Miami real estate, especially the luxury market, has seen accelerated two-digit growth for the last few years. With the influx of overseas investment, it doesn’t look like it is going to slow down any time soon, either. This rapid rate of growth isn’t just driven by a desire for sunshine and sweeping beaches. Wealthy investors are finding it’s a safe place to keep their money too.
One of the biggest foreign markets flocking to Miami is Argentina. With an economy on the brink once again, money from Buenos Aires is quickly finding itself in one of America’s most booming, and Spanish-friendly markets. In many cases, Argentines are buying condos in Manhattan and Miami sight unseen, in frantic hopes of securing a future for their finances in an economy that saw massive devaluation of its currency just ten years ago. This spending spree has even outpaced the Brazilians, once the biggest Latin investors in North America.
Spurned by 25 percent inflation, renewed turmoil in the Falklands, and political instability, investors from Argentina are finding Miami real estate to be not only good value, but a means to safeguard their wealth. Internationally, Miami and Manhattan are seen as ‘safe havens’ for global wealth. It is almost as if American real estate has become the new Swiss bank account.
It couldn’t come any sooner for the Argentine people. President Christina Kirchner has recently won another term, and her government is doing everything in its power to keep pesos in the country, including limiting how many dollars can be exchanged, imposing huge taxes on overseas credit card spending, and placing dollar sniffing dogs at airports. Another collapse seems imminent, and overseas spending has nearly doubled in the last year. The safest place for affluent Buenos Aires businessmen to keep their wealth is in a 40th floor apartment in Florida.
The Opera Tower in Miami sits mostly empty, even though the majority of its condos have been sold, and over half of them to Argentines, who have paid in cash. With two-bedrooms fetching $650,000, the developer has made it easy for Argentines to invest, by offering rental opportunities, including maintenance and security, and lease-back agreements. With more and more foreign investment flooding into Miami and Manhattan, this model will undoubtedly become a more common practice.
The upcoming elections in Venezuela may have a similar effect. If Chavez is elected once again, Miami can expect a similar influx of capital into its real estate market.
For Further Reading: