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High-End High Times

This South Beach condo recently sold for $25 million. In just the first six months of the year, 400 condos priced at $1 million or more sold.

Is Miami-Dade County already experiencing another condo boom -- this time strictly in the luxury market?

During the first half of the year, some 400 condos worth at least $1 million each sold in just the resale market alone, according to CondoVultures.com.

That’s up 7.8% from the same time last year. Even more remarkably, the median per-square-foot price hit $699. Prices in the luxury market haven’t been near that number since 2007.

Eye-catching individual deals have accented the luxury boom, including the recent $25-million sale of a condo on South Beach and three sales of more than $10 million at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Residences.

Many buyers are foreign — from Latin America, Russia and Europe. For most, the units are investment properties or second homes.

“If I’m an investor, I can buy a new unit that was built during the boom … for a cheaper price than new construction,” says Peter Zalewski, principal of CondoVultures.com. He notes that there are 10 condo towers already under construction east of I-95 from Miami to northern Palm Beach County. Developers have proposed another 35, including one in South Beach with prices at about $1,500 per square foot.

Cash is king, too. Although Zalewski doesn’t have updated statistics, he says that a year ago, a CondoVultures study found some 80% of the condo transactions in the county were all cash. Plus, he notes, “there’s typically about a 15% to 20% premium that someone is likely to pay if their offer is based on financing.”

January-June Luxury Condo Resales (Miami-Dade)

Year Units Sold % Change Median Price Per Sq. Ft. % Change
2007 343 19.9% $668 7.2%
2008 300 -12.5% $661 -1.0%
2009 178 -40.7% $599 -9.4%
2010 272 52.8% $593 -1.0%
2011 371 36.4% $640 7.9%
2012 400 7.8% $699 9.2%
Source: CondoVultures.com