Condo growth in Palm Beach, Broward slowing down: report

Experts cite lack of foreign buyers as main reason

Jun.June 24, 2013 04:00 PM

When it comes to condominiums, many developers are ignoring Palm Beach and Broward counties, a principal at Bal Harbour-based consulting firm CondoVultures told the Sun Sentinel.

In the two counties, 583 units are currently under construction. Builders are planning about 4,200 units over the next few years. Those numbers are low considering the rising demand, with bidding wars likely to arise, said Peter Zalewski of the firm.

After condo prices fell far below $100,000, investors went back to the market to buy and rent out the units. But prices are now on the rise amid scarce supply, the Sun Sentinel said.

Foreigners are more willing than domestic and Canadian buyers to fund new construction by putting down payments of 50 to 80 percent before closing, Zalewski told Condo Vultures. The dearth of international buyers is why condo builders have been reluctant to enter the two counties, the Sun Sentinel said, citing observers.

Broward’s median price for existing condos in May was $108,000, while Palm Beach County’s median was $119,000. The former is a 28 percent increase year-over-year; the latter is a 21 percent increase, data show.

The Related Group is developing five projects, including the sold-out, 49-unit Apogee Beach in Hollywood and the 300-unit condo/condo-hotel development BeachWalk in Hallandale Beach. As for Palm Beach County’s West Palm Beach, a 100-unit luxury project is planned for part of the First Baptist Church’s Flagler Drive property, and 200 units are under construction at the President Country Club, the Sun Sentinel said. [Sun Sentinel]Mark Maurer

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