62 condos sold in Miami weekend auction–maybe

The San Lorenzo Tower

Individual buyers bid an average of $121 per square foot – nearly double the minimum asking price but 44 percent below the original construction loan amount – on 65 unsold units in the first auction of a new Miami condo tower in more than three years, says blogger Peter Zalewski, a broker in the upscale Bal Harbour section of Miami.

More than 300 people showed up at the Hyatt Regency Miami Hotel in downtown Miami (and an unknown number of additional investors went online) to participate in the April 10 auction of the units in the San Lorenzo condominium.  The building is a few miles west of the Little Havana neighborhood.

It is unclear how many of the units will actually go to closing since the auction was contingent upon approval by the developer and the lender.  The developer’s lender is owed approximately $216 per square foot, according Miami-Dade County records.  Commented Zalewski, a principal with the aptly named firm, Condo Vultures:

“After all of the advertising and marketing efforts, the auction worked to simply reinforce the estimated market value of new condo product in the Little Havana area.  We anticipated retail prices for the product to come in about where it did at the auction, excluding the 5 percent buyer premium to be paid to the auctioneer for hosting the event.

“It will be interesting to see how many of the winning bids will be accepted by the developer and lender, and then ultimately end up closing.”

Truer words. . .

Even if the bids are ultimately accepted – which wasn’t the case when 54 units of the Solaria in the Riverdale section of the Bronx went on the block last Nov. 22 – it is not clear whether the bids represented a bargain: Although the prices of Miami condos have plummeted and then slightly recovered, experts are saying the worst may be yet to come.

Still, by New York City standards, the prices are tempting.  And if you were to buy with with a view to hanging onto the property for some years while indulging in “early bird” dining, perhaps you should give it a shot.

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201

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