Monday, June 23, 2014

Latin Encourage Construction in Miami

Crossing the bridge from the Brickell area to downtown Miami, softens land a punch against Biscayne Bay while twenty workers with protective helmets load long iron rods in the place where another tower is built.

After five years of inactivity by the housing crisis of the late 2000s, the construction of buildings in Miami flight has risen again from the very wealthy Latin American buyers, mainly from Argentina, Venezuela and Brazil, seeking to diversify their investments and protect their savings buying expensive new properties in a city where you feel comfortable and safe.

There are 21 buildings under construction and preconstruction in the area, with a total of just over 6,700 apartments, according to a Miami Report ISG report, published in February. The average value of each unit is $ 400,000, but some duplexes in the most luxurious buildings in the area are offered at over 20 million.

Just over 60% of international buyers of South Florida are in Latin America, mainly from Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil, according to a 2013 report from the Association of Realtors in Miami. The rest are Canadians, Europeans? German, French, Spanish? and Russian, among others. There are cases in which 80% of buyers of a building are Latin American.

"It is thanks to the construction marketplace has started back," said Diego Ojeda, vice president of Rilea Group, a construction company that resumed their work in the area in January this year with the construction of a 44-story building in the heart Brickell.

"If there (the Latin American buyer) would be dead," he said, meanwhile, Liliana Gomez, director of international sales at ISG, a company dedicated to marketing products to build luxury South Florida.

Latin Americans, who helped the market at first buying cash condominiums whose values ​​fell on the floor during the crisis, are now building a new form of financing apartment building in South Florida brought by the Melo Group of Argentina.

Is payable in advance up to 70% of the cost of the property, in a phased manner. The rest can be paid in cash or financed by builders or bank once the department has been delivered. It is a system used for some time in some countries in the region, including Argentina, but again in Florida.

Local buyers, explained to the AP several experts, can not access these apartments as banks are not offering them funding as a result of the crisis and they do not have cash to make required deposits by builders.

Alicia Cervera Lamadrid, the realtor sells condos over a dozen buildings preconstruction area, estimated that between 60 and 70% of the buyers of those properties in the center and the financial district are Latin American, and Americans rest and Europeans.

"Many people buy to rent, to have an income, and believes in the appreciation of fine ... Miami continues to improve and then imagine it will be one of the great cities of the world and sees it as a good place to put your silver, "said Carlos Rosso, president of the condominium division of Related Group of Florida, which had losses of about 1,000 million dollars in 2008, during the housing crisis.

Related, whose projects were resumed in late 2010 after two years without building anything, has 15 works in the Miami area under construction or in preconstruction approval process levels. All were funded with deposits of at least 50% of the buyers, who are 80% of Latin America, Rosso said.

Other Latin Americans use the apartments to vacation or live there part of the year, according to interviews with experts and owners.

Alyce Robertson, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority of Miami, known as DDA by name in English, explained that buyers prefer the Latin American financial and downtown Miami area by urban life, the restaurants, the possibility of walk the streets safely, or to opt for a public transport route as the train or tram, and cultural offerings of museums and theaters, plus the warm weather and the proximity and ease of travel to their countries offering city.

These were the reasons that convinced the Venezuelan Nelly Fernandez to buy a two bedroom apartment for $ 390,000 in building boutique Le Parc Brickell area even before construction began.

In late 2013 I made a first deposit of 10% thinking it might make the apartment with her three daughters aged 24, 19 and 18, or rent if the monthly maintenance costs were very high.

"What am I threat (in Caracas) is the issue of insecurity," said the real estate agent of 53 years, often traveling on vacation to the city at least three times per year.

"I bought in Miami because I like the city, in case you need to move the situation in the country," Fernandez said, referring to the climate of social unrest in Venezuela. He explained that the investment made with money I had saved on a U.S. bank before the Venezuelan government imposed control regulations buying the dollar in February 2003.

"People buy because they nationalized their own country, they attack, they put taxes, no public insecurity," said Arturo Porzecanski, director of the Program for International Economic Relations at the American University in Washington. In some Latin American countries, the academic said in a recent phone interview with the AP, "There are all kinds of disincentives to investment and hence a number of incentives to invest abroad open."

Both Argentina and Venezuela there is a strong change control and restrictions to take dollars abroad, but that does not prevent capital flight.

In the past 10 years have left Venezuela 144.900 billion, according to estimates by consulting EcoanalĂ­tica based on official figures.

In Argentina, capital flight nearly doubled since 2002, when it amounted to 90,000 million, reaching 180,000 million 2012, according to information from the National Institute of Statistics and Census, an official entity. The authorities have even admitted that total offshore wealth could be much higher: 400,000 million.

Porzecanski and other experts consulted by the AP explained that some of those who buy apartments in Miami do with dollars that were already in foreign banks or other investment money already held in the United States.

"All quarters out billions of dollars in these countries. There are many ways to remove them, some buy dollars from the central bank, other under-invoicing exports or over-invoicing imports," said the academic, but warned that there is no national law that prohibit or discourage the purchase of assets abroad, whether in stocks, bonds, or real estate.

The embassies of Venezuela and Argentina did not respond to emails from the AP to discuss the issue.

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