Florida Real Estate and Community News by MMD Realty

Greater Fort Lauderdale's office market is benefiting from improved employment and a lack of new construction, a new report from CBRE shows.

The county’s vacancy rate had a year-over-year decline of 2.3 percent to 15.7 percent during the second quarter of 2014. Fort Lauderdale's Class A sector led the way, with a 4.1 percent year-over-year vacancy rate drop to 13.8 percent. The Class B sector had a 0.5 percent decrease to 16.2 percent, while Class C office buildings experienced a 1 percent year-over-year drop to 20.7 percent.

Asking rental rates stayed relatively flat at $16.60 per square foot triple net (leases in which the tenant covers some or all of property tax, maintenance and insurance costs). Class B and C property owners continue to

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South Florida had a whopping 97 percent year-over-year increase in residential construction last month, the latest McGraw-Hill Construction data shows.

Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties had about $400 million in residential contracts in June. The tri-county area had about $203 million worth of residential contracts in June 2013. Nonresidential contracts surged from about $158 million in June 2013 to nearly $324 million last month.

About $2.3 billion in residential contracts were awarded during the first six months of 2014. That’s a 23 percent increase from the first half of 2013. Nonresidential contracts declined from $1.32 billion to $1.2 billion during the same span. Overall, South Florida’s construction contracts rose 10 percent to

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The lack of new office construction in Miami is allowing area landlords to chip away at the market’s vacancy rate, a new report from CBRE shows.

Miami’s office sector finished the second quarter of 2014 with a 15.5 percent vacancy rate, down from 16.2 percent during the first quarter and 17.3 percent during the second quarter of 2013. Landlords completed 160 lease transactions totaling 877,000 square feet during the quarter. The market’s average asking rental rate was $30.83 per square foot, an increase of 12 cents from the first quarter.

The largest transactions completed during the second quarter included Pricewaterhouse Coopers’ lease for more than 43,000 square feet at Wells Fargo Center and Prestige Health Choice’s deal for 49,230 square

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With no proposed soccer stadium sites on the table in Miami, David Beckham and his backers are being heavily courted by politicians in Broward County.

Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief is asking all 31 cities in the county to produce a list of potential Major League Soccer stadium locations to present to Beckham. The county itself is offering a property it owns in Sunrise as a possible site.

“He has $400 million to invest in a soccer stadium,” Sharief told the Sun-Sentinel. “He doesn’t want any tax dollars. He has his own money. He was disappointed with his treatment in Miami.”

Beckham adviser John Alschuler declined to comment on potential stadium locations but noted the group is still looking at Miami-Dade options.

“However, we have always

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Broward County’s year-over-year home sales and prices climbed in June, a new report from Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors shows.

The county’s median single-family home sale price increased 5.7 percent to $280,000 last month. That matched Broward’s median price in May. Single-family home sales jumped 5.4 percent to 1,425 closings.

Broward’s median condo price rose 23.8 percent to $130,000. Existing condo sales increased 10.1 percent to 1,496 closings.

“The amount of homes that are going up for sale is rising steadily, and those prices continue to rise hand in hand,” Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors president Marnie Allen said in a statement cited by the Miami Herald.

Broward had 6,044 single-family homes on the Multiple Listing Service in

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Brazil's third-largest air carrier could be flying into Fort Lauderdale before the end of the year.

Azul Brazilian Airlines plans to start nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Sao Paulo/Campinas airports in early December, pending federal approval, the Sun Sentinel reports.

Service to Orlando also would begin later that month as part of Azul's planned U.S. launch.

Initially, Azul plans to operate one daily flight between the destinations, but has the flexibility to increase frequency depending on demand.

In Brazil, it operates nearly 900 daily flights to more than 100 destinations with a fleet of 141 aircraft.

For its new U.S. flights Azul plans to use a fleet of 12 wide-body Airbus aircraft —

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With 1.65 percent of its homes facing foreclosure, South Florida posted the country’s highest foreclosure rate in Florida in June, according to RealtyTrac.

South Florida saw 40,604 foreclosure filings in the first half of 2014, which is 30 percent less than during the same time last year.

The area saw 7,880 foreclosure filings compared to the month before, an increase of 29 percent. But the number is down 24 percent since June 2013.

Orlando, with 1.57 percent of homes in foreclosure, and Port St. Lucie, with 1.49 percent of homes in foreclosure, are second and third place.

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Foreclosures are down in Palm Beach County.

During the first half of the year, the number is down about 50 percent compared to the same time in 2013. There were 3,199 new foreclosures filed between January and June, the lowest amount filed since 2006 when 1,866 foreclosures were processed during the same period.

June foreclosures were also down 9 percent from May and 50 percent between May 2014 and May 2013.

After the "fast-track foreclosure" law passed in 2013, banks were allowed to request quicker foreclosures in some cases but had to provide more documentation when filing for one. Experts don't agree on the role this law plays in the drop in foreclosures. 

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The long-delayed Metropica development in western Sunrise is finally approaching the start of construction.

Work on Metropica, a $1.5 billion “city within a city” planned by Miami developer Joseph Kavana, could begin as soon as January 2015, Kavana’s attorney told the Sun-Sentinel. Metropica would have more than 2,000 condos, 300 townhomes and enough commercial space to accommodate 11 Wal-Marts. It is nearly double the size of the nearby Sawgrass Mills mall.

The commission unanimously voted in favor of the 4 million-square-foot mixed-use project west of Sawgrass Mills. It also rezoned the project site to allow the phased development to occur. 

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A collaboration between the Armani Group, Dezer Development, and the Related Group has been made official by a statement released this week.

Armani/Casa Interior Design Studio and the developers are partnering on a 60-story condo tower dubbed Residences by Armani/Casa in Sunny Isles. Argentine architect Cesar Pelli designed the 260-unit luxury project at 18975 Collins Avenue. The group hopes to finish the tower in 2016.

“Armani/Casa was born from my desire to see my design aesthetic at work in interior spaces,” Armani Group president and CEO Giorgio Armani said in a written statement. “On a project like this where we have the benefit of partnering with a talented architect like Cesar Pelli, we get the opportunity to create something really very

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