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BY Michael Light / On March 5, 2024

Today is 305 Day. Miami’s official hype day. For those who are new to The 305, this is the unofficial Miami Day named after our signature area code. Miami actually became The 305 back in 1947 along with the rest of Florida, but over the years it became a Miami thing as population grew. Those were the days.

As Miamians, we love finding reasons to celebrate, even if we are celebrating an area code. As proof, there are endless ways to celebrate 305 Day. Budget-friendly travelers can purchase flights from Miami International for $30.50. Axios Miami embraces things we love about our city (and things that annoy us too). If you do not find a 305 Cafecito at 3:05 on 3/05, I really don’t know what to tell you. Your loyalty to the city will be in question. We are our own best hype men (and women).

Kenneth Griffin’s Gift

One of the newer Miami hype men in town, Citadel’s Kenneth Griffin, made a very generous $50 million gift to the University of Miami. The funds will go toward research and cancer treatments for Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the gift is among the 10 largest health-related philanthropic gifts over the last decade in Florida, according to UM.

During the 305 Day ceremony Griffin said, “I was born in Florida, I will die in Florida. This will be my home. I will do everything I can to help make this truly one of the greatest cities in the world.”

He also expressed pride in having a 305 phone number and politely declined the offer to be named Mr. 305. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava bestowed the honor to him, however he stated that Puerto Rican rapper Pitbull will always be Mr. 305.

Ken Griffin Miami
Ken Griffin Miami

How Is Miami Really Doing?

The fanfare for 305 Day is indeed fun, but there have been some very real concerns voiced recently when the topic of the Magic City is brought up. Is there truth behind our hype, with regard to our luxury real estate market? Let’s have a look at the truth behind the comments from some of our critics.

Miami Is Overpriced.

This comment has been around since the beginning of time, but the fact of the matter is very simple. The market determines the price. Developers do not determine pricing from thin air. The properties are priced at the amount they will sell for. Since our market is thriving, inventory is being absorbed quickly, that is a clear indicator that the inventory is priced correctly.

Granted, there are some listings that lag on the market. These are the listings that are either priced incorrectly or they need a specific type of buyer (i.e. a buyer who is willing to take the time and effort to renovate). Turnkey properties that are well priced are being absorbed incredibly quickly.

Miami is Not Affordable. 

I will not argue with some folks who have been around Miami for many years that prices have increased substantially. There was a time not so long ago where it was unheard of to charge $500/square foot in Brickell. According to the 2024 Douglas Elliman | Knight Frank Wealth Report, which is released tomorrow, the average price in Miami is currently over $1,500 per square foot. Prices rose 6.5% in the last year alone, with no sign of retreat and no matter what happens with interest rates.

While this is a steep jump, it is also a realistic one. Both the neighborhoods and the real estate products that are offered today are far more elevated compared to what was offered 15 years ago. Once COVID cleared and people were no longer tied geographically to particular areas, a mass migration began and has not stopped. Miami simply offers the climate, culture, financial climate, and lifestyle to attract the global elite. Despite the increases, Miami is still far more affordable than leading global cities.

How Much Real Estate Does $1 Million Buy In Miami

Miami is in a bubble. 

I can see where skeptics would claim that we are in a bubble, except that this rapid and dramatic growth is sustainable. The Citadel effect is market-changing from an evolutionary standpoint. Their company motto is Citadel – Identifying the Highest and Best Uses of Capital. Their move was highly calculated and they are laying deep roots in the community.

Citadel founder Ken Griffin even said as stated above, “I was born in Florida, I will die in Florida. This will be my home. I will do everything I can to help make this truly one of the greatest cities in the world.”

Those are not the words of a company chief who is relocating just for a tax break, only to relocate again when the political climate changes. Their temporary office space is not even complete and the entire tri-county area is waiting for renderings of their new $1B waterfront headquarters that will soon be built at 1201 Brickell Bay Drive in the Financial District. Citadel is here to stay along with their ancillary companies and all of the brilliant minds that keep that machine going.

The only aspect of the new market that is showing signs of strain is the infrastructure Miami is working with at the moment. We were not equipped for such an influx of luxury buyers. Private schools are at capacity for instance, creating a highly competitive arena and causing some moves to be delayed. This is getting rectified as quickly as possible, but it is a small growing pain that we are experiencing.

Miami has an oversupply of new luxury condo developments.

I do agree that there is a lot of product to choose from, and it can be overwhelming to the untrained eye. There are so many beautiful projects with exclusive amenities, but to those of us who live and breathe Miami condos, there are distinct differences. We can help you to sort through the projects to identify the view you have in mind as well as the layout and amenity mix that fits your expection.

While there is a lot of supply, that does not mean oversupply. The projects are selling quickly and people are migrating from all over. The city is still very affordable compared to other elite cities and so remains very much in demand. With the finance and tech sectors booming, we will continue to see our population increase.

Rendering of Bentley Residences Dezervator Sunny Isles Miami
Rendering of Bentley Residences Dezervator Sunny Isles Miami | Image Courtesy of Dezer Properties

Gil Dezer, the developer behind super-luxury towers in Sunny Isles Beach, addresses these issues specifically with The Real Deal. Even Californians are relocating to Miami. Dezer is behind such towers as Porsche Design Tower, Bentley Residences Sunny Isles and Armani/Casa. Bentley Residences broke ground last week. It is currently over 50% sold with prices starting in the $5 million range. He expects delivery in 2027.

Truth or Hype?

Miamians love hype. We love to hype our city. 305 till we die!

While you will never be at a loss for hype in Miami, this time there is a mountain of truth behind the hype.

Happy 305 Day! Dale!

If you, or someone you know, would like to purchase or sell real estate in Miami or Miami Beach, please contact me, Michael Light, Founder/Owner of the Light Group at Douglas Elliman Real Estate. I am a resident of Coconut Grove and have direct knowledge of the local real estate market including insider/unreleased tips.  You may reach me directly at my CocoWalk office at 305-350-9842, on my cell phone at 786-566-1700 or via email at michael@vp500.com.

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