The Real Deal Miami

Canadians, Brazilians invest in Pompano Beach residential real estate

By Alexander Britell | March 01, 2011 02:39PM

With much of Miami’s residential inventory being scooped up by opportunistic buyers, the foreigners who have been driving that market are now turning to the north.

Broward County’s Pompano Beach has been seeing heightened activity, especially from Canadian and Brazilian buyers, who were previously setting their sights on high-end condominiums in downtown Miami and South Beach.  

“We’ve been getting quite a few calls from Canada,” said Pierre Denis, a broker at Parkland Realty in Coral Springs who deals heavily in nearby Pompano Beach.

Condo Vultures founder Peter Zalewski pointed to the recent bulk deal at Pompano’s Sonata Beach Club, where a Canadian buyer purchased 22 ocean-view units in mid-February.

“The Sonata Beach Club [deal] went down for about $174 per foot, which is a very good price,” Zalewski said. “The reason the price was achieved is that there is virtually no new product available there and the Canadian buyer really likes the Pompano Beach area.”

Jana Brittenum, an associate with the Keyes Company’s Lighthouse Point office, said she had just sold a unit at the Sonata in an all-cash deal to a Canadian buyer.

“We’ve had a lot of Canadian customers who have purchased, and it’s helped get the inventory under control,” she said.

Another large apartment deal was transacted in Pompano Beach at the end of January, with the sale of Palm Islands Apartments, a 402-unit, 286,115-square-foot apartment complex in Pompano Beach, for $10.5 million.

WCI’s Oceanside condo, which sold at the end of 2009 for $38.5 million, was actually one of South Florida’s first bulk deals after the downturn.

Pompano Beach is something of a Brazilian stronghold in Florida, with a bustling Brazilian neighborhood off of the city’s SW 10 Avenue, in addition to the Sample Road area.

“We have seen Brazilian buyers,” Brittenum said. “We have several Brazilian agents in our office and that’s all they’ve been doing.”

In contrast to Miami, however, Brazilians in Pompano Beach are looking at single-family homes, with the Canadians looking for condo units.

“[The Brazilians] are tending to look at single-family houses — I don’t know if it’s a different mentality. The Canadian mentality is more of a snowbird mentality, whereas Brazilians [in Pompano] have more of an end-user mentality,” Zalewski said.

Home values haven’t yet seen an impact from the activity, however, unlike several cities in Miami-Dade County that have seen home value increases from last year, like Doral.

The average home value in Pompano Beach is around $100,000, according to Zillow.com. That $100,000 figure is actually down $19.9 percent from 2010.