Miami Condos Sell To Russians, Struggle With Condo Fees
About a month ago in an article on the slumping real estate market in Miami I said "maybe this is the time for Miami developers to reach out to Russian investors looking for a place to wait out the winter chill." Looks like that's exactly what's been happening. The Moscow Times reports on the efforts to pitch luxury condos in Miami to the rich in Moscow. At a Philippe Starck-designed restaurant in Moscow, the wealthy heard sales pitches for Florida properties including three high-rise towers designed by Starck and the Trump Hollywood in Hollywood, Florida. The U.S. luxury construction firm The Related Group, hosted the shindig and are also looking for buyers in Britain, Canada and Central and South America.
Let's hope they get lucky, the Miami Herald had more grim news yesterday, reporting that many high-rises are in trouble because condo owners aren't paying their community fees. This in turn causes trouble for those remaining in the buildings who must either pay more in fees or live with reduced services. Just how bad is it? Check out this scary info from a recent Internet survey of 487 Florida condo and homeowner associations by the Hollywood-based law firm of Becker & Poliakoff. They say that around half of mortgage foreclosures put a burden on an association's finances and 37% have raised fees to cover the shortfall. Extrapolate that out to the over 7,000 condo associations in Miami-Dade and Broward counties and you can see that this is a huge problem. It also means that people may be more likely to buy in to condo buildings because even though the unit price is now lower the monthly fees can be nearly as much as a mortgage in some cases.