The cranes have returned to make an appearance in this city, which became the emblem of the housing collapse that started the financial crisis of 2008 . This time , however , the rise in apartment construction is not driven by cheap credit from banks, but foreign investors , many Latin Americans.
Numerous and impressive condominium buildings were unoccupied for several years after the bursting of the housing bubble. The value of condominiums fell nearly 60 % from its peak to its lowest , according to the Realtors Association of Miami. Funding vanished for both buyers and developers .
Today, almost all units that were vacant were busy and demand exceeds supply . 118 have been proposed apartment towers to the Miami area , of which 35 are already under construction , says real estate consultancy Condo Vultures LLC .
The 41 buildings proposed for downtown Miami added 12,100 units , a figure well below the 22,200 units built between 2003 and 2008 , during the housing boom , but still a significant recovery if taken into account in the construction central area of the city was virtually paralyzed until 2011. "This boom evokes the situation where we were a decade ago," says Peter Zalewski, principal of Condo Vultures .
Although growth can save like with bubble a few years ago, it remains a painful memory in Miami , developers emphasize that the strong international demand has created a new model of financing in cash , in his opinion , it is safer bank loans that fueled the previous boom . Normally buyers have to pay at least 50% before closing the business, which means that homeowners lose their money if they abandon the transaction.
Under the new payment system , urban developers rely more on deposits from buyers , and less debt to finance the construction , which , they say, puts projects on a more solid foundation . In addition , construction firms with less experience left out , since banks have become more strict about the initiatives they fund.
The developer Carlos Melo used this financing model 23 Biscayne Bay to build a 17-story tower which last year became the first building completed in the new cycle. Melo said that the project is fully sold and 90 % of owners bought units as investments and are renting . "They are looking to put their money in a safe place ," he adds .
About 85 % and 90 % of buyers of new apartments are foreigners , mostly from Latin America, estimated Alicia Cervera Lamadrid, managing partner of Cervera Real Estate , which manages 16 sales initiatives. " The payout structure separated the speculators who are well funded ," he says.
A study by the Association of Realtors Miami released in November estimated that between July 2012 and July 2013 , Venezuelans accounted for the largest group of foreign buyers of real estate in Miami, with 14 % of the total. Brazil and Argentina ranked second with 11 % each, while Colombians and Canadians were in third place with 8 % each.
Buyers say they are attracted by the increasingly cosmopolitan and cultural elements such as the Miami Art Museum Miami Museum Perez , who is preparing to open its doors on December 4.
Also consider these investments are safer than leaving your money in places where greater economic volatility reigns as Argentina and Venezuela .
The market for upscale condominiums in Miami has proven particularly vibrant and its development has been accompanied by the arrival of luxury shops in the Brickell financial district in the center , and the Design District to the north. Some of the projects have attracted star architects like Zaha Hadid and Bjarke Ingels .
Umberto Mascagni, an Italian 24 years old he moved to Miami three years ago to study international business , paid in August a deposit for a two bedroom apartment U.S. $ 700,000 in a tower proposal overlooking Biscayne Bay, but has not yet begun to build. He and his father started investing in real estate in Miami in 2008 and now have six additional condos they rent. "In the last two years , the market has been crazy ," said Mascagni , who says he is on the hunt for other investment opportunities , but " always with his eyes open , always with caution."