When the real estate market collapsed, Miami’s downtown epitomized the worst excesses of the building boom. Glittering new towers sat mostly vacant. Today Miami’s downtown real estate is booming and bustling with life and commerce thanks to foreign investors and renters.
A report by the Miami Downtown Development Authority indicates that 85 percent of new condo units are occupied. Downtown Miami’s population now numbers about 70,000 compared to 40,000 ten years ago. In spite of Miami-Dade’s 13.2% unemployment rate, downtown bars, shops and restaurants buzz with activity at the end of the workday. Sales at the swank Icon Brickell average 47 units a month.
Clearing the backlog of foreclosures slows again as some delinquent homeowners successfully maintain that their mortgage companies can’t prove they own the loans, therefore forfeiting their right to foreclose. After last fall’s robo-signing debacle, many homeowners are waking up and realizing their banks are guilty of sloppy practices at best and forgery at worst. Oppenheim Law continues to see banks dismiss foreclosures.
And the ugly:
Double Dip Housing is no Ameri-cone Dream
As South Florida housing prices hit a new low, the The New York Times and Wall Street Journal chime in unison with a cherry on top: Goodbye, American Dream. It seems renting is the new ‘black’ in real estate fashion as desperate sellers watch not-so-desperate buyers sit on the sidelines waiting for the bottom to hit; while they rent in Miami luxury.
The S&P/Case-Shiller National Index, released today, indicated prices nationwide fell 4.2% in the first quarter after declining 3.6% in the fourth quarter of 2010, in spite of increases in 2009 after the home buyer tax credit and early 2011.