Price Points and Penthouses
by jim baxter
Who makes up today’s market for high-end residential properties?
My clients come primarily from referrals, from Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Europe and New York. I speak English, Spanish and Italian, and aim to find the most appropriate home for my clients’ specific needs, at prices that represent a real value.
What significant properties have you sold this year?
Three units at Apogee, which is my favorite building on Miami Beach. It appeals to a very high-end clientele due to its boutique character, white-glove service, enormous open floor plans and spectacular design. I recently sold a unit to an Austrian buyer for $4.75 million cash. This price is more than $1,500 per square foot— an increase over this past year’s previous sales. I also sold a spectacular waterfront home in Bay Point to a Greek family: a 10,900-square-foot two-story home with eight bedrooms and eight bathrooms. It’s in excellent condition, and is situated on a pristine, waterfront double lot. It closed for $6.77 million and is the highest-ever recorded sale in the gated neighborhood of Bay Point.
Where is the Miami real estate market headed?
I believe we’re swimming along the bottom of it right now, but I see my own clients and others snapping up the best properties in the best locations. In a sense this is a more stable and authentic market because all buyers are paying cash, and they’re buying with a long-term perspective to hold and enjoy the property.
Where are today’s buyers coming from?
Mostly New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, DC and Europe. Many of them have recognized that dollar-per-square-foot prices have dropped back down to levels we haven’t seen since 2003.
Tell me about some interesting properties you’ve sold this year.
We just closed on the penthouse at the Marquis Residences downtown for $4.2 million cash. Its original, pre-construction price was $12 million before the crash, and it was recently priced at $6.2. It’s 8,000 square feet on three floors, plus 2,000 square feet of rooftop terrace and an internal elevator. The unit is located at the top of the tallest residential building south of New York City. The views are beyond spectacular. I also sell a lot at Ten Museum Park, a downtown Miami building designed by Chad Oppenheim. Most units have two-story living rooms and incredible views. I have the listing for a four-bedroom, four-bathroom, southeast- corner penthouse on the 46th f loor. It’s a 5,800-square-foot unit with a private rooftop pool that’s priced at $3.995.
What’s next for Miami’s real estate market?
Today’s owners are looking to sell because they feel more comfortable now than they did at this time last year. I have a better selection of properties in higher-quality buildings and locations—including single-family homes on Miami Beach—than I’ve seen in a long time. More US buyers are entering the market than at any time in the recent past.
Cover shoot: Behind the scenes with Pitbull for the October 2014 issue of Ocean Drive magazine.