Every week, we ask a Miami real estate professional for their thoughts on the top three stories from the week before.
This week, we talked with Hillary Hertzberg, a Realtor with The Jills Group. Hillary is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, where she studied psychology with concentrations in Spanish and marketing; as part of her studies, Hillary spent time in Madrid, where she further honed her skills in business and Spanish.
A member of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce and an active member of AIPAC and Federation. A Miami Beach native, Hillary has an in-depth understanding of the South Florida market and she utilizes her exceptional knowledge of both traditional and digital marketing to maximize exposure for her sellers and provide comprehensive information for her buyers.
Miami Agent (MA): We recently reported that condo conversions, after a long absence from South Florida, are slowly returning to the fray, spurred on by the high demand for condo properties; why are condos so hot right now in South Florida?
Hillary Hertzberg (HH): There is a tremendous amount of new construction projects all over Miami. There has been a large influx of not only local consumers, but also a huge number of foreign buyers trending towards the condo market.
Many of my foreign buyers cite that their major motivation for buying here is a sense of security in investing their money in real estate in South Florida, as well as feeling safe living in a condominium. All the amenities and conveniences continue to make it an increasingly popular alternative to single family homes for both domestic and foreign buyers.
MA: Cash financing remains a big part of South Florida’s housing market, but for the transactions that do require financing, are you finding lending requirements to be relaxing at all?
HH: Many of our clients are cash buyers, but financing also plays a big role in purchasing. Mortgage rates are starting to rise as our housing market gets stronger, but they’re still historically low, and are currently not a barrier to entry. Lending requirements are still strict but appraisals have greatly improved.
A significant amount of the deals I have closed recently have had financing contingencies. Even for a lot of the cash deals, the buyers are still lining up financing. Their deals are not contingent upon them obtaining financing, however, so they’re willing to make up the rest in cash.
MA: There are number of areas in Miami’s housing market that you often hear about – Brickell and Sunny Isles, for instance; what areas do you find to be the most in-demand among your clients?
HH: Miami Beach. Limited inventory, a great school system and being in the heart of the city as far as night life, shopping, etc. make Miami Beach the most sought after area. Prices have been going up dramatically on Miami Beach, and as more and more people are interested, the added demand continues to push prices up. Sunset Harbor is a great example of an area that has recently exploded commercially, increasing the value of the surrounding residential areas.
Other emerging markets include Belle Meade and Morningside. Both of which are centrally located and have been gaining in popularity. Surfside is another area that is becoming increasingly popular. Many families are moving into this area, due to the great school system, safe community and close proximity to Bal Harbour and Miami Beach.