With few “leftover homes” left on North Bay Road, buyers look to rest of Miami Beach

5800 North Bay Road

Miami Heat power forward Chris Bosh made a splash last fall when he put
down $12.5 million on a 6396 North Bay Road
in Miami Beach.

purchase was one of the last of what EWM realtor Nelson Gonzalez called
“leftover homes” — that is, homes built during the boom and equipped
with ultra-premium amenities not found in older, surrounding properties.

Now, few of these homes, which were predominantly on tony North Bay
Road, are left, and buyers are beginning to look to surrounding
neighborhoods in Miami Beach for deals.

“I wouldn’t say there’s no
inventory left, but there’s very little inventory left,” said Gonzalez,
who is listing the former
home of singer Cher at 64 La Gorce Circle

Gonzalez said there were at least five properties for sale on lower North Bay Road, which is south of 41st Street, at the beginning of the year, and just one remains.

Transactions in the neighborhood jumped 114 percent last year, with 15 deals for an average sales price of $4.2 million, according to the Trends report from One Sotheby’s.

Much of the inventory that has been selling in the area has been for homes under $5 million, according to Kevin Tomlinon, vice president One Sotheby’s.

“A lot of the homes that were purchased in the first quarter were homes under $5 million,” he said, cautioning that the few homes in the $10 million-plus range might be harder to sell.

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One reason for that might be that newer homes that would have commanded these prices are not around, Gonzalez said.

“I had one client that was willing to spend $10 million to $15 million on a new house, but his only thing was that he wanted a house that was brand new — that had never been lived in, and there are zero in the market that are ready to go today,” he said.

La Gorce Island, where Heat star Dwyane Wade bought in December, is one of the targets remaining as high-end buyers, ready for cash deals, look to spend.

Two other neighborhoods could see the next wave of buyers: the Venetian Islands and the Sunset Islands.

There were a total of 15 transactions in La Gorce and the Venetians combined last year, for an average price of $3.91 million.

According to Tomlinson, the Sunset Islands did not sell particularly well in 2010, with just three sales, all on the lower end.

“That was my big takeaway from 2010,” he said. “The highest-priced home that sold on the Sunset Islands last year was $2.3 million.”

But with inventory elsewhere dropping, the Sunsets could be one potential target.

“I think that there’s some good inventory on the Sunsets — there’s some very good inventory,” he said. “All of these properties have been on the market for some time, so I foresee some larger, more prominent pieces of property selling in 2011.”

Gonzalez said there had also been a number of houses on the Venetian Islands that had been popular in the first quarter of the year.