back to Boston. They then perceived the opportunity to market real estate in the burgeoning Miami market, capitalising on their broad international base of clients established over the years.

Says Lazarus: “Downtown Miami, with its captivating vibe, views of multi-storey cruise ships lined up along Biscayne Bay and Museum Park, is where the key investment opportunities lie, in an area undergoing major redevelopment and revival. Museum Park is an impressive 12ha bay-front space with public gardens sculpture installations and two museums.

“With an influx of corporates into the area, rental demand is very buoyant, which is a significant benefit for investors who prefer to rent out their units at returns of 4-5 percent per annum. There are no purchase restrictions for foreign buyers and local finance is available for qualified overseas investors.”

According to the Miami Association of Realtors, approximately 60 percent of home sales in South Florida involve a foreign buyer, with international buyers from Canada, Latin America and Europe comprising a large percentage. Miami condos are the most popular acquisitions for international purchasers.

Levin says Brickell is the thriving hub of the ‘new’ Miami metropolis, with the $1 billion Brickell city centre currently under construction and delivering a 500 000sqm hub of commercial and residential activity. “The uptake of residential units has been exceptional, with essentially all the inventory of the 23 000 units built over the last building cycle being sold. Prices have appreciated rapidly, with downtown units selling at $5 767 per square metre in April 2015 compared with $5 003 in April 2014 for units ranging in size from 46-185sqm. 

In the luxury development, Brickell Heights at the trendy address of 850 South Miami Avenue - in the hub of the financial district and surrounded by bustling sidewalk cafes, fashionable eateries and boutiques, apartments are being snapped up with the East Tower virtually sold out and the West Tower 60 percent sold. Perfectly positioned in what is referred to as the ‘5-minute live-work-play circle’, urban-chic units in the second phase are priced from $368 900 for one bedroom, $528 900 for two bedrooms and from $897 000 for three and four bedroom units.

In close proximity is Edgewater, which, with its spectacular views of Biscayne Bay and Miami Beach, is rapidly becoming one of Miami’s trendiest and sought after neighbourhoods. It’s also close to The Design District and Wynwood, an area renowned for its fascinating street art and galleries.

In Edgewater the price of condos has increased from $3 766 per square metre to $4 035 from May 2014 to May 2015. At Opera Tower, a 60-storey condominium provides an appealing six percent guaranteed return for three years, with prices starting at $393 000 for a designer 73.5sqm one bedroom, one-bathroom with a 13sqm balcony, to just under $900 000 for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit of 130sqm with 16sqm balcony and jaw-dropping water views.

At Hyde Midtown Suites & Residences, situated in the heart of the urban-hip soul of the Design District – considered the epicentre of avant-garde living in South Florida, one bedroom apartments start around the $300 000 mark. This striking 32-storey tower includes ground floor retail, restaurants, pool terrace, wellness centre and live entertainment at the Hyde Piano Bar Lounge topped off by impeccable condominium residences with contemporary finishes and state of the art amenities.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 17 Nov 2017
      FWJK has announced the launch of its latest residential brand, the Lil’ Apple, which will be launched simultaneously in two developments in Cape Town and Umhlanga totaling 600 apartments. The Lil’ Apple is set to be a brand of FWJK’s New York style apartments which will be rolled out nationally.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      It’s been a tumultuous year on many fronts, with socio-political uncertainty setting the tone for much of South Africa’s economic activity yet despite this and seemingly counter-intuitively, the residential property market has held up well.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      The EAAB (the Estate Agency Affairs Board) recently claimed that around 50,000 illegal estate agents could currently be operating illegally.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Penthouses are synonymous with New York – characterised by high-rise living that is decidedly luxurious and spacious. While exclusivity comes at a price, you can still create a “penthouse” look and feel in your existing apartment or even the upstairs bedroom of a double storey house with some clever design changes and styling touches.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      The area has long been popular with kite surfers and, with escalating property prices in Cape Town itself, is increasingly in demand with home owners who work in town, but are looking to invest in more affordable properties.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Cape Town’s popularity as a world-class tourist destination has resulted in a spike in the number of homes available for holiday lets and fuelled investor demand for sectional title units with short term rental potential.
    • 15 Nov 2017
      Sappi, one of South Africa’s oldest global companies and a leading global supplier of sustainable woodfibre products, has moved its global and regional headquarters to a new site on the corner of Oxford and 14th Avenue in Rosebank.
    • 15 Nov 2017
      There’s an old saying in real estate that you should seek to make a profit when you buy, not only when you sell – and a large part of succeeding at that endeavour is buying a home in an area with desirable features that will enhance the resale value of your property.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us