Condo sales top $550M at Oceana Key Biscayne

Ocean Key Biscayne, left, and its developer, Eduardo Costantini, right.
Ocean Key Biscayne, left, and its developer, Eduardo Costantini, right.

The recently completed Oceana Key Biscayne condo project, with its twin glass towers fronting the Atlantic Ocean, has posted eyebrow-raising transaction prices since opening in August.

As of Monday, buyers have paid more than $550 million to acquire about 92 percent of the condos in the 154-unit project, developed in the 300 block of Ocean Drive in Key Biscayne, according to Miami-Dade County records.

The average unit price is nearly $3.9 million, with individual condos selling for between $1.3 and $17 million, according to government records.

On a square-foot basis, buyers paid an average of $1,395 for a unit with individual condo transactions ranging from $915 to nearly $2,150, according to records.

Oceana Key Biscayne is the first of two new South Florida luxury condo projects being developed by Argentina-based firm Consultatio, led by Eduardo Costantini. The second luxury oceanfront project – Oceana Bal Harbour – is under construction, with a $332 million loan funding the 28-story, 240-unit tower on the barrier island in Northeast Miami-Dade.

To date, the only other new condo project proposed for Key Biscayne during the latest South Florida real estate cycle is 101 Key Biscayne, which will have five floors and 11 units, according to the preconstruction condo projects website (For disclosure purposes, my firm operates the website.)

Oceana Key Biscayne is the first new condo project to be developed in Key Biscayne since nine tiny associations with a combined total of 81 units were created during the last South Florida boom-and-bust cycle from 2003 to 2010.

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Overall, more than 95 percent of the nearly 5,165 condo units located in 68 Key Biscayne condo associations were developed between 1964 and 2002.

More than 150 condo units are currently available for resale in Key Biscayne at an average asking price of $900 per square foot. In the first 11 months of 2014, buyers have purchased nearly 200 condo units at an average transaction price of more than $635 per square foot, according to the Southeast Florida MLXchange.

Based on the current transaction pace, Key Biscayne has about eight and a half months of condo resale inventory. Many industry watchers suggest a condo market should have about six months of inventory available for purchase. Anything less than that suggests a seller’s market and more than six months indicates a buyer’s market.

Of the condos presently on the resale market, nearly 20 units in Oceana Key Biscayne have been listed at an asking price of more than $1,765 per square foot – a more than 25 percent premium over the original average purchase price from the developer.

The unanswered question going forward is whether Key Biscayne has enough buyers willing to pay a rich premium for units in the Oceana Key Biscayne at a time when the area’s resale supply is on the rise.

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