Beachfront benchmarks: South Florida’s real estate records and notable firsts

May.May 01, 2013 07:00 AM

The year isn’t even half over and already there has been plenty of big real estate news about South Florida — mostly good, some not so good. A few of the noteworthy items are records: the nation’s biggest home and highest foreclosure rate, the region’s most expensive remodeling project and Miami’s first mega-construction loan since the housing bubble burst. We figured you might have missed a tidbit or two, so we rounded them up for you. Kick back and enjoy reading about the benchmarks that have been set.

HIGHEST FORECLOSURE RATES
The Sunshine State has the nation’s highest foreclosure rate, and South Florida — Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties — takes the top spot for metro areas. The No. 1 rankings reflect a spate of foreclosures after last year’s $26 billion settlement between the States and the country’s five largest mortgage servers. Many banks had delayed foreclosure proceedings until a deal had been struck in the so-called “robo-signing” scandal.

PRICIEST CONDOMINIUM SALE
A penthouse at the Residences at the Miami Beach EDITION closed in March for $34 million, setting a condo record for Miami.

Two of the building’s units had been combined to form a 16,271-square-foot triplex with eight bedrooms, eight bathrooms and three half-baths. “There will be a nearly 360-degree view of our beautiful city,” said Coldwell Banker’s William Pierce, who handled the sale.

NATION’S BIGGEST HOME
Work has started again on “Versailles,” the 90,000-square-foot mansion of timeshare magnate David Siegel, after a long layoff because of the recession. The gargantuan house, just outside Orlando, will have a 30-car garage, a roller rink, a bowling alley and three pools when it’s finished in 2016. Siegel, 77, and his 47-year-old wife, Jackie, began constructing the home in 2004.

FIRST POST-CRASH $100M LOAN
The ultra-exclusive Mansions at Acqualina snagged the first $100 million-plus construction loan for a Miami condo project since the real estate crash, the Wall Street Journal reported.
A group of investors is lending $160 million to developers Jules and Eddie Trump of the Trump Group. A spokesman for the duo cited the Trumps’ record and the rebounding market as reasons for the loan. Prices at the 47-story tower in Sunny Isles Beach start at $7.75 million.

RENTS HIT FIVE-YEAR HIGH
Demand for residential rentals has boomed since the housing crisis, driving up South Florida’s median monthly rent to a five-year high, the Miami Herald reported. In Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties, landlords charged more than $1,200 for a 1,000-square-foot residence last year — a 10 percent hike over the 2011 figure. Analysts predict rents will keep going up until demand is eased by developments still under construction.

MOST EXPENSIVE HOME RENOVATION
The $32 million that engineering tycoon Bill Dean spent redoing his $8 million Miami Beach mansion makes it the most expensive home renovation project ever in South Florida.

Dean took two years adding a wing to the main home — for his privacy — and a pagoda-style pool house that doubles as a nightclub. Across his stately two-plus-acre yard is a cluster of spanking-new tiled-roof cottages that house four guest suites, a gym and a spa.


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