The Miami Herald
Business - South Florida Real Estate
May 28, 2013
South Florida’s Luxury Home Market Sizzles
By Martha Brannigan
The $30-million sale of Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez’s Miami Beach party pad conjures the old adage, “The rich get richer.’’
As South Florida’s housing market continues posting solid price gains, the luxury end is leading the charge with one record breaking sale after another.
"The market is on fire here," said broker Jill Eber of The Jills team at Coldwell Banker, who found the buyers for A-Rod’s house at 4358 N. Bay Rd., Miami Beach.
"The luxury market used to be more seasonal. But now there’s such an influx of people from around the world, some of our biggest sales are happening in summer," said broker Jill Hertzberg of The Jills team, which had $475 million in sales in 2012, a record among Coldwell Banker agents.
The sale of A-Rod’s home set a record for Miami Beach (though below the Miami-Dade record of $47 million for 3 Indian Creek Dr. set last year in the adjacent enclave of Indian Creek Village).
Meanwhile, Friday in Fort Lauderdale, an eight-bedroom, 8 1/2 bath house at 2400 Del Lago Dr. in Harbor Beach sold for $17.5 million including furnishings, a recent Broward County record, according to listing agent Sheryl Hodor of Prudential Florida Realty. The California modern-style mansion boasts 400-feet fronting on the Intracoastal Waterway.
"We’ve seen an increase in prices and demand," said Hodor. When the real estate market crashed, she said, the luxury end took a shorter, shallower dive than much of the market. "High-end sellers can hold onto their property. They usually have two or three. So we didn’t see the decline as much in the high end."
"Last to drop, first to rally," said Beth Butler, president of One Sotheby’s International Realty. "The prices have obviously come back in the luxury tier and have now exceeded their highs." Rodriguez’s sister, Arlene Susy Dunand, who is an agent at One Sotheby’s International Realty, represented her brother in the transaction, which closed May 24.
Rodriguez had bought the North Bay Road site in May 2010 for $7.4 million and custom built the sleek modern home, which has nine bedrooms and 11 1/2 baths with 275 feet of bayfront land overlooking downtown Miami. The home has covered terraces, Zen-style gardens, an outdoor kitchen and rooftop deck.
A-Rod, a three-time American League most valuable player, has been on the Yankees’ disabled list following hip surgery in January, but he’s practicing at the team’s spring training complex in Tampa. He is one of three partners in Coral Gables-based Newport Property Construction, which built the home for about $7.6 million in 2011.
The buyer was Stephen Levin, chairman of Gold Coast Beverage Distributors, a large Doral-based beer distributor, whose wife Petra is a former Miss Germany. Stephen Levin, of Palm Beach, didn’t return phone calls to his office seeking comment.
South Florida ultra-luxury condo prices similarly are hitting lofty new highs.
In March, two penthouse units at the Miami Beach Edition sold for a total of $34 million with plans to combine them into an eight-bedroom, three-level penthouse spanning more than 16,000 square feet of space.