Supply and demand continues to drive sales on Key Biscayne
By Sherri C. Ranta
As inventories dwindle to less than 2%, condominium values on Key Biscayne continue to increase and properties are sold just days after being listed, local real estate experts said.
A lack of supply on the island and high demand from South Americans, Europeans and Americans relocating from the Northeast are driving up values - particularly within the past six months, according to Cristina Pesant, real estate agent with Coldwell Banker.
"We normally have a listing on the market two months. Now they're on the market less than one week," she said.
The laws of supply and demand are pushing up prices, she said. Prices on entry-level condominiums increased 9% in the past six months. Prices on luxury condos - $1 million and up - increased about 2%, said Ms. Pesant, who specializes in residential real estate for Key Biscayne, Brickell Avenue, Coconut Grove and Coral Gables.
A check of the listings Monday showed just one apartment available under $200,000, she said.
Keyes Company Vice President Angela Ocampo, who specializes in residential sales on Key Biscayne, agreed.
"I've been in this business since 1986 and I have never seen it so tight," she said.
"There is definitely an upward trend," Ms. Ocampo said. "Values are up tremendously. Sometimes apartments get into the market and are sold the same day, even with multiple offers."
Older buildings like the Key Colony complex on Crandon Boulevard, built in the 1980s, are seeing values rise, she said.
Two years ago, a one-bedroom condo went for about $180,000 to $190,000. Now the lowest price, Ms. Ocampo said, is about $239,000 for a second-floor, one-bedroom condo. Those with a view go for about $275,000.
Reasons for the upward trend and the popularity of Key Biscayne are many, Ms. Ocampo said.
Political and economic instability in many South American countries are drawing more buyers to Miami, Ms. Ocampo said. Once they are here they, like buyers from all over the world, are attracted to Key Biscayne's safe, family atmosphere, beach access, public parks and schools.
Europeans come because of the city's multicultural atmosphere, and Americans from the Northeast, New York, Boston and Philadelphia, continue to relocate here as their companies make the move south, Ms. Ocampo said.
Ms. Ocampo said she predicted two years ago that once all the new construction was sold at Ocean Club and Grand Bay, values of the older buildings would go up.
"A lot of people bought for speculation," she said. "People have walked away with nice money."