The Real Deal Miami

Faena House beats Edition as highest priced new condo project

First of two-part series exploring developer condo sales during this SoFla real estate cycle

February 23, 2016 05:15PM
By Peter Zalewski

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From left: Faena House, Peter Zalewski, and Residences at the Miami Beach Edition

UPDATED 4:45 p.m. Feb. 25: Propelled by individual purchases by high-powered Wall Street executives, the new Faena House condo tower is beating out the nearby Residences at the Miami Beach Edition as the highest-priced project per-square-foot transacted during this current South Florida real estate cycle that began in 2011.

Buyers have paid an average price of $3,130 per square foot for 38 units out of a total of 44 units built in the 18-story Faena House located on an oceanfront site in the 3300 block of Collins Avenue in the South Beach neighborhood of Miami Beach as of Jan. 31, according to an analysis of recorded deeds with the Clerks of the Court in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

By comparison, the Residences at the Miami Beach Edition ranks second based on selling 19 units out of total of 24 units, at an average price of more than $3,020 in the 18-story tower on an oceanfront site in the 2900 block of Collins Avenue in South Beach, according to government records.

The price-per-square-foot rankings for these two new luxury condo projects should come as no surprise given the strong demand by domestic and foreign investors alike to own residential real estate in the world-famous party city of Miami Beach.  

In fact, the five highest-priced new condo projects — and seven of the top 10 — on a price-per-square-foot basis are all located in Miami Beach.

Ranking in third place is the 18-story Glass condo tower — located on the west side of the 100 block of Ocean Drive — that has sold all 10 of its units at an average price of more than $2,300, according to government records.

The 1 Hotel And Homes South Beach project — a completely renovated 18-story condo conversion located on an oceanfront site in the 2300 block of Collins Avenue — has sold nearly half of its 154 units at an average price of more than $1,730 for fourth, according to government records.  

Rounding out the top five South Florida rankings based on price per square is the 321 Ocean project — located on an oceanfront site just north of the Glass project — that has sold 21 units out of a total of 22 units in the two-building complex at an average price of more than $1,720 per square foot, according to government records.

The highest priced condo project to sell outside of Miami Beach is the 44-story Regalia tower located on an oceanfront site in the 19500 block of Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach in Northeast Miami-Dade County. The Regalia has sold 35 units out of a total of 39 units at an average price of $1,610 per square foot, according to government records.

It is worth noting that the 47-story Mansions at Acqualina project — located in the 17700 block of Collins Avenue to the south of the Regalia — has sold 72 units out of a total of 86 units at an average price of more than $1,265 per square foot to claim the No. 10 ranking, according to government records.

The only other project to crack the top 10 rankings that is not located in Miami Beach or Sunny Isles Beach was developed in Key Biscayne.

Ranking eighth, the Oceana Key Biscayne — a sister project to the Oceana Bal Harbour tower that is currently under construction on a barrier-island site located between Miami Beach and Sunny Isles Beach — has sold 148 units out of 154 units at an average price of more than $1,380 per square foot, according to government records.

Filling in the top 10 rankings for the highest priced developer sales of this cycle are a pair of new Miami Beach condo projects — the Marea South Beach at No. 7 and the 350 Meridian Condo at No. 9 — in the South Of Fifth neighborhood of Miami Beach.

The Marea South Beach has sold 29 units out of a total of 30 units in the multi-building complex located at South Pointe Drive and Washington Avenue at an average price of nearly $1,550 per square foot.

The 350 Meridian Condo project — located in the 300 block of Meridian Avenue in South Beach — has sold three units out of total of four units at an average price of more than $1,355 per square foot, according to government records.   

Overall, developers have begun to record deed transactions for 57 new condo towers with more than 4,300 units located on sites east of I-95 in the tri-county South Florida region, according to the preconstruction condo projects website CraneSpotters.com. (For disclosure, my firm operates the website.)

As of Jan. 31, buyers have purchased more than 3,830 new units — nearly 89 percent of the total number of condos completed during this cycle — at an average price of $804 per square foot east of I-95 in South Florida, according to a CraneSpotters.com analysis of government records.

Currently, an additional 132 new condo buildings with more than 13,700 units are under construction in coastal South Florida.

More than 225 new condo buildings with nearly 32,000 units are currently in the planning or presale phase of development in South Florida, according to the data.

The unanswered question going forward is whether the developer unit sales recorded to date will ultimately prove to be a good value for preconstruction condo buyers during this current South Florida real estate cycle.     

Peter Zalewski is a real estate columnist for The Real Deal who founded Condo Vultures LLC, a consultancy and publishing company, as well as Condo Vultures Realty LLC and CVR Realty brokerages and the Condo Ratings Agency, an analytics firm. The Condo Ratings Agency operates CraneSpotters.com, a preconstruction condo projects website, in conjunction with the Miami Association of Realtors.

Correction: A previous version of this report had an incorrect figure for the number of residences at 1 Hotel and Homes South Beach.

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