This Week in Miami Real Estate: Condo developers look elsewhere, Florida’s prime status and more

by Andrew Morrell

Miami condo developers, including Key International, are looking to expand their horizons now that the central Miami market has become saturated. Inigo Ardid, co-president of Key International, told Globe Street that his firm and partners Integra Investments and Wexford Capital had begun marketing 32 units of ultra-luxury condos in East Boca Raton.

While Key International has recently seen success selling two new high-rise condo developments in Miami Beach, Ardid said that his firm was looking elsewhere now that the city’s condo market had softened considerably in the last two years. He estimated that around 11,000 new condo units had become available in Miami over the last two to three years, while prices in Boca Raton remain attractive for developers. “If you brought new product (to market) the numbers just made sense,” Ardid said.

  • The state of Florida is back in the good graces of all three major bond ratings agencies. On June 25, Moody’s reinstated Florida’s AAA bond rating, marking the first time since before the 2008 financial crisis that the state has received a prime credit rating from Moody’s, Fitch and Standard and Poor’s. A state’s bond rating is a measurement of the risk that it will be unable to repay loans made to fund obligations like employee pensions, insurance programs and investments in infrastructure. Therefore, good credit ratings can reduce the cost of borrowing and, in theory, lead to lower taxes for homeowners and residents. They are also a signal for a state’s overall economic vitality. Florida’s economy was hit particularly hard in the wake of the housing crisis, and more recently from the impact of Hurricane Irma.
  • The Related Group is teaming with Rockpoint Group of Boston to expand further into the multifamily market. Already a presence throughout the South, Related and Rockpoint, a private equity management firm, plan to invest a cumulative $2 billion over the next several years on “value-add multifamily properties” across Florida as well as Atlanta, Dallas and Phoenix. Related and Rockpoint have previously worked together on Miami developments including Brickell Heights and Residences by Armani Casa.
  • Miami developer Integra Investments wants to help communities in the Florida Keys that are still recovering from the destruction of Hurricane Irma. It announced plans to build 279 units of workforce housing on lots it owns in the Keys currently occupied by trailer parks. With plans for additional units in other locations, the developer may take advantage of the 1,200 affordable housing permits recently granted to Florida Keys communities by the state. Workforce housing is not subsidized housing, but is intended to serve low- to mid-income households by securing more dense zoning permits than would normally be allowed. To qualify, owners or renters of workforce housing in the Keys would need to earn between 80 to 120 percent of the area’s median. Additionally, they would need to sign a promise to evacuate within 48 hours in the event of another severe storm. Some 4,000 homes throughout the Florida Keys were seriously damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Irma.
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