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Front Page » Real Estate » Condo helipad? Vault? No problem

Condo helipad? Vault? No problem

Written by on September 11, 2013
Condo helipad? Vault? No problem

There’s luxury and then there’s super luxury, where buyers expect refrigerators in their new homes to come stocked with their favorite delicacies, staff to walk their pampered pooches and drivers to chauffeur them to the airport.

For real estate developers in that market, top-tier amenities and services are a must if they want to attract globetrotting clients used to jet-setting and VIP treatment.

“They like the turnkey concepts, and everyone’s a lot more conscious about providing extraordinary services,” said Mayi de la Vega, founder and CEO of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, which specializes in luxury properties and had $1.2 billion in sales last year. “Now it’s not enough to just build a building. You’ve got to really cater to the super-luxury buyers to differentiate yourself.”

And Miami-Dade developers are keeping pace, offering amenities such as vaults because they acknowledge their buyers are frequent travelers, Ms. de la Vega said.

“You’re providing white-glove concierge services,” she said. “As these luxury buildings go up, developers are very aware of what buyers are demanding. It’s really about embracing the lifestyle that’s important to them.”

At 1000 Museum at 1000 Biscayne Blvd., for example, the plan is to offer Miami’s first private helipad on a residential tower. There’s also a long list of amenities, including a spa, aquatic center, valet, doorman and a system for strategically scenting the building. The most recent sale was for a 4,600-square-foot unit on the 29th floor that sold for $5.25 million. The groundbreaking is set for the first quarter of 2014.

It’s the latest example of movement in the super-luxury market.

This year, the number of properties selling for more than $5 million increased more than 24% from last year, according to data from TrendGraphix, a market research group.

“But the real standout player was the ultra-prime properties priced over $10 million, which saw an impressive 50% increase, with 15 of those properties closing in the first six months of the year,” Ms. de la Vega said.

More “modestly” priced homes also had strong sales. Those priced in the $1 million-plus range had about a 36% spike during that time. And the inventory also fell. The supply of single-family homes and condos priced higher than $1.5 million fell 80% in the past four years, according to data from TrendGraphix.

As developers cater to the super rich, expect to see the area attract leading professionals to create buildings of architectural significance to impress clients who’ve widely traveled, market watchers said.

In a growing trend, more developers are attaching the name of their famous partners to projects. For instance, 1000 Museum has included Pritzker Award-winning architect Zaha Hadid as part of the brand.

It all seems to be working, TrendGraphix’s numbers suggests.

Homes are selling quicker, spending an average of 86 days on the market compared to 97 last year.

“For buyers, the chances of finding a home are down about 25% from this same time last year,” Ms. de la Vega said. “Right now, the inventory has dipped to a sparse four-month supply.”