South Florida Real Estate Blog - MMD Realty

The residential market in Miami has completed its most first-quarter residential sales over 8 years, a new report shows.

Coastal communities in Miami posted a combined 5,133 closed sales during the first quarter for a year-over-year gain of nearly 4 percent, according to the latest Elliman report from Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Miami's year-over-year median sale price rose 16.1 percent to $244,000. Homes and condos spent an average of just 60 days on the market, the fastest in the eight years that Douglas Elliman has produced their quarterly report, they said.

Fort Lauderdale's year-over-year luxury condo and townhome median sale prices jumped 28.6 percent to more than $1.1 million, while luxury single-family prices rose 32.7 percent to nearly

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Fashion icon Tommy Hilfiger has officially purchased the Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach for $56.5 million.

Hilfiger closed on the acquisition of the 105 room hotel at 1775 Collins Avenue on Friday, according to Miami-Dade County records. The seller, a partnership between W South Beach developer David Edelstein and sbe founder and CEO Sam Nazarian, paid $55 million for the two-property site in December 2012. Nazarian's company, sbe, is staying on-board to manage the hotel.

This will be Hilfiger's first incursion into the hospitality industry. A major renovation for the hotel is expected to begin very soon.

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Once a life boat for struggling homeowners in a sinking housing market, short sales are now on a significant decline, according to a new analysis by CoreLogic.

The report conducted by the market analytics company showed that Palm Beach County had only 83 short sales in February, a whopping 52 percent decline over the same period in 2013, a possible indicator that these types of transactions may be on the way out.

The report credits the drop to rising home equity. About 26 percent of county borrowers have underwater mortgages, down from 43 percent in 2011. On top of that, Congress did not extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, which was first used in 2007 to save homeowners thousands on their taxes by exempting forgiven debt as income.

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The millions of dollars spent on marketing the Sunshine State is paying off. 

The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association recently released an annual report that the state received revenue per available room of $79.34, high above the national average of $68.59. Florida tourism revenue is up 8.3 percent from 2012 to 2013 compared to 5.4 percent for the rest of the U.S.

Florida has consistently led the nation when it comes to comparing hotel occupancy rates, average daily room rates, and revenue per available room, which is calculated by room revenue divided by rooms available. The data compares hotel occupancy rates from 2010-2013 with the national average, which has consistently shown Florida in the lead.

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Fort Lauderdale-based Spirit Airlines is ready to finalize a deal to begin service at Miami International Airport, with reported plans to become the airport's second-largest carrier.

Spirit has been in negotiations with Miami-Dade county officials for nearly a year, but agreed to terms at a meeting last week. While so far, nothing has been signed, it is simply a matter of finalizing the paperwork according to sources closely connected with both parties.

Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza, CFO Ted Christie, General Counsel Thomas Canfield, Vice President Jake Filene, and attorney Javier Vazquez have all registered in Miami-Dade county as lobbyists on behalf of the airline within the past week.

The airline will continue to serve Fort Lauderdale while

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It has been several months since Bravo announced they would be expanding their wildly successful Million Dollar Listing franchise to Miami and they have finally gone public with the cast.

The network announced earlier this week that Samantha DeBianchi, of Fort Lauderdale-based DeBianchi Real Estate, and Douglas Elliman Real Estate's Chad Carrol and Chris Leavitt are the three brokers to be features on the show, which premieres this summer. World of Wonder Productions is the producer of the Miami edition of the show. Bravo is betting big on the Miami series to emulate the popular New York and Los Angeles versions.

"With a surging market in South Florida, properties are selling for record rates and agents are cashing in on massive commissions like

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Homes priced between $250,000 and $500,000 in Miami-Dade and Broward counties enjoyed a 35 percent jump in sales from 2012 to 2013, according to new reports.

Miami-Dade's residential market totaled 31,909 transactions in 2013, an increase of 8 percent from 2012. The county's average per square foot sale price rose 8.3 percent to $273.

Broward County recorded 29,952 transactions in 2013 for a gain of just under 6 percent from 2012. Prices per square foot in the county increased 15.3 percent from 2012 to $155.

With an average sale price per square foot of $1,692, La Gorce Island was Miami-Dade's priciest residential market in 2013. Hilsboro Beach was Broward's most expensive, selling at an average of $919 per square foot.

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Early returns are coming in for the state's mortgage reduction program.

The average Florida homeowner approved for the program is receiving $41,950 to pay down their home loans. However, thousands of applicants are still waiting after the initiative was announced.

A total of $350 million was set aside for the principal reduction program, one of five that fall under the state's $1 billion Hardest Hit housing assistance initiative. Approved homeowners are eligible to receive up to $50,000 through a five-year forgivable loan.

In Palm Beach County, only about 150 of 2,100 applicants have been approved so far.

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South Florida counties report significant declines in distressed home sales in 2013.

Palm Beach County's residential sector had just under 3,600 short sales or foreclosure transactions in 2013, accounting for 23 percent of the county's single-family home sales. These sales represented 29 percent of the county's transactions in 2012. For condos, 20 percent of sales involved a distressed loan in 2013, down from 24 percent the previous year.

Broward County reported 4,640 short sales and foreclosure transactions last year, representing 31 percent of all single-family purchases. This is down from the 43 percent of the sector's transactions that were reported for 2012.

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Florida homeowners are set to receive $9.2 billion in relief through the National Mortgage Settlement.

The state attorney general's office announced the nation's largest banks honored their obligations under the settlement last week. The agreement was originally reached in February 2012. It allowed lenders to atone for some of their foreclosure-related practices after the housing market collapsed.

Of the nearly 632,000 mortgage holders nationwide to get reimbursed, 120,000 are located in Florida. A total of $50.4 billion in relief was provided by the lenders. Florida got a special guarantee promising $4 billion in principal reductions, mortgage modifications, and refinancing.

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