Real Estate

Rich New Yorkers Talking About How Cheap It Is to Live in Miami Will Make You Cry

Everyone knows that Miami's condo boom is being fueled by South American buyers, but many of the American citizens snapping up properties here tend to be New Yorkers.

Well, the New York Times, whose coverage of Miami tends to be notoriously tone deaf when read by actual Miamians, is here to remind us of how happy New Yorkers are to help us drive our real-estate prices up to Manhattan-like heights.

"Over the years, Miami has been referred to as the city's sixth borough, and it would appear that in the exclusive world of luxury real estate, this has never been truer," says the Times. "A wave of New York City developers has washed onto the Florida shoreline in recent months, bringing with them New York buyers, and increasingly, New York City-type pricing."

But condo prices aren't quite there yet, so right now New Yorkers still see Miami real estate as a bargain.

"For us, $3,000 to $4,000 a square foot is crazy, but it is considered a bargain in some better Manhattan neighborhoods," Daniel de la Vega, the Miami president of One Sotheby's International Realty, tells the paper.

Take this 30-year-old as an example:

Evan Speiser, a 30-year-old vice president at the Speiser Organization, agreed. Mr. Speiser, whose firm is a family-run business that specializes in real estate development, acquisition and management, currently rents a loft on the Lower East Side. Rather than buy in New York, he decided to purchase a four-bedroom apartment at the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach.

"I thought there was a lot more upside in Miami than New York," he said. "The Miami market is in the middle of popping, rather than New York, where it has popped already. It was just too good an opportunity to pass up."

If you figured out that the 30-year-old Speiser is not the titular Speiser of the Speiser Organziation, but rather his grandson, you would be correct.

Meanwhile, developer Richard LeFrak, who has switched his focus from building in New York to Miami, notes, "Miami is no longer the place where my grandma went to retire."

Right. Clearly, it's now the place where people with rich grandparents go to buy four-bedroom apartments on the beach.

"It is very different than what my prior perception of it was going back 10 or 15 years," continues LaFrak, which is to say, perhaps Miami has lost lots of its identity in order to attract out-of-town millionaires looking for a second home and good shopping.

"About 20 percent of our buyers are domestic, and of those, at least 90 percent are from New York," said Kevin Maloney, the chief executive of Property Markets Group. "They say, 'Let's move to Miami because it is less expensive,' but as New Yorkers come down and buy, the prices have been going up."

Of course, the chief problem with this article is that it only wonders how Miami's recent real-estate boom could one day negatively affect loaded New Yorkers, not Miamians, many of whom still struggle to get by day-to-day.

The article goes on to worry that another bust may be around the corner -- someday -- and specifically notes that neighborhoods whose development is driven by out-of-towners and not people who call it home could be particularly at risk. But who cares, really?

"In the meantime, New Yorkers looking to flee a freezing winter and ever-rising prices might benefit," the story concludes.

Good for those New Yorkers. Thanks for another wonderful article, Times.

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Kyle Munzenrieder