Too much affordable housing dilutes inventory, some cities say
Several South Florida mayors are now saying that their cities have too much affordable housing stock and that developers no longer have to set aside lower-priced units for service professionals such as teachers, nurses and police officers, the Sun-Sentinel reported. Pembroke Pines is having trouble renting existing affordable units and has several hundred more slated to come on the market. In Margate, Mayor Pam Donovan said the city’s market-rate housing, which ranges from $30,000 for a condo to $150,000 for a house, is already affordable enough. But some housing experts say the cities are failing to look at their long-term needs.
Metropolitan Miami project loses Whole Foods grocery
Beleaguered upscale grocery chain Whole Foods will not be opening at the Metropolitan Miami project in downtown Miami, the South Florida Business Journal reported. Russ Benblatt, regional marketing director for Whole Foods in Florida, said shifts in the construction schedule at the mixed-use development were a factor in the decision. Jeremy Larkin, the president of NAI Miami Commercial Real Estate Services Worldwide, said downtown Miami had not matured fast enough to accommodate Whole Foods’ revenue model, and the project’s schedule changes gave the grocer an out on its contract.
Shaq home back on the market
Former Miami Heat star Shaquille O’Neal, who now plays for the Phoenix Suns, has put his Star Island mansion back on the market for $25 million, according to a real estate listing service. The 2.5-acre property, which contains a 19,000-square-foot house and more than 300 feet of waterfront, was listed for $29 million last year, the South Florida Business Journal reported. It went into contract for over $19 million — close to the price for which O’Neal bought the house in 2004 — in November, but the deal fell through.
South Florida repossessions jump
Over 26,000 properties in South Florida went back to lenders in 2008, a 160 percent jump from 2007, according to data firm Condo Vultures. The most repossessions occurred in Miami-Dade County, with 12,059, compared to 4,539 in 2007. Broward County had the second highest number of repossessions, with 10,072, and Palm Beach County ranked third, with 4,109 repossessions, the South Florida Business Journal reported.
Florida No. 2 in mortgage layoffs
Florida lost 2,651 jobs in the mortgage industry last year, second only to California, according to employment data tracked by online trade publication MortgageDaily.com, the South Florida Business Journal reported. The report said the worst days for the industry in Florida may have passed, as refinancings grow following the Federal Reserve’s purchases of mortgage-backed securities.
Brickell site sells at half of 2005 price
Miami-Dade County property records posted recently show that the developer of the planned Premiere Towers condo project west of Brickell Avenue sold the vacant site for $9 million, half of what the group paid for it in 2005 at the peak of the development boom. Premiere Towers sold the 60,000-square-foot site for $150 per square foot, most likely the lowest sale price in West Brickell since the housing meltdown, according to GlobeSt.com. SMA at Ninth bought the development site on Dec. 31 after getting a loan for half of the sale price.
Miami will be fourth worst, Fortune says
Finding your way onto Fortune magazine lists can be a boon, but Miami real estate brokers certainly didn’t welcome the publication’s latest prediction. Miami will have the fourth worst real estate market in 2009, Fortune said. Los Angeles, Stockton and Riverside, Calif., hold the dubious honor of the top three spots. According to the magazine, “Miami will be nursing the hangover from its epic building boom for years to come. After falling 22 percent in 2008, prices are predicted to plunge another 23 percent” in 2009.