Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Miami Beach Real Estate: Should You Go For Beachfront?

Miami Beach has been one of America's pre-eminent beach resorts for almost a century. The city is home to the ever-popular South Beach district, and it's one of the most exciting sections of the Miami real estate market.

It was the original 'vacation' area and is filled with lovely Art Deco hotels and apartment buildings. It is a lovely tourist paradise, and people worldwide have been flocking to its diverse culture, wide array of employment opportunities, wide property and housing options, lovely beaches and classy restaurants, as well as for the flamboyant and vibrant nightlife.

South Florida Is A Top-Rated Destination For Overseas Homebuyers

As a financial and transport gateway between the United States and Latin America, Miami, along with its closest neighbor Miami Beach, has long attracted a lot of international investment. However, in recent years the flow of overseas money into Florida has become a gushing torrent, as investors awash with cash from economic growth in Latin America seek to capitalize on the city's soaring property values, according to property analysts.

South Florida is a popular destination for Europeans, as such portfolio managers and institutional invertors in many countries tend to view the Miami beachfront property market as a bargain even at current prices, especially if compared to skyrocketing property values in Europe, particularly when purchased with dollars that are weak relative to the euro and other major currencies.

Foreign Investments Account For A Huge Chunk Of Property Sales

According to data from the National Association of realtors, foreign investment now accounts for about 15 percent of all home sales in Florida, with the figure estimated to be much higher in Miami Beach. A lot of this money is going into mixed-use developments that blend high-rise residential units with some office, retail, and hotel construction.

Although some Florida-based financial institutions have stopped, or temporarily reduced financing for new condominium and waterfront projects in Miami and Miami Beach, larger national and international banks have continued to be active lenders in the south Florida housing market.

North Beach Is the New Beachfront Growth Zone In Miami Beach

After decades of slumber, Miami Beach’s North Beach district has lately been rediscovered, and more than $600 million in public- and private-sector projects are now underway.

Located between Miami Beach's 63rd Street to the south and the Town of Surfside to the north, and stretching from the Atlantic to Biscayne Bay, North Beach has about 30,000 residents who can walk or bicycle to the beach and community parks, as well as nearby hotels and shops. Among its other claims to fame is Miami Beach's only stretch of oceanfront street outside of Ocean Drive - Ocean Terrace between 73 Street and 75 Street.

"A lot of developers within the past few years have recognized the potential of the waterfront sites and attractive neighborhoods in the North Beach area," adds a representative of a local property developer. "Now, there are a number of exciting new projects in an area that hasn't experienced development for a long time' according to property developer BSG Development Corporation.

And why is this area so popular with developers? The answer is that prices in South Beach have gotten so high, and now, everyone in town is taking a hard look at North Beach, because it is seen as the only area in Miami Beach where land is reasonably affordable. North Beach offers wider opportunities for beachfront and other developments.

Vanessa Arellano Doctor

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