Ft. Lauderdale Luxury Condos & Broward Luxury Condos Sold in 2009

As of November 27, 2009, 227 Luxury Condos and Townhouses have sold in Broward County in 2009 (Properties that were listed for sale and sold by Brokers through the Multiple Listing Service/MLS).  Such sales comprise the majority of Sales, however, there have been a number of Luxury Condo sales that were conducted directly through Developers and I will provide information about those sales as well.

For this report, I defined “Luxury Condos” as those that were purchased for a minimum of $600,000 and above.

The 227 Condos and Townhouses sold were purchased for prices that range from $600,000 – $6,875,000.   The $6,875,000 Condo sold is Unit #2401 in the Ritz Carlton Ft. Lauderdale, which is located directly across from the Ocean.  This Condo is absolutely fabulous and includes the entire top 2 Floors of the Ritz Carlton, Floors #24 and #25.     Last year’s highest Condo sale in Broward (which is the highest ever purchase price for a Condo in Broward County) was $10,500,000 for a Penthouse/the entire top Floor in Coconut Grove Residences, a direct Oceanfront Condo on the Sand in Ft. Lauderdale.

Following is additional information about the 227 sales that occurred.

  • 209 are Waterfront Properties (Waterfront Ocean access properties are the vast majority of our Luxury Condo Market)
  • 31 were Short Sales
  • 9 were Bank Owned Foreclosures
    NOTE:  Foreclosures and Short Sales still aren’t the majority of Sales
    in our Luxury Market.  Though that fact could change in the future, several reasons for the current lack of Short Sales and Foreclosures in the Luxury Market include:
    -Luxury Homeowners used fewer “exotic” Loan products when they purchased, were more likely to have purchased with Cash, and were more likely to have placed a large down payment at the time of purchase 
    -Such Homeowners usually have more financial resources available to them to assist them with not going into distress at all or at least delaying the distress for a much longer period of time
    -When selling their Homes, Luxury Sellers will often refuse to complete a Short Sale through the Bank because they prefer not to take the decreased Credit Score that will occur with a Short Sale through the Bank.  In such cases, the Seller will take a loss and sell the Home to the Buyer for an amount that’s less than what they paid for it and less than the Mortgage amount, but will personally pay the Bank the difference owed from their own funds.  So, such Sales are indeed Short Sales in one aspect, but not fully a Short Sale in that Lender approval of the purchase wasn’t required.
    -Banks’ delays with releasing Foreclosure inventory for sale
  • 189 are Condos (there are far more Luxury Condos available for sale than Townhouses or Villas)
  • 13 are Townhouses
  • The Median purchase price was $777,500 (I used Median instead of average because the average number was skewed a bit by the $6,875,000 sale)
  • The average sale price to list price ratio was 83.88%
  • 169 of the purchases are indicated to have been Cash purchases! In the current Luxury Market, there are many Cash purchases.  Several reasons for this include:
    -The decreased availability of Jumbo Loans due to increased Lending criteria (Loans over the amount of $417,000 are known as Jumbo Loans)
    -The desire of Luxury Buyers to simply pay Cash instead of obtaining a Loan even when a Loan is possible or to place their Cash into Real Estate investment instead of other forms of Investment
    -The significant number of purchases by Foreign Buyers in the Luxury Market.  South Florida is #1 in the U.S. for the number of Real Estate Sales to Foreign Buyers and the availability of Loans to them for U.S. Real Estate purchases is limited.

The locations of the Sales were Deerfield Beach (3), Pompano Beach (13), Lighthouse Point (1), Lauderdale by the Sea (20), Hollywood (23), Hillsboro Beach (10), Hallandale (30), and Ft. Lauderdale (127).  In Broward County, Ft. Lauderdale has the largest number of Luxury properties available.

Buildings where the purchases occurred include L’Hermitage, 1200 Hillsboro Mile, Alhambra Place, Aqua Lofts, Aquamarine, Aquazul, Beach Club, Coconut Grove Residences, Corniche, Cristelle, Cristelle Cay, Diplomat Residences, Europa by the Sea, Hemingway Landings, Hendricks Isle Retreat, Jackson Tower, L’Ambiance, La Rive, Las Olas Beach Club, Las Olas Grand, Las Olas River House, Le Club International, Ocean Grande, Ocean Palms, Oceanage, Orchid Beach, Oriana, Place des Arts, Plaza South, Point of Americas, Porto Venezia, Ritz Carlton Ft. Lauderdale, Sea Ranch Club, Sonata Beach Club, Southpoint, The Palms, Villas of Positano, and Water’s Edge.

2009 Condo Sales through Developers
(the majority of which were purchased over $600,000)

Significant Condo Sales conducted primarily through Developers (some of which included Brokers) include the following (as recorded in Broward County Property Tax Records):

  • Coconut Grove Residences in Ft. Lauderdale
    12 Sales with a purchase price range of $450,000 – $1,725,000 with 6 of the Units sold over $1,000,000 (Developer slashed their prices 30% – 50% and there are some good deals still available)
  • Sapphire Condo in Ft. Lauderdale
    28 Sales with a purchase price range of $360,000 – $900,000 with 22 of the Units sold at $500,000 and above. Closings started in June of 2009
  • Villas by the Sea Condo in Lauderdale by the Sea
    23 Sales in 2009 with a purchase price range of $469,000 – $1,275,000. Closings in the Oceanfront Building started in August of 2009 and 14 of the 21 Units have been purchased.  Closings in the Building across from the Ocean started in October of 2008 and 31 of the 45 Units have been purchased.
  • Oriana By the Sea in Lauderdale by the Sea
    5 Sales in 2009 with a purchase price range of $850,000 – $2,250,000
  • Trump Hollywood in Hollywood
    2 Units sold in 2009 for $1,107,200 and $2,000,000

When reviewing current market data, one of the most important facts to realize is that conditions vary DRASTICALLY from one Building to the next.   Media reports typically paint market conditions with a broad Brush although the Real Estate Market is VERY local and varies significantly, based on many factors.  Unfortunately, many interested Buyers incorrectly assume that all Buildings and Sellers are in severe distress when reality is that some Buildings and some Units are in distress and others are very healthy.   The same goes for Sellers.  Some are in distress and others are far from it. 

There are many great deals available and many properties have been priced aggressively–at or below current market value (it is a big mistake to assume that a property isn’t a good deal if it’s not a Short Sale or Foreclosure).

Starting your search for Ft. Lauderdale Luxury Condos, Ft. Lauderdale Waterfront Condos, or other South Florida Luxury Condos?  Customize your search here or contact me for assistance with identifying appropriate properties.

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