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Going, Going, Gone! Viceroy Tower at Icon Brickell Now Completely Sold Out

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Viceroy at Icon Brickell

I just learned that the Viceroy Tower at Icon Brickell is now completely sold out of developer inventory.  This is a great news for the Miami real estate market and shows that the glut of condos created during the recent construction boom is almost behind us.  At this point, there are roughly 3,000 unsold condos in the Greater Downtown Miami area.  Foreign buyers played a critical role in helping to sell out the Viceroy Tower just as they have with every other new condo development in Miami.

Viceroy Tower, located at 485 Brickell Avenue, consists of 527 condo-hotel units and stands 53 stories.  Sales of condos at the other two towers at Icon Brickell have also been faring tremendously well.  It’ll be great once all 1,795 condos are sold and we can look back and recollect the days when the glistening towers once sat empty.



53 thoughts on “Going, Going, Gone! Viceroy Tower at Icon Brickell Now Completely Sold Out

  1. Lucas if I wanted this drivel I could go to Kevin Thomlinson’s site. Big deal. I remember when you used to post interesting articles/topics about matters other than South Beach multimillion dollar sales. No wonder there are no comments to these sales data posts…there is nothing really to discuss, at least for the 99.99% of your audience who can only dream about affording one of these properties. Can we get some more relevant topics???

    • Drew, I think the fact that one of the most overbuilt projects in South Florida has reached the “sell out” point is very newsworthy. I also like looking at the multi-million dollar sales Lucas occasionally posts–its inspiring. I get tired of looking at generic, broke-a$$, $h!t boxes for $120/ft.

  2. Lucas
    I really don’t get the above comment? You’re a Miami realtor & this data is the reason I always check your site. After the last few years data like this is an obvious milestone in the Miami market.
    “More relevant topics”? House & garden tips maybe??

  3. New city center on horizon for Brickell area

    Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/04/27/2188997/new-city-center-on-horizon-for.html#ixzz1LalGwlE0

    I think he Brickell Citicentre announcement is pretty news worthy and a game changer for at least Brickell and maybe the CBD as well. Now that the units are full real amenities are coming to the area that add value.

    I also think the luxury sales are noteworthy as well. While I’m part of that 99.99% that Drew is highlighting the sales are insightful. I was able to have a conversation with David Lombardi and his impression was that the luxury home sales are just the beginning. Many people, especially foreigners, who are buying these homes aren’t going to stop there. They are spending more time here and will be starting business here.

    He highlighted some examples from his art storage business. As people move in for the address and tax savings they are required to spend a certain amount of time here so they have to bring their art for example as well.

    Miami is slowly evolving out of being just South Beach.

    • Three cheers for Gixxer1000! Miami! Miami!Miami!We are the best! We are the richest! We are the doorman for the rich south americans! Move over Eurothrash we dont love you anymore.

    • Lucas:

      I always check-out your site for good information on the South Florida real estate market. The sell-out of the Icon Viceroy tower is a milestone – and very newsworthy. Afer many bad years, we are finally turning the corner. As with most change, there will always be those who continue to look backward rather than ahead. And those laggards are the ones who miss-out on the adventure and the fun.

  4. Thanks Lucas for posting such a great piece of news. If ICON can sell out (At least one tower) then bad news is really behind us. That just leaves us with a couple of projects like Everglades and Paramount to sell. I strongly believe that we reached the bottom in the last Q of 2010 as far as East of 95 is concerned. The experts will confirm it sooner or later.

  5. Judging by the lack of comment on most of these posts, I must concur with Drew. The site is no longer interesting or relevant.

    • Well now that things are getting better you don’t have the droves of nutcases posting about how you’ll be able to get a condo with water views for $120 psf.

      If Lucas would have posted that it’s going to take 3 years for Icon to sell out, there would be 5 times as many post on here. But when he post that one tower has already sold out its boring news. Sort of like how reporting the countless car crashes is pointless but then when one plane crashes it huge news.

      I would like it if Lucas posted a condo supply update. I’d like to confirm the numbers I’m getting. Last time Lucas did an update in April 2010 we were at 16 months of supply and now I think were down to 9 months with the $200k and below market down to 5 months. And pending sales have been going higher.

      • Waterview with $120 psf? It ought to be lower than that when you throw in $1000/ month in maintenance. But again, this is Miami. Why would a broker want to close a deal for his client at a lower price? Selling anything under a million dollar is waste of our time in Miami.

  6. The reason that this site isnt being swamped with silly comments like before is because every pathetic schmuck called Drew, Ace, Enzo, WildBill, etc just basically gave up. Miami RE market is clearly strengthening, and losers understandably feel dispirited. Joe is still contributing healthy dosage of nonsense but quickly losing vigor nevertheless. In short 6 months none of these jokesters will be around due to suicides, substance abuse or mandatory overtime at McDonalds.

  7. I think Gixxer is right. There is no reason for housing bears to hang out in this site any longer. They are not happy campers with good news. If they all left and the posts are getting more serious and relevant, it is all good. Why have 100 nonsense comments when you can have just 10 substantial useful ones?

  8. i don’t think there were any serious bears who took the view that these units would not sell out. the question was only at what price? empty units meant prices would be low. they would not stay empty forever. once they sell out, it will help keep a floor on prices, most certainly. then it will be mostly REO properties which will be a drag on prices. but as gixxer has said, new units are in the pipeline.

    the icon pricepoint was really out of the reach of many local miami workers-even those with reasonable professional jobs. i would love to own a home there-but it would be a stretch financially. and the condo-hotel is really a nonstarter for a year round resident.

    • Come on Gables! Are you saying that condo hotels are not good for you? Where else in the world will you experience such a upscale living for nothing. All those rich and beautiful people you can hang out in the sauna from Venezuela, Guatemala, Cuba, North Korea, China, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya.

      Get this – You can rent out your unit when you are not using it and make a killing. Did you know that you do not have to cook or clean? You can order in every day from the restaurant. Work out in a gym and go to spa every day. Valet parks your car. What a luxury.

      While having all this fun at no cost, you can sell the unit in few years and retire in North Korea.

  9. Its not about being bullish or bearish. The point is that the posts/topics used to be a little more intellectually stimulating and thought-provoking than “Star Island home sells for $10.8M!” Or “Continuum condo goes for $6M!” OK…and that’s supposed to excite people to post a comment? At least development-related news often instigated interesting debate and colorful conversation.

    Instead you get a guy with zero sense of humor whatsoever (Gixxer 1000) gushing over his UM real estate degree and scouring the Internet for obscure articles and stats that nobody ever clicks on and reads. Thrilling stuff.

    Joe is losing his vigor? What a shame, he used to seem so vigorous. Where is Joe? Maybe his vague and ambiguous “out of the country” work assignment has taken a turn for the worse…a kidnapping in Bolivia? Collateral damage in a Mexican drug gang shootout? Did he end up like Natalie Holloway in Aruba? Joe, please show Proof of Life.

  10. Drew, you seem to be under the illusion of having some inordinate sense of humor. You shouldn’t. Leave it to professionals and get back to bashing Miami. That’s where the real laughter is. I really miss your “interesting debate” and “colorful conversation”. Two more of your illusions, I guess, since whatever it was, interesting and colorful it wasn’t.

  11. Thanks for all the feedback. I’m a firm believer that the luxury market is a very important segment of the real estate market. Drew, you are correct that the vast majority of my readers can only dream of owning any of these multi-million dollar properties but I would say that most understand how a trickle-down economy works. The previous owner may decide to buy a yacht with some of the money and the guy who sold him the yacht may decide to buy a $150,000 condo in Brickell. I’m oversimplifying things but my point is that the money will have an impact on other segments of the market.

    Gixxer, Thanks for the reminder. I’ll try to post a condo supply update later this week. It’ll be interesting to see where the market is at these days.

  12. Drew – I’m still alive and well. Thanks for the concern. I expect to be back in Miami by September. Who knows, I might even blow Gixxer’s mind and buy a condo.

    As for the rest of the comments and potshots above, I haven’t lost interest and I don’t feel defeated by anyone or anything when it comes to Miami r.e. I still read the site regularly, but I see no need to have the same debate with the same three people in every article’s comments thread. (And perhaps paradoxically, it seemed like this site got the most comments and had the best discussions back when Lucas was only posting once every week (or less).)

    That said, I’d appreciate a little more honesty from people like F-35 and the like. I never rooted for people to lose their shirts, I never said or expected prime waterfront condos to be selling for $120/sf, and I don’t recall people like Renter Tom doing the preceding, either. Trying to equate people who have been r.e. bears in the period 2008-11 to members of the Flat Earth Society is beyond lame.

    Personally, I’ve lived in condos for almost my entire adult life, and I’ve seen what usually happens when a condo goes rental, as almost all of the newer downtown Miami condos have done. For that reason alone, I don’t care much about modest price increases (if, in fact, prices are rising downtown). My interest in Miami r.e. is limited to very specific areas and buildings.

    • joe -”Trying to equate people who have been r.e. bears in the period 2008-11 to members of the Flat Earth Society is beyond lame”

      They are one in the same because no matter how much evidence is presented to the contrary you never changed your flat earth views.

  13. Wow what a difference a year makes. When I came to this blog at the end of 2009 when there were about 8,500 unsold developer units folks like Joe were making the claim that it would take 4 years to sell through that inventory. Now a little more than a year later the number of unsold developer units is down near 3000 most of which could be gone by the end of the year.

    Then the argument switched to people renting these units at extremely low prices which were going to go lower. I remember gables talking about how prices in non MLS listed rentals were going lower and there wasn’t enough information to determine actual rental prices. However in the same time frame the average rental price per square foot went from $1.66 in December 2009 to $1.88 in December 2010 and is still going higher.

    So now the argument has shifted again that now that these condos sold out faster than they thought, and rental prices went up faster than they thought that now these renters will somehow destroy these buildings. But the funny thing is that the new influx of bulk buyers means these buildings are now getting HOA dues and becoming more stable.

    All of which is besides the fact that while the bears where yelling for impending doom prices downtown did in fact go up. Downtown zip codes have gone up 3 quarters in a row. Downtown bottomed in 2009. Most were too busy looking at South Florida news and statistics to notice.

    Data for first quarter 2011:
    http://www.dqnews.com/Charts/Quarterly-Charts/Miami-Palm-Beach-Charts/ZIPFLDADE.aspx

    33131 and 33132 up again which has been the case since the 3rd quarter 2010 making the end of the 2nd quarter 2009 as the bottom for downtown.

    So case shiller which is an average of Dec, Jan and Feb shows that prices in South Florida are slowly decreasing. Gables thinks downtown will follow that trend when we already know that prices downtown in Jan, Feb and Mar went up. Even the examples of Solaris and Brickell on the River which were posted to show that prices might go down are going up.

  14. gixxer, already called you out on solaris and brickell, apparently you skipped the post. your numbers don’t jive with the charts reported by lucas on his building sites. you got a problem with my numbers, take it up with lucas. and providing 2Q averages one month into the quarter is pretty fraudulent-that is the behavior of a shill. fact is, i can STILL buy and rent for the same price as 2 years ago-and at a substantial discount for both compared to 4 years ago. put your money where your mouth is and buy a condo if things are so favorable. you got 3,000 units to choose from! i’ve heard banter like yours from the sidelines for 4 years now. it’s easy to talk the talk, but then you don’t back it up with any real action.

  15. gables — Exactly right. The bears keep getting bashed here, but at least our behavior has matched our talk. Meanwhile, the only bull known to have bought a condo is “owneratinfinity,” and he bought BEFORE he showed up here.

    • Actually I was on his site one year (started at the end of 2008 or the start of 2009) before I bought my condo at infinity.

      • Thanks a lot…another person who “follows” the website, gathers all of the info they feel is needed to make an informed decision and then goes and buys a unit without us representing them. Good to know you support us. It’s funny, I sometimes believe you all think we run the website to entertain and inform the general public and not to sell real estate.

        • sobeagent, are you even affiliated with lucas and this site?

          tell me what advantage you bring to the table which would make me want to have you represent me in a transaction? are you providing me with details on the HOA financial statements so i can understand its stability? how about the number of foreclosures and reo transactions in the building? a reliable assessment? is maintenance being regularly conducted on the building? for many people, buying real estate is the single largest financial transaction they will ever conduct. please provide the value i gain from your 3% commission beyond opening the lock box and cheerleading my purchase and your commission.

          sobeagent, if you do indeed work for lucas and you made that comment, it shows a complete lack of intelligence for marketing and respect for potential clients. nobody “owes” you anything for the website. you should only expect to gain a certain percentage of users as clients-that’s how a market operates.

  16. Makes Me Think said: “They are one in the same because no matter how much evidence is presented to the contrary you never changed your flat earth views.”

    – First of all, my views have been massively misrepresented here. Again, I never said anything about prime oceanfront selling for $120/sf, etc.

    Second, it’s not remotely clear at all that downtown Miami is heading into a new r.e. boom. A high percentage of downtown renters are being subsidized by their landlords, and there are undoubtedly thousands and thousands of units’ worth of shadow inventory, no matter what Gixxer claims.

    Third, as I said above, this whole argument is mostly moot, as the r.e. bust fundamentally changed the situation and discussion about downtown Miami. Go back 5 years, and downtown Miami was supposed to be a paradise of owner-occupants. Now, downtown is a huge renter’s colony. It might be a shiny renter’s colony right now, but anyone who knows anything about condos know that it’s unlikely to last.

  17. For the ones who keep posting foolish stuff about a bullish market..keep on dreaming.. wait until all this shadow inventory and second wave of foreclosures hit the market…
    See below as posted on The Real Deal today:

    Miami prices fall for eighth straight month
    May 10, 2011 12:00PM

    Home prices in the Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall metropolitan area fell for the eight straight month, according to a report from CoreLogic. Prices in the area fell by 12.79 percent in March compared to the same period in 2010. Nationally, home prices fell by 7.5 percent in March. According to Mark Fleming, chief economist with CoreLogic, an improvement in sales numbers in 2010 came as a result of the federal homebuyer tax credit, and without that credit, prices continued to decline. The tax credit was something of an artificial support, he said. “As we move further away from that support, we will see a leveling of prices and eventually organic improvements in the market,” he said. TRD

    • Again you seem to be missing the point. I think most people here would agree that average prices in Miami are going down. But every neighborhood doesn’t follow the average. I’ve posted many articles showing that the foreign buyers are focused on downtown keeping those prices up while the rest of Miami is going down. I don’t think most people here care what happens to prices in Homestead.

  18. joe, your argument was that Miami is a 3rd world banana republic where here are no jobs and it is full of corruption, crime and illegals. You maintained that no one would buy those condos even at much lower prices partly due to high condo fees. Others proclaimed that new buyers would move into the market with lower prices but you kept up with you naieve views and ignored the fundamentals of the market. It is obvious you have been wrong, now your arugment has changed to subsidised rental colonies. The fact that the place has been selling much faster than anyone thought just a year ago should tell you that the place is desireable and therefore people will want to own part of it. I was just as skepitical as you a few years ago when crazy AJ proclaimed all of those foreign buyers would soak up the overwhelming amount of inventory. I too had concerns about downtown becoming a rental colony full of section 8 tennants. My views have changed because the data shows otherwise at least for now. AJ was right, the dollar has dropped and the foreign buyers just love buying “cheap miami condos”. Just admit you were wrong and move on.

    • I have tried Miami dade website for all these condo sales being mentioned here. Miami-dade is posting the sales withi 7 days of transaction but I can not find these thousands of sales anywhere? Is is some kind of national security issue we are dealing with? or these are the NAR reports?

  19. gables,

    “not sure where you obtained your numbers. if you are just averaging the three months he reports, that is not correct. you cannot take the average of an average and get a valid result, because now you have no understanding of how you biased your numbers to heavy and light volume months.”

    Lucas information is not conclusive. He does a great job but at the end of the day he’s a Realtor. I don’t really expect him to scour the earth for every singe sale. My information is from Condoreports where I have a subscription. The information is more detailed and provides unit numbers, dates, owners, etc.

    So I’m not averaging an average. I think its apparent that my quant skills are above yours.

    I have no reason to take it up with Lucas because he presents his information for free and I’m thankful. But regardless the conclusion your drawing from incomplete data is wrong.

    “river north and river south are different buildings-do not mix them up”

    Both the north and south tower have been increasing.

    “brickell north only had sales charted for march in 1Q 2011 at $206 sq ft-certainly not the number you provided of $221.”

    Again not true. Lucas only shows 1 sales in March at $206 but there were in fact 8 sales in 1Q11 at at an average of $221.

    “your “facts” that downtown condo averages are up are statistical games which I will call you on. Those values are up because you have several brand new luxury units coming online-they naturally will increase the averages. but that does not mean value of condos is not falling.”

    Again not true. If it was just the newer luxury units coming online raising the average then individual buildings would not be going higher as well. When I go building by building I see the price per square foot going higher in most buildings.

    Brickell on the River North and South, 1060, Axis North and South, Infinity, Jade, Neo Vertika, Mark on Brickell, Plaza, Solaris Vue, etc. have all started to go up in price per square foot and that’s not a complete list.

    “i can STILL buy and rent for the same price as 2 years ago”

    Just because you say something doesn’t make it true. Please tell us which buildings where the sales prices and rental rates are the same as they were 2 years ago. You say you keep calling me out but I use numbers. Why don’t you use actual numbers as well.

    • gixxer, you say you are a money man. you are in the business to make money. well your view is buying a miami condo is financially positive. so use your condoreports data, pick a building and buy a condo and make some money. but don’t use the median rise in prices for downtown zip codes as the argument that miami prices are rising. that is a statistical game when you have a bunch of luxury developer units coming online like icon. and again, you got a problem with the data i use, take it up with lucas.

      • I don’t have a problem with Lucas because he isn’t using the data to make an argument. He’s simply presenting what he has in a chart.

        And again what does Icon have to do with the actual sales at other buildings? At 106o for example units are selling at more expensive prices. That is just a fact. So if you wanted to buy a unit at 1060 today you would pay more than if you bought one a year or two ago. How is that a statistical game???

        And I work in development and have no desire to be a landlord. I will however be buying a condo soon. I wish I could right now but unfortunately dropping $60k on college while not working for the past year took a big chunk of my savings. But it doesn’t change the fact that if I were to hold for 5 years it would be cheaper for me to own in my building.

        But I see you’re shying away from using actual numbers.

        “Icon is making the average go up” “I can rent for the same price as 2 years ago”

        But never any numbers to back it up. Which buildings are going down? What buildings are renting at the same rate as two years ago?

        I’m posting actual numbers. In 2Q10 there were 5 sales at an average of $198 at 1060. In 2Q11 there were 8 sales at an average of $249. Those numbers obviously have nothing to do with Icon.

        • gixxer, using your data and comments:
          2Q10:$199
          3Q10:$180
          4Q10:$178
          1Q11:$169
          2Q11:$198
          “It appears that Solaris is now starting to trend back upward as of the 2nd quarter, not downward.”

          Now you have provided four consecutive quarters of downward trend. Then you have the gall to say one quarter at the end is up, so the trend is back up. that is not a trend-it is a single data point which easily could be an outlier. you really think a 20% reversal quarterly change is accurate? further, 2Q11 hadn’t even completed one month. you cannot use a third of a quarter as a representative sample of the data.

          now i will say this. that is an average for the building, but is not representative of an individual unit. the number of higher floors versus lower floors could easily skew any interpretation up or down since $/sf will vary by floor and view. But superimposed on that downward trend is also case shiller and corelogic, both indexes and not averages. they also trend down. these are facts.

          • 3 sales have already happened in the 2Q11 and they all have been higher than the previous average. I guess you’re going to tell me that all three of those sales are outliers. And what do you know, one of those sales was a low floor and it still sold for more than previous sales.

            And why can’t your theory work in reverse. Could it simply be that more lower floors have sold in the past couple of months. The problem is that you don’t know because you’re not actually looking at the actual sales and you’re instead just making up arguments to fit what you want to believe.

            Here are some actual examples at Solaris.

            A buyer purchased unit 1204 from the bank in 10/10 for $144 psf. He then later sold the same unit for $194 psf in 02/11.

            Unit 2304 was purchased as a short sale for $134 psf in 3/11. This definitely took the average down. Then he turned around and sold the same unit for $210 psf in 4/11 which took the average up.

            The same guy who flipped unit 1204 just bought unit 1104 for $170 psf from the bank which he’ll probably sell closer to the $194 psf price of unit 1204.

            You can see the foreclosures and short sales working themselves through. But when they ultimately end up getting sold to the end user at a higher rate.

            The majority of these distress sales are going to the all cash offer. So if you don’t have the $200k cash to buy a unit the short sales really aren’t going to do you much good.

          • gixxer, i stated very clearly that floors and views could make interpretation difficult. that is why i invoked the case shiller and corelogic index-they show a downward trend as well. you jump at any chance to claim a rise in prices and call it a trend. just cannot be done without at least another quarter under our belt-and certainly not in midquarter of 2Q. you made the same mistake in calling a bottom to miami real estate in 2009. for all we know, the uptick in data is purely a seasonal effect-ever consider that?

            gixxer, i am not a bear looking for the collapse of the condo market. the downside risk is small if you buy today and hold for 5 years. i think we disagree on the upside risk a bit. i do not really see much appreciation in the years to come-i think you may lose money in real dollars over that time period. if you live in the unit, you will do ok. as an investment, however, much more risk for the profit.

            solaris is a prime example of a building where you can buy for the same price as 2 years ago. units are selling in the $150-$200 psf range-both short sales and regular sales- same as a couple of years ago. that is exactly the range i anticipated people buying units for. they would not fall below $150sf-too cheap. and at $200sf you are under $250k for the unit-a price point many workers can still afford the mortgage and HOA. obviously luxury buildings will sell for more, but this is where the local market will buy.

  20. MMT, many folks do not believe the rental argument will collapse the prices-but it probably will inhibit much appreciation. the other thing to ponder is that there will continue to be new developments in the years to come-probably thousands of new units coming online over the next five years or so. how will these new units affect the prices of the existing inventory? miami is not a constrained island like manhattan or miami beach-there is plenty of space to build new units. except for a handful of buildings in unique locations, demand will probably shift to the new units rather than existing units. the local buyers cannot compete with foreign money, but what happens in a few years when the foreign owners realize the carrying cost of 2+% taxes and 2+% HOA per year is a high price to pay for the stability of american real estate assets?

    • Gables, have you factored in inflation in your assessment of new units coming online in the next few years? how much will these new buildings cost and where will they be of pime location

  21. Joe,

    “First of all, my views have been massively misrepresented here. Again, I never said anything about prime oceanfront selling for $120/sf, etc.”

    No but you did used to make comments how you love Ace when he would make those predictions. It’s like the republicans and the crazy tea party folks. You don’t confirm everything they’re saying but you definitely don’t disagree either.

    “Second, it’s not remotely clear at all that downtown Miami is heading into a new r.e. boom. A high percentage of downtown renters are being subsidized by their landlords, and there are undoubtedly thousands and thousands of units’ worth of shadow inventory, no matter what Gixxer claims.”

    What is it with you’re fixation on renters. If the price of a 2/2 in Brickell is going up, its going up. If I want to buy a 2/2 in Brickell am I going to be able to buy it at less than market value because 50% of the units are filled with renters?

    “Third, as I said above, this whole argument is mostly moot, as the r.e. bust fundamentally changed the situation and discussion about downtown Miami. Go back 5 years, and downtown Miami was supposed to be a paradise of owner-occupants. Now, downtown is a huge renter’s colony. It might be a shiny renter’s colony right now, but anyone who knows anything about condos know that it’s unlikely to last.”

    Here is where I partially agree. 5 years ago downtown really didn’t exist as a neighborhood and now its one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in Miami. It was supposed to be filled with luxury condos to be used as vacation homes. But instead now its filled with daily residents.

    Furthermore as neighborhoods like this develop usually what happens is that after renting for a few years those renters look to purchase in that same neighborhood.

    Downtown has turned the corner and is now becoming a great place to live. Brickell is leading the way but other downtown areas are following. I know it might be hard for you to understand because you don’t live and you don’t see it. If you think people are leaving this area your fooling yourself. There would be twice the number people living here but they simply can’t afford it.

    The more likely outcome is that developers will come in and build rental housing because all of the demand to live here. As they build the rental housing, renters will slowly move out of the condos and into the rental buildings because they’ll be more affordable. The condos are already beginning to get to expensive for a lot of people.

  22. Gixxer 1000 said: “Again you seem to be missing the point. I think most people here would agree that average prices in Miami are going down. But every neighborhood doesn’t follow the average. I’ve posted many articles showing that the foreign buyers are focused on downtown keeping those prices up while the rest of Miami is going down. I don’t think most people here care what happens to prices in Homestead.”

    – So, in other words, your bullishness is based mostly on the purchases and whims of foreign money launderers, while you couldn’t care less that the prices in the rest of Miami — you know, the places occupied by actual local workers and retirees — go down the sewer. Swell.

    Makes Me Think — Please post some links to where I said any of that nonsense. I’m not impressed with your bogus straw-man argument.

    Again, for about the 20th time, I never said the downtown condos would sell for $120/sf, or that the downtown condos would remain empty forever, or that they’d become “Section 8″ housing. I said that, over the long term, the high carrying costs would make another boom or mini-boom unlikely. I also said that condos that become majority renter-occupied are likely to never transition to owner-occupied, and that, generally speaking, renter-occupied condos tend to have a lot more problems over time.

    owneratinfinity — What was your screen name before you became “owneratinfinity”? I don’t remember you being here or announcing your name change.

    Gixxer 1000 said: “No but you did used to make comments how you love Ace when he would make those predictions. It’s like the republicans and the crazy tea party folks. You don’t confirm everything they’re saying but you definitely don’t disagree either.”

    – Give me a break. I never endorsed Ace’s crazy price forecasts, but I did laugh at a lot of his posts. This is because, unlike you, Ace had a sense of humor. His closing tagline — “Fair, balanced, and unafraid” — which he blatantly ripped off from Fox News, always made me laugh, no matter what he said.

    Gixxer 1000 said: “What is it with you’re fixation on renters. If the price of a 2/2 in Brickell is going up, its going up. If I want to buy a 2/2 in Brickell am I going to be able to buy it at less than market value because 50% of the units are filled with renters?”

    – Good grief, how many times do we need to have the same damn discussion? The prices might be going up, but they’re going up (and being paid by) other investors/landlords, not owner-occupants. I’m here in search of a RESIDENCE, not an investment property to immediately rent out. By your own admission, you don’t want to be a landlord, either. Generally speaking, people who intend to be owner-occupants try to buy in buildings full of other owner-occupants, not renters. This has been true in condos since the very beginning of the concept, so I’m not sure why you’re being so obtuse.

    Gixxer 1000 said: “Furthermore as neighborhoods like this develop usually what happens is that after renting for a few years those renters look to purchase in that same neighborhood.”

    – You’re still sticking with this pie-in-the-sky nonsense? Downtown Miami might have a lot more people now than it did 5 years ago, but it’s hardly a thriving community. Where are the jobs? Where are the schools? Where are the families? The idea that the single people and the couples who mostly comprise the current downtown population will move out of their one-bedroom and two-bedroom condos and into three- and four-bedroom condos after they start to marry and have kids is simply unsupported by the facts. It might happen in NYC, where no one has a back yard, but it sure as hell doesn’t and won’t happen in downtown Miami, no matter how excited you are about the new Publix and new restaurants.

    • owneratinfinity — What was your screen name before you became “owneratinfinity”? I don’t remember you being here or announcing your name change.

      ====> I didn’t have a screen name because I didn’t post any comments initially on this site, I just read the comments of this site and others sites.

      ===> I used these type of sites to see what other thought about if prices where still going to drop more when I was going to buy at the end of 2009.

      ===> I started my miami condo search when I first moved to miami beach (as a renter) in 12/2007, however back then prices where still too high, so I waited to the end of 2009 to buy

    • Joe, I never attributed the section 8 statement to you. I siad it was one of my concern initially.

    • “Again, for about the 20th time, I never said the downtown condos would sell for $120/sf, or that the downtown condos would remain empty forever,”

      No but they were supposed to remain empty for 4 years which would be 2014 and then the shadow inventory was supposed to remain unsold for another 2 years which would have been 2016. You were constantly yelling about inventory.

      “I said that, over the long term, the high carrying costs would make another boom or mini-boom unlikely. I also said that condos that become majority renter-occupied are likely to never transition to owner-occupied, and that, generally speaking, renter-occupied condos tend to have a lot more problems over time.”

      Again you’re slowly back tracking. The renters were supposed to be pissing in the hallways and defecating in the elevators keeping prices from rising at all. Now that has been reduced to your prediction that they will have a lot more problems over time. What does that even mean??? Who cares if they have more problems if the prices still go up.

  23. gables,

    “solaris is a prime example of a building where you can buy for the same price as 2 years ago. units are selling in the $150-$200 psf range-both short sales and regular sales- same as a couple of years ago. that is exactly the range i anticipated people buying units for. they would not fall below $150sf-too cheap. and at $200sf you are under $250k for the unit-a price point many workers can still afford the mortgage and HOA. obviously luxury buildings will sell for more, but this is where the local market will buy.”

    Here is where your analysis is wrong. Prices are going up at solaris and so are rental rates. Distressed sales are selling for around $150 psf. Some as low as $130 psf. But the only people getting these distressed sales are people with cash. At the same time non distressed sales are going up from around $170 – $180 range up to $190 – $200+ range.

    And at the same time rental rates have gone up. From Lucas’ numbers a 2/2 on the 18th floor went for $1,750 ($1.64 psf)July 2010 and another unit on the 18th floor went for $2,200 ($1.92 psf) February 2011. All 2/2 right now are asking $2,200 or above and considering the rental market here they’ll probably get it.

    So if you wanted a 2/2 in Solaris and you didn’t have cash you were probably looking at paying $180 psf or renting for $1,800 in 2009 and now you’re looking at $200 psf or renting for $2,200.

    40% of the building has been resold in the last 2 years. Foreclosures peaked in the 2Q10 at 10 and have dropped to just 1 in 1Q11.

    I agree not much has changed if you have $200k cash to buy a unit and you’re not currently renting. But if you don’t have cash, prices are going up. And so are rental rates.

  24. gixxer, you cannot separate cash vs mortgage buyers and then claim prices are rising because mortgage buyers pay more. that is an absurd analysis. further, how do you know the short sales were all cash buys? they very well could have been leveraged, just not through a traditional mortgage. the sale price is the sale price-don’t cherry pick.

    as for solaris rentals, the data is
    $1.99 5/5/2011
    $1.92 2/14/2011
    $1.75 2/1/2011
    $1.66 1/15/2011
    $1.66 10/11/2010
    $0.00 9/1/2010
    $1.65 9/1/2010
    $1.92 9/1/2010
    $1.78 8/19/2010
    $1.86 8/18/2010
    $0.00 7/15/2010
    $1.56 7/8/2010
    $1.55 7/1/2010
    $1.64 7/1/2010
    $1.72 6/2/2010
    $1.69 5/20/2010

    now you claim the last two rentals (both high floors) are high, so rental prices must be increasing. last september a unit rented for $1.92 sf, then there proceeded to be 4 more units rented below that price point over the next 4 months before the number was exceeded again. i guess rents were rising last september as well. when you look at the data on the whole over the past year, it is basically flat. there is no trend up, just scatter in the data. run a regression analysis and see for yourself.

    solaris has 3 2B units for rent, two of which have been on the market since feb for $2300 and are still available. think they would have sat empty for 3+months at $2000? trends for rising rents and rising prices are just not evident in this data. and a flat line in nominal dollars is actually a downtrend in real dollars with inflation (even low inflation).

  25. gables,
    I am very sorry to say that the ship has sailed and you are not on it.
    2 yrs back, you could have got a 2 bed condo in your price range of 250K with water views and higher floors in coveted buildings.
    You can still get a 2 bed for that price but low floors, no view and II tier buildings. Argue all you want till you are blue in the face or try to convince yourself, the fact is you missed the bus.

    • I don’t understand what joe and gables are arguring about. You guys sound like you are nit picking about the fact that down town miami is doing much better than anyone could have possibly imagined just 2 short years ago. Even the most bullish commenters here did not predict the rapid turn around in the forutunes of downtown miami. The turn around is sill not complete and yes there may still be some buidings not doing as great but it is silly to continue to defend your position. Just admit that you were not expecting such a rapid turn around but you are still weary of a possible reversal of fortunes. Maybe then your opinion will be respected but to continue to deny the facts makes you look like sore loosers. Face it quys there are no more stories about half empty condo downtown. There is no one blogging about downtown being empty after 6pm, now people are complaining about too much noise after 3am.

      • MMT, i for one have not been an advocate that those buildings would stay empty-you are foolish if you think that is my view. i argued they would fill up when prices were low-sub $200 sf for nonluxury. and for the past couple of years the prices have been low-i think there is a chance they will go even lower, but we are close to the bottom. but the units sold as the price dropped-i expected nothing less. as gixxer states correctly, miami is growing and therefore people need housing. i just see a limit to the upside in prices this demand can command. foreign buyers can push it up, but the locals will have an upside limit.

        MMT, what you call a turnaround i call nothing more than stabilizing from the free fall. prices could not continue to collapse at the rate of 2007-2008.

        • Gables, then why are you busy defending the notion that prices in this 1 submarket has rebounded? Rebounding doesn’t mean that we are anywere close to the haydays but simply that prices are above what they were 2 years ago. It is also obvious that there are a lot more demand for the area (rental or otherwise). That is exactly my point, I don’t get why you and joe continue to argue against the facts that are clear to everone esle. The area is in demand now
          and there are lots of people and businesses in the area. Logic dictates that when demand is up and supply is down prices will increase. It is a fundamental rule of economics, what have you seen that would lead you to your conclusion that prices will decrease in that area, has there been a spike in crime or something that would make people move away from the area?

          • MMT, a rebound be definition is not stability, but rising prices now and into the future-it has nothing to do with the good old days. i have not seen data that says this is occuring. consider an older building on the water, mark on brickell. according to lucas’ chart (gixxer if you want to provide better data, feel free, i don’t have access to it), price per sq ft is basically flat over the past year.

            increasing sale prices in many of these NEW buildings is not neccesarily an indicator of rising prices. these sales are distorted by developers who initially underprice the market to drum up interest in the building, then slowly increase the price over time as sales continue. the result is a rising market, but that does not mean a rebound has occured. but it will appear to somebody measuring zip code mean or median prices as rising. the early lower prices were simply subsidized by the developer. when you look at older buildings (solaris, mark) this does not occur. in newer buildings, such as infinity, this has occured. ask owerneratinfinity.

  26. A buyer purchased unit 1204 from the bank in 10/10 for $144 psf. He then later sold the same unit for $194 psf in 02/11.
    ===========================================================

    Apt was sold 10/2006 for $414,365, resold 4/2007 for $480,000, resold after 2 months 6/2007 for $810,000 after that the sales were disqualified in 10/2008, 5/2010 and 10/2010 at $165,000 is described as deed to and from financial institution. 11/2010 there was a quit claim deed. and 1/2011 it was purchased by Solaris 1204 Group LLC. with a $90,000 mortgage from BoA.

    Unit 2304 was purchased as a short sale for $134 psf in 3/11. This definitely took the average down. Then he turned around and sold the same unit for $210 psf in 4/11 which took the average up.
    ========================================
    This property was sold for $556,551 in 11/2006 and resold for $800,000 in 8/2007 then sold for 3/2011 for $160,000 to S F PROP REHAB LLC with a mortgage of $187,200. Which was deeded to an individual in April 2011.

    Go figure what this means!
    Hint: These are not real sales…………..

  27. “what you call a turnaround i call nothing more than stabilizing from the free fall. prices could not continue to collapse at the rate of 2007-2008.”

    Stabilizing is when prices stop dropping. But prices haven’t just stop dropping they have started increasing. You keep trying to argue that they’re not and it’s just Icon sales increasing the prices which is obviously wrong when individual buildings are increasing in price from 2009. Which is why MMT thinks that you keep trying to deny this sub market has rebounded. Even if prices were to go back down, which I doubt that wouldn’t change the fact that prices have gone higher.

    “i just see a limit to the upside in prices this demand can command. foreign buyers can push it up, but the locals will have an upside limit.”

    We’re only talking about 22,000 condos. It’s not like were talking about the entire 900,000 homes in all of Miami. I guess next you’re going to say that South Beach’s upside is restricted to the that of the locals also. That’s is where the real upside is, South Beach. As long as Downtown can be sold for a nice discount to South Beach it will be fine regardless of what the locals can afford.

  28. Gixxer 1000, et al. — Just assuming for a moment that downtown prices are indeed rising, I don’t understand why you’re so impressed or excited. Miami had the biggest r.e. crash in the country, which, almost by definition, means a very high percentage of Miami locals have bad credit for mortgage purposes and are locked out of the r.e. market, thus increasing demand for rentals.

    You’ve already admitted you don’t want to be a landlord. Unless you’re a rare condo buyer who doesn’t mind buying in a building that’s majority renter-occupied, you’re cheerleading a market and area that is offering fewer and fewer options.

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