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Investors Are Looking To Multi-family Units In Miami Development
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A year ago, Jose M. Serrano sold a piece of Miami real estate, a six-unit apartment building in Little Havana for $450,000. The luxury Miami property was only 40 percent complete and it was abandoned after the housing bubble burst. This meant that the new owners would need to invest about $500,000 more into the luxury real estate property before taking in their first tenant. Even considering all of that, the property attracted multiple potential buyers. They were all interested in a piece luxury Miami real estate in the multi-family sector. Industry sources put prices at a premium for luxury Miami real estate that is multi-family due to scarcity and high demand.
With all the vacancies in this sector gone, that means that rental prices start to increase. Only about 3.5 percent of the nearly 295,000 multi-family units in Miami-Dade are unoccupied. Numbers suggest the inventory will continue to remain limited. In 2010, for example, the vacancy rate was at 6 percent, two years later it was at 4.9 percent and now it is at 3.5 percent
This means that luxury Miami real estate investors on both ends of the spectrum are paying close attention to multi-family units and offering top dollar for buildings with four or more units.
Luxury real estate investors don't recognized renters as second-class citizens and are developing projects with the knowledge the units could be rented out at premium rates. People will pay a lot of rent for these properties especially with amenities attractive to the rental market. Some are going to get the highest returns on their money. Their goal is to build in areas where rents can be the highest possible because the construction costs are so high.
In Coral Gables, developers are building Modera Merrick Park, a 262-unit mid-rise development that is to begin construction in September with a date for the first move-ins by November 2014. Another Miami luxury property is Millcreek's Modera Coral Gables, a 237-unit luxury mid-rise on 1.5 acres with nearly 6,000 square feet of retail, six residential floors, a resort-style pool and three levels of parking. In Kendall, there is a 321-unit garden apartment development that features lake views, an outdoor activities pavilion with a sports bar and a demonstration kitchen, cabanas on the lake, and an organic vegetable garden for residents to grow their own food. Mill Creek is also in that area, with Modera Dadeland, a 350-unit class-A apartment community that is made up of two mid-rise buildings.
But there aren't a lot of opportunities for investment for institutional-class properties with over 100 units. Many investors are coming in and developing their own. They are typically backed by large life insurance companies or other partners. These developers are creating inventory and are looking to build for a 6 to 7 percent return on cost. There are nearly 9,200 new units in the development phase that will be added to the Miami real estate market over the next three years. This will represent a 20% increase in inventory. It is expected by industry insiders that these many new apartments will not dilute market prices.
Andres Leiser is a local contributor for Constec Realty's Miami luxury real estate website. Andres Leiser has been involved in Miami real estate for over a decade. For more information please visit http://www.constecrealty.com
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