Miami Condo Index – Brickell – September 2007

September 19, 2007 by Lucas Lechuga

Brickell

I received an email last week from a potential investor asking me if Miami is now safer than the “Miami Vice days” that he saw on TV. Indeed, the streets of Miami are much safer than they were 20 years ago, but the corruption that infested the city back then is still prevalent now.

Another month, another fraudulent transaction. I guess nobody cares. As I mentioned last month, the rumors are out there that a government agency is on the lookout for such activity but I’ve begun to lose hope that these rumors hold much water. If these rumors are true, then shame on them for allowing such activity to continue, and allowing the reputation of this city to be equated to that of which was prevalent in the 1980s. This past month, I’ve heard that an FBI agent is living at Vue at Brickell and Jade at Brickell Bay. I wouldn’t be surprised if one lives at The Club at Brickell Bay as well.

The continuance of fraudulent activity in Brickell has sickened me. The sooner that the Miami Herald, or some other major newspaper, goes public with this story, the better. The fraudulent activity just needs to stop. It is doing nobody any good to let the fraudulent activity prevail, except those who are facilitating it.

Sorry, but I just had to rant and rave for a moment. Now, back to our regularly scheduled program (but I’ll continue to rant and rave towards the end when I disclose the latest fraudulent transaction).

Four Seasons Residences

The average price per square foot of condos listed in the 18 Brickell buildings included in the Brickell Condo Index has dropped to $525.88 from last month’s average price per square foot of $529.05. The weight-adjusted average has also dropped to $530.15 versus last month’s weight-adjusted average price per square foot of $537.67. Both figures are below those that were calculated in July as well.

Average price per square foot of units currently listed on the MLS:

The average price of condos sold over the past six months has dropped to $467.47 per square foot versus last month’s figure of $471.94 per square foot. The weight-adjusted average has also dropped to $486.30 per square foot from last month’s weight-adjusted average of $498.36 per square foot. Much of the decrease is due to the a sizable drop in the averages at The Club at Brickell Bay and Vue at Brickell. Both buildings had fraudulent transactions that fell off the six month average.

The Sail at Brickell had yet another fraudulent transaction this past month. It was conducted by the same broker that conducted the fraudulent transaction at The Sail at Brickell that I spoke of in July. Once again, the broker acted as the listing agent and the selling agent. He must have some luck! He was also able to close the deal the same day that the deal went pending. Imagine that! This guy works miracles. He was able to sell a 2 bedroom/2 bath at The Sail on Brickell for $670,000. Well at least he was able to negotiate the price down $10,000 for his buyer. He has some smooth negotiating skills. He must also have some great persuasion skills because nobody in their right mind would pay $670,000 for a 2 bedroom at The Sail on Brickell.

The Sail on Brickell

Average price per square foot of condos sold in the past 6 months:

  • Atlantis on Brickell – 2025 Brickell Ave | 33129 | $298.11
  • Brickell on the River North – 31 SE 5 St | 33131 | $409.44
  • Bristol Tower – 2127 Brickell Ave | 33129 | $440.18
  • Emerald at Brickell – 218 SE 14 St | 33131 | $523.78
  • Four Seasons Residences – 1425 Brickell Ave | 33131 | $720.15
  • Imperial at Brickell – 1627 Brickell Ave | 33129 | $304.56
  • Jade at Brickell Bay – 1331 Brickell Bay Dr | 33131 | $690.18
  • Neo Vertika – 690 SW 1 Ct | 33130 | $361.99
  • One Miami – 325 & 335 S Biscayne Blvd | 33131 | $446.06
  • Sail on Brickell – 170 SE 14 St | 33131 | $386.41
  • Santa Maria – 1643 Brickell Ave | 33129 | $618.50
  • Skyline on Brickell – 2101 Brickell Ave | 33129 | $451.29
  • Solaris at Brickell – 186 SE 12 Ter | 33131 | $457.45
  • The Club at Brickell Bay – 1200 Brickell Bay Dr | 33131 | $660.39
  • The Mark on Brickell – 1155 Brickell Bay Dr | 33131 | $501.16
  • The Palace – 1541 Brickell Ave | 33129 | $363.32
  • Villa Regina – 1581 Brickell Ave | 33129 | $316.62
  • Vue at Brickell – 1250 S Miami Ave | 33131 | $464.83

This is the first month that a development has had a price per square foot under $300 for condos sold over the previous six months since I began this index. Atlantis on Brickell broke through this barrier with an average price per square foot of $298.11. This figure for Atlantis on Brickell will likely continue to decline as a bank-owned listing has remained on the market for quite some time and will likely sell for around $200 per square foot.

Below you will find the new statistics that I have included in this month’s Brickell Condo Index. The first number directly to the right of each development name represents the total number of active listings. The second number, in parentheses, is the number of currently listed condos expressed as a percentage of the total number of condos in the development. The third number represents the number of pending sales while the fourth is the number of closed sales within the past month.

  • Atlantis on Brickell – 13 (13.54%) | 1 | 1
  • Brickell on the River North– 59 (18.21%) | 4 | 0
  • Bristol Tower – 19 (12.93%) | 3 | 1
  • Emerald at Brickell – 34 (23.94%) | 1 | 0
  • Four Seasons Residences – 18 (6.67%) | 3 | 0
  • Imperial at Brickell – 15 (9.32%) | 2 | 0
  • Jade at Brickell Bay – 76 (23.31%) | 6 | 1
  • Neo Vertika – 78 (17.61%) | 7 | 0
  • One Miami – 165 (18.42%) | 6 | 2
  • Sail on Brickell – 64 (42.11%) | 2 | 1
  • Santa Maria – 10 (5.75%) | 1 | 1
  • Skyline on Brickell – 54 (15.00%) | 2 | 1
  • Solaris at Brickell – 21 (15.22%) | 2 | 1
  • The Club at Brickell Bay – 145 (22.55%) | 11 | 1
  • The Mark on Brickell – 43 (11.62%) | 0 | 1
  • The Palace – 25 (9.84%) | 1 | 0
  • Villa Regina – 20 (9.62%) | 0 | 0
  • Vue at Brickell – 62 (19.20%) | 1 | 0

Two numbers jumped out at me when reviewing this month’s findings: the 42.11% of available listings at The Sail on Brickell and the 11 pending sales at The Club at Brickell Bay.

I knew that prices were high and unjustified at The Sail on Brickell with mortgage fraud having much to do with it, but I never would have imagined that over 40 percent of the building would be available for sale. That’s incredible! However, a look at the current list prices should make those who have visited this building realize that the prices at The Sail on Brickell are ridiculous. Of the 18 buildings included in the Brickell Condo Index, I would rank The Sail at Brickell at the bottom. There are no views and the common areas and amenities are below Brickell standards. The developer, Renzi Development, recently announced that they plan to go forth with their Beacon at Brickell Village development. I sure hope they have second thoughts. The Sail on Brickell will eventually sell for around $250 per square foot (and that’s being generous). If I were a condo owner who is motivated to sell at The Sail on Brickell then I would be priced at the front of the large pack.

When I saw the 11 pending sales at The Club at Brickell Bay I was quite surprised. At first I thought it was my lack of REM sleep setting in. Once I realized that it wasn’t, I had to investigate further. What I found made this number a complete sham. Of the 11 pending sales, 9 of them have been pending since 2005 and 2006. What the….? It usually takes two months, maybe three months tops, to take a pending sale to the closing table. The other two pending sales have been pending since January and March of 2007. Something just isn’t right. Most likely the sales prices couldn’t be justified. Take 6 months, 12, months, 36 months and the prices still won’t be justified. These transactions should be reclassified as “hopeless” rather than pending. A 1 bedroom/1 bath at The Club at Brickell Bay will be going up for auction tomorrow, September 19, 2007 at 3pm. That will give everyone a good indication as to the fate of prices at The Club at Brickell Bay. You can be sure that I’ll report about it within the next couple of days.

So there you have it, that is the latest Brickell Condo Index. The good news is that there were 11 closed sales within the past month versus a total of eight closed sales the month prior to last. There were a total of nine closed sales the month prior to that.

Emerald at Brickell

There are a total of 42 pending sales disregarding the 11 at The Club at Brickell Bay since those have been discredited. As long as half of those transactions actually close, then there should be about 10-11 closed sales next month. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. I’m praying that we won’t have another fraudulent transaction then. If we do, and you thought I ranted and raved now, just wait until next month.

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10 Comments on "Miami Condo Index – Brickell – September 2007"


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Anonymous
rrsafety
9 years 8 days ago

Could you give me a quick explanation as to the beneficiaries and victims of a fraudulent transaction as mentioned above and who (or what organization) in the process should be the primary preventer of such frauds?

Thanks for the great website…-

Anonymous
9 years 8 days ago

Supposedly the FBI is involved in preventing such fraudulent transactions.

Click on the link below for an explanation of how these fraudulent transactions work. The second half of the post explains it pretty well.

http://blog.miamicondoinvestments.com/2007/05/24/vue-at-brickell-overpriced-or-insanely-overpriced/

Anonymous
gustavo
9 years 8 days ago

Lucas,

I don’t see Latitude on the River listed here. The closing began around a month ago.

appreciate any comments on this building like Average price per square foot of condos sold.

thanks. excellent page!!!

Anonymous
Mark
9 years 8 days ago

lucas,
do you know how much the bank lent against the unit at the sail? i could not find the recorded mortgage online as the sale hasn’t even been recorded yet.

have you checked any of the other probable frauds to see whether the bank was lending a full 80% on the inflated values?

Anonymous
Alan
9 years 8 days ago

Great analysis as always Lucas. Keep up the good work. Where is the Herald investigating these guys????

Anonymous
9 years 8 days ago

Gustavo,

Latitude on the River won’t be included until the building is 100% closed and there have been at least a handful of closed resales.

Anonymous
kim
9 years 7 days ago

Lucas,
Thanks again for the analysis. At least one media outlet (albeit no exactly the WSJ or even the Herald) has done some investigative journalism:

http://www.nbc6.net/news/14133784/detail.html

Anonymous

[…] In September of last year, I revealed a very compelling piece about the apparent mortgage fraud at T…. At the time, a 2 bedroom/2 bath at The Sail on Brickell had recently sold for $670,000!!! Now, there’s a bank-owned 2 bedroom/2 bath Penthouse condo at The Sail on Brickell that is listed at $299,900. Was I right about the apparent mortgage fraud or was I right? […]

Anonymous

[…] In September of last year, I revealed a very compelling piece about the apparent mortgage fraud at T…. At the time, a 2 bedroom/2 bath at The Sail on Brickell had recently sold for $670,000!!! Now, there’s a bank-owned 2 bedroom/2 bath Penthouse condo at The Sail on Brickell that is listed at $299,900. Was I right about the apparent mortgage fraud or was I right? […]

Anonymous
[…] In September of last year, I revealed a very compelling piece about the apparent mortgage fraud at T…. At the time, a 2 bedroom/2 bath at The Sail on Brickell had recently sold for $670,000!!! Now, there’s a bank-owned 2 bedroom/2 bath Penthouse condo at The Sail on Brickell that is listed at $299,900. Was I right about the apparent mortgage fraud or was I right? I urge everyone to read my post in September. It will provide much insight as to how prevalent the mortgage fraud was back then in Miami. I actually reread my post and I… Read more »
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