Colombians continued searching for Miami homes in January, according to a new report from the Miami Association of Realtors.

Potential buyers from Colombia again led a ranking of foreign nationals searching for South Florida homes using the association’s website, with 12.6 percent of the total, up from 10.5 percent the previous month. The list also includes Venezuela with 9.5 percent and Canada with 7 percent.

Foreign investment in residential real estate in South Florida totaled $7.1 billion last year, up nearly 15 percent from the previous year’s $6.2 billion. Colombian and Canadian home buyers tied for the third-most international home purchases in South Florida last year with 9 percent, each.

Check out the full list for January:

  1. Colombia: 12.6%
  2. Venezuela 9.5%
  3. Canada 7.0%
  4. Brazil 5.8%
  5. Argentina: 5.0%
  6. India: 4.1%
  7. Peru: 3.9%
  8. Spain: 3.2%
  9. Philippines: 3.1%
  10. Dominican Republic: 2.7%

Within the U.S., those most interested in buying residential real estate in South Florida were from Texas, North Carolina, California, New York and Georgia, according to the report.


Source: The Real Deal

Rents for Class A office space in Miami are high, at $50 or more per square foot, and will continue rising as the market tightens, real estate experts told attendees at a recent conference.

Panelists also said that, despite the city’s increasing traffic problems, they expected sustainable demand growth for Miami commercial properties in the future, since the city is an appealing location and a gateway to Latin America.

“The market is tightening up,” said Angelo Bianco, managing partner at Crocker Partners during the Bisnow panel event. “Developers are getting better rates and lower concessions.” At the same time, he added, “Capital markets seem to be taking a break and people are more cautious. Deals are taking longer to close.”

Asked if office rents in Miami were becoming too expensive, W. Allen Morris, chairman and CEO of The Allen Morris Co., said that rents here were high compared to a city like Atlanta, “but they’re low compared to other global cities like New York, London, San Francisco or Chicago.” If developers can find any additional land – without condos – they would build more commercial space, Morris said.

Panelists at the conference at the Wells Fargo Center in Miami also discussed attracting new commercial clients. Many cities like Miami constantly compete to attract new companies and their tech-savvy millennial employees. Smart CEOs want to ensure that they locate or relocate in a place where millennials will be pleased with attractive, often non-traditional office space; nearby amenities (restaurants, retail); transit options (millennials rely less on their own cars); cultural opportunities and good schools. The city needs to develop more “live, work and play” communities, they said.

“It’s attractive to live in Miami,” said Rudy Touzet, CEO of Banyan Street Capital. “Over the next 5 to 10 years, millennials will be moving to Miami, Tampa, Atlanta. Things like education and transportation have to be improved,” he said. The attractiveness of Miami “will fluctuate, but demand will be sustainable if development is controlled.”

“It’s a cool, international city,” Bianco said.

Parking remains an issue, however. While parking availability is currently a necessary part of an office complex, some developers are looking at making changes, such as building parking garages that can easily be converted into other types of commercial space as car use diminishes in crowded urban centers.

And even though Uber and other companies have located their headquarters in Wynwood, the trendy area has problems.

“It’s not easily accessible by bus or trolley routes,” said Barbara Savage, senior associate principal and Stantec Architecture & Design. “Wynwood doesn’t have the views of high-rise buildings but the area has ample amenities and works well for certain types of clients in the range of 5,000 to 15,000 square feet. Art Basel, a major international event and a big draw for wealthy individuals from the U.S. and overseas, “made it challenging for people to get in an out of the area.”

Moderator Brian Gale, vice chair at Cushman Wakefield, noted that four projects have been proposed for Wynwood, totaling about 700,000 square feet, but “We’ll have to see if they are developed,” he said.

Speakers gave mixed reviews on the impact the new Trump administration would have on future growth and business confidence. The government’s moves to reduce regulations in the Dodd-Frank Act “will be good and will allow new credit” for real estate and the rest of the economy, Morris said. The economy is growing and jobs are increasing, he added. But restrictions on immigration could affect Miami. Overall,  Morris expects “positive growth” under the new government.

“I’m disturbed by what we see in Washington,” Bianco said. “We are the place that people go for stability and investment. Even after the financial crisis – which we caused – people still bring their money here. Trump’s aggressive, un-presidential behavior and constant tweets are creating confusion. No one knows what he will do. They should, at least take away his cell phone.”

Members of a second Bisnow panel saw employees of the future working remotely from home (or anywhere else); open, informal, shared workspaces, and an emphasis on mixed-use “live, work, play” developments. Echoing some of the millennial preferences discussed in the earlier forum, the panelists said these preferences will drive major changes in how and where people work. Innovation and technology will play much greater roles for future employees.

“Why own a car if you can Uber everywhere?” asked Juliana Fernandez, founder of AEI.  “Why own an apartment if you can Airbnb? Where do I want to work today?”

Co-working in shared spaces will likely appeal to people who don’t want to always work from home. Moreover, shared workspaces offer employees and the self-employed opportunities to meet, exchange ideas, talk and collaborate with people from different businesses.

Other members of workplace panel were: Laura Kozelouzek, CEO of Quest Workspaces and the moderator; Grant Killingworth, first vice president, CBRE; John Guitar, senior vice president, Brightline; Natalia Martinez-Kalinina, director, Cambridge Innovation Center, Miami; and Edward Owen, Swire Properties.


Source: The Real Deal

High net worth investors, families, and wealth managers from Latin America, seeking to diversify their portfolios, have been on a buying binge for office buildings and single-tenant retail properties throughout Miami-Dade County during the past 18 months, real estate advisors and developers specializing in the commercial sector told The Real Deal.

“Their appetite for well-positioned income-producing assets coupled with Miami’s prospering economy are translating into appreciating property values at a faster pace than previously anticipated,” said Alex Zylberglait, president of The Zylberglait Group at Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services in Miami. “It is fueling transaction velocity across most product types. And there is particular interest in single tenant spaces.”

Alex Zylberglait, president of The Zylberglait Group at Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services

Alex Zylberglait, president of The Zylberglait Group

Zylberglait told TRD that his firm brokered the sale of six commercial properties to buyers from Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador and Italy in the past 15 months.

For instance, Zlyberglait represented the seller of a 20,000-square-foot office building at 1250 Northwest 57th Avenue that is the headquarters of Summit Aerospace, an aircraft maintenance company that generates approximately $18 million in sales annually. The building was sold in March of last year for $2.6 million to a company called Algafin, which lists Giorgio Rubini, an Italian national, as its manager.

4995 Northwest 72nd Avenue

4995 Northwest 72nd Avenue

In another Zylberglait brokered transaction in July of last year, a Brazilian-owned entity called Kireland 41 Street Doral purchased an L.A. Fitness at 10055 Northwest 41st Street for $9.9 million. More recently, Zylberglait represented the previous owner of an office building anchored by a Wells Fargo Bank at 4995 Northwest 72nd Avenue. The property was bought for $5.3 million on March 25 by St. Helena LLC, a corporation listing Frech Hasbun and Freddie Moises of La Libertad, El Salvador, as managers.

Zylberglait’s firm is not the only commercial real estate brokerage seeing more interest from foreign buyers. Earlier this month, Fabio Faerman of Fortune International/FA Commercial told TRD he represented a foreign buyer that purchased a 2,259-square-foot Taco Bell at 1650 Northeast 163rd Street in North Miami Beach.

“International investors are looking for business opportunities like this,” Faerman said in a statement. “This is a prime location with a great franchise, Taco Bell.”

Camilo Lopez, president and managing director of The Solution Group

Camilo Lopez, president and managing director of The Solution Group

The company is tearing down the old structure to make way for a Mediterranean-style office building called OFIZZINA. It will have 54 units totaling 96,767 square feet of office space, as well as three retail units at ground level and 332 parking spaces, Lopez told TRD. Camilo Lopez, president and managing director of real estate development and management company The Solution Group, said demand from Latin American buyers for commercial office space is the reason his firm is building an office condo in Coral Gables. In August of last year, Solution paid $6.6 million for a one-story office building at 1200 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, built in 1972.

“In our research meetings, we realized the office market is the least served sector in Miami,” Lopez said. “It doesn’t even reach 5 percent of the overall real estate market. Because of the very limited offerings, we decided to build a luxurious office condo building.”

The project, including the land purchase and construction, is being financed privately through a capital fund made up of investors from Latin America and Europe, Lopez said. He said the office condo concept appeals to South Americans.

Claudio Stivelman, a principal partner in Aventura-based S2 Development

Claudio Stivelman, a principal partner in Aventura-based S2 Development

Claudio Stivelman, a principal partner in Aventura-based S2 Development, said foreign investors staking claims to commercial properties in South Florida have buying power that begins in the $3 million to $5 million range.

“These are people who have likely already bought a condo or two in Miami and are looking to upgrade their portfolio,” Stivelman told TRD. “They may want to buy a Walgreens, a strip mall  or a warehouse.”

In recent months, Stivelman said, his contacts in Brazil have been introducing him to investors who are not interested in condos.

“They are seeing the strength of the commercial side,” Stivelman said. “They see an opportunity to make big money.”

Zylberglait said the foreign buyers he’s dealt with view commercial properties as a safer bet.

“The income generated from the properties is a much more stable situation than buying a half-a-million dollar condo that doesn’t produce income unless you can rent it,” Zylberglat explained. “Buying a commercial asset not only produces a stronger yield. It also allows the buyers to leverage those investments.”


Source: The Real Deal