Friday, July 8, 2011

Miami, Florida Real Estate Market

The Miami, Florida real estate market continues to be strong on the buyers side, with a large amount of short sales and foreclosures coming forward every week. Prices have held steady in the last 6 months.  In April 2011, 829 homes and condos sold with sales prices that were 89% of the asking price.  The area’s average sales price was $510,000 and the median price was $280,000.  Homes were staying on the market for 128 days on average.

There are currently 42,620 condos and homes for sale in the Miami-Dade County metropolitan area.  In addition, inventory levels continue to rise with many new condos and developments being completed.  These inventory levels should continue to rise for approximately another 12 months.  In the past few years, trends show that January 2008 was the worst month in many years for sales in Miami area.  Still, sales have increased about 12% since the beginning of 2011, even though they are still down 44% from this same time period a year ago.  Pending sales, those units that are currently under contract have increased almost 100% since December 2007, however, this is still 1% lower than a year ago.

Miami continues to be a very attractive area for those looking for real estate as an investment, so long as the buyers can hold property for at least the next 3 to 5 years.  Waterfront property especially will continue to be the best investment for those looking at real estate to increase in value.  Resort areas such as Miami and Miami Beach are always in high demand.  In the next few years, they will continue be highly sought by baby boomers, snowbirds, investors, celebrities, buyers and foreign buyers.  Because the dollar is very weak in Europe, it is likely that there will be increased investment from foreign nationals.  In addition, it is expected to see more investment from other foreign countries where there is political unrest and unstable economies.  There are few major cities in the U.S. that have the appeal of the Miami area, and its location is easily accessible from South America and Europe.  On average, property prices are low when compared to other major cities in the U.S. like New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Top Miami, Florida Restaurants

Miami, Florida is a world class city, and has numerous world class restaurants that feature cuisines from every continent, nation and culture.  A few are quite remarkable, such as Petit Rouge, located at 12409 Biscayne Boulevard in Miami.  This restaurant is truly a gem in the South Florida area, and focuses on French fare with a menu that includes all of the standard offerings.  Petit Rouge is small, with only seating for around 50 people at 20 tables, and so space is tight.  Still, there is a lovely space for outdoor dining.  Reservations are a good idea on the weekends.

The house specialty dishes are fabulous and really shine to highlight the culinary prowess of CIA-trained chef and owner Neal Cooper.  There is truly no bad choice on the menu, and diners should branch out beyond the usual steak frites to get a sense of the exquisite French cuisine.  While prices may seem steep, it should be noted that portions are larger than typical French dishes.

The Miami Spice menu is a great place to start for first timers.  For a starter, the Classic Escargot should not be missed, with its eight plump escargot swimming in an aromatic sauce of garlic, parsley and butter.  The Mussels are an excellent choice as an entrĂ©e.  They are firm and succulent, cooked in a Provencal sauce that is a light broth with onions, white wine and delicate spices.  The sauce is a wonderful accompaniment to use for dipping their freshly baked baguette. The Mussels are served with crisp, perfectly cooked fries.

Another unique spot for Miami dining is at Buena Vista Bistro, located at 4582 NE 2nd Avenue.  While a
little off the beaten path, it is an excellent and charming restaurant that is not to be missed.  The staff is helpful and the rotating menu always features fresh and tasty options for all cuisines and palates.  Buena Vista Bistro is a comfortable and unpretentious cafe, with sophisticated and flavorful dishes.

Local favorites include the Scallop Carpaccio, a light and fresh option for lunch.  The Crab Cakes are perfectly prepared and allow the flavor of the crab to come through wonderfully.  The Rib Eye Steak is grilled to perfection, the Sweet and Sour Tuna is fabulous, and the Seared Scallops have an exceptionally golden finish without the least bit of chewiness.  For dessert, don’t miss the Profiteroles with delectable chocolate sauce and the Creme Brulee is decadently creamy with just the right crust of caramelized sugar on top.