Sunny Isles Beach is an island in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The neighborhood has gained prominence in the past 10 years, especially in the post-subprime crisis. Right after the crisis Miami brought together everything that Brazilians wanted to invest in: Low-priced properties, good weather all year round, the best outlets in the world, wonderful beaches and a Latin atmosphere. All of this is just a few hours away by plane and at an exchange rate very different from what we see today. Sunny Isles emerged in this context, with super luxury condos facing the sea (foot in the sand). Today the region is seen as one of the noblest and most elegant neighborhoods in Florida.

Luxury Real Estate at Sunny Isles Beach

In 2010 Sunny Isles had a few luxury condos facing the sea. The best known were the Acqualina Resort , the Trump Towers. A few years later the luxury tower Regalia Miami broke ground. Developers in the region started to establish partnerships with world renowned brands. Brands like Porsche Design and Armani joined Gil Dezer, a famous Florida builder, to mark territory in the region.

The Porsche Design Tower in Sunny Isles Beach has become a kind of postcard of the island. The 50-storey, 150-unit development allows the owner to drive the elevator and park inside the apartment. The technology has attracted celebrities and publicly known people like player Lionel Messi and Bishop Edir Macedo. All of them interested in the privacy that the so-called Dezervator (name of the car lift) offered. Famous people can enter and leave their homes in “heaven” without being seen.

Later, the Armani brand also decided to be part of the island, building Residences by Armani Casa, another super exclusive development.

The Dezervator at Porsche Tower Miami
The Dezervator: Car elevator at Porsche Design Tower, name after developer Gil Dezer. The high-tech elevator allows owners to park their fancy cars inside the unit

Change in global investor behavior

It turns out that, after 2015, with the world downturn and the currency of South American countries devalued, including the Real, this demand for luxury apartments was curbed. Not only did the world lack money to buy luxury apartments in the world, it also lacked the resources to maintain them. The investor’s behavior gradually changed. Preferences would now be for smaller apartments that could be rented.

Sunny Isles Beach and the city of Miami as a whole were not prepared for this new scenario. Most of the city offered strict rental rules. Contracts, in most neighborhoods, should be long-term (more than a year). Short periods, for vacation rentals, were prohibited by the city hall and also by the condominium status, with the objective of protecting Miami residents from the growing unrestrained and unorganized flow of tourists, in an inadequate manner, in residential properties.

With high prices, high dollar prices and few real estate options that would allow seasonal rentals, investors began looking at Florida’s second largest market: Orlando. Luxury resorts in Sunny Isles Beach began to lose space for the homes for sale in Orlando near Disney, called Vacation Homes.

Orlando’s real estate boom

The city of Orlando, Florida, started to attract the attention of global investors, especially Brazilians. Spacious homes in a gated community with full infrastructure and just minutes from Disney parks were being offered at prices considerably below similar properties in Miami. And with a big advantage: they allowed season rent. All of this in a market that receives more than 70 million people every year. The demand for rent is practically guaranteed.

With an occupancy rate above 65% per year and daily rates averaging USD 150, considering well located 3 bedroom properties, the return on this type of investment is extremely promising. Added to this is the possibility of financing the purchase of the property through American banks, with very low interest rates compared to Brazilian interest rates. With that, it was possible to pay off the loan installments with the income from the rent itself, leveraging investment. Basically it is necessary to pay the entrance fee (between 25% and 40% of the property value, depending on the condominium and the bank).

Miami began to lose investors and the builders began to understand that the market was no longer focused on super luxury properties, but on units that allowed the practice of Airbnb. Earning income with Airbnb in dollars became the big investment in Florida.

Homes for sale in Orlando Florida near Disney
Homes for sale in Orlando Florida near Disney

Sunny Isles Beach maintains its elegance

It didn’t take long for developers in Miami to start moving towards offering real estate within the new concept. The first to be built was the YotelPad, in Downtown. As soon as it started to be built, it sold 100% of the units in just one year. Soon after, Natiivo – Powered by Airbnb, appeared in Downtown, the first development in the world where Aribnb entered as a developer. The entire format and administration of the project will be aimed at facilitating the practice of short-term rental (short-term rentals). Even a front-desk-style reception will be built in the lobby to welcome the owners’ guests, similar to a hotel. Finally, the Legacy Hotel & Residences was launched, also in Downtown, within the Mixed-Use Miami World Center complex.

Stylish Sunny Isles Beach, however, still retains rental restrictions. It is likely to continue this way, as it is a quiet and residential neighborhood.

Quem sabe, em breve, o mercado super luxo retoma, e novas torres oceanfront serão construídas. Os developers de Sunny Isles já estão com os projetos no papel. Estão só aguardando o momento certo.

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