As Floridians dig themselves out of the devastation Hurricane Irma wrought in early September, insurance firms estimate damage in the tens of billions of dollars. The storm was stunning proof of how much further the region must go in preparing for storms like these. Projects will be put behind schedule by months, and economic recovery will be long and difficult. However, a complex combination of many factors spared eastern South Florida counties from a total apocalypse, as you’ll see in our look at lessons learned from Irma inside the issue.
After such widespread disruption, we can only move forward. It is a known fact that South Florida’s real estate industry is well-versed in weathering storms, in regards to both Mother Nature, and real estate’s cyclical stages. While it’s widely acknowledged that the luxury condo market has hit its peak, our ranking of the priciest sales of this cycle reveals that some of the most eye-popping deals happened only in the last few months.
But a market facing a would-be downturn separates the wheat from the chaff when it comes to residential brokerages. Our ranking of the top firms in each South Florida county provides a revealing glimpse into what it takes to outsell competitors. One key tactic we’ve seen is for the big kahunas to acquire smaller brokerages. The Real Deal reporter Katherine Kallergis unearthed a wealth of juicy insights when it comes to the way larger firms assess the quantitative and qualitative value of smaller firms.
As the condo sector gets tapped out, developers are increasingly shifting their focus to multifamily rental buildings, which are trading hands for higher and higher prices. One man who’s been especially adept at adapting to the changing conditions is Shoma Group’s founder Masoud Shojaee, who revealed to TRD South Florida managing editor Ina Cordle that he, too, is shifting focus to rental properties in the face of condo oversupply.
In other big commercial news, while retail markets across the country continue to suffer as e-commerce eats up market share, South Florida’s absorption rates are better than most thanks to a fast-growing and increasingly diverse population. And while office leasing rates aren’t as strong in the city as they are in the suburban sub-markets, preleasing activity in downtown Miami shows that tenants are still hungry for spaces in the urban core.
TRD also had a candid chat with developer, philanthropist and spitfire Moishe Mana, who after publicly standing up to the Commander-in-Chief, vows to continue to say and do whatever the heck he wants.
And in one of my favorite stories of this issue, we count the amazingly indulgent ways the biggest players in South Florida real estate spend their wealth.
Enjoy the issue!