This Week in Miami Real Estate: Climate gentrification, construction worker shortages and more

by Andrew Morrell

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Gentrification is an issue throughout many urban population centers, including Miami. But according to a recent article from Public Radio International, it could be growing more complex, or even worse, with fuel from another large-scale threat to the real estate market: rising sea levels due to climate change. Residents of the Little Haiti neighborhood just north of downtown have seen property values spike as developers eye proposals to remake the area. But there is evidence that there is more attracting them to Little Haiti than cheap land and short commutes. The neighborhood is also on higher ground and further inland than its surroundings, as demonstrated in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma when it avoided flooding as bad as other parts of Miami endured. That has led some to claim Little Haiti as a victim of “climate gentrification,” a phenomenon that experts say will worsen as the root causes behind both issues continue to evolve.

In other local real estate news:

  • The construction labor shortage continues to put a damper on building activity, and ultimately home prices, in many parts of the U.S. including Miami. The Miami Herald reports that this is despite high wages that professions in the skilled trades can attract. Workers like electricians, plumbers, carpenters and even brick masons can fetch annual salaries between $55,000 and $75,000 on average, the Herald found, often with full benefit packages included on top. Miami’s median salary for all workers is around $35,000. A four-year college degree is often not required for these roles, and the industry was the top employer in terms of new positions filled in the last year, according to Miami-area data. But most employers in the construction sector continue to report a shortage of workers, prompting many in the Miami area to bolster hiring efforts through local trade associations and professional schools.
  • Lennar, one of the largest homebuilders in the U.S., announced plans to convert two large spaces in Wynwood into large mixed-use developments. O Cinema Wynwood and The Wynwood Yard, two art and performance spaces, will close in the first half of 2019 to make way for a development Lennar has named “Wynwood Green.” The plans submitted to the City of Miami for approval call for 189 apartments, 17,000 square feet of commercial and retail space and 324 parking lots to take shape at the two sites. If approved, it would be Lennar’s first multifamily project to be built in Miami proper. This follows several other developments in progress in Wynwood that are expected to transform the area substantially over the next few years.
  • The Realtors associations of Palm Beach and Greater Fort Lauderdale will host the South Florida Open House Weekend Sept. 15 and 16. Listings that host open house tours that weekend registered with the associations will be entered in a chance to win one of six $100 Visa gift cards (three for buyers and three for Realtors).
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