Thursday, November 3, 2016 / by Jordana Tobel
The State of the South Florida Real Estate Market, How Will the Election Impact the Market, Downtown Boca & More
November 2, 2016. Today, I attended an event that discussed the state of the South Florida Real Estate Market at the renowned Addison, hosted by Douglas Elliman and Penn-Florida. The panel of guest speakers included:
- Mayor of Boca Raton, Susan Haynie
- Jonathan Miller (President and CEO of Miller Samuel Inc, a real estate appraisal and consulting firm)
- Jay Parker (CEO of Douglas Elliman Florida’s Brokerage)
- Senada Adzem (Executive Director of Luxury Sales at Douglas Elliman)
It was a good-looking and well-dressed crowd mostly made up of realtors interested in selling the new Residences at Mandarin Oriental just a block away, built by Penn-Florida, marketed by Douglas Elliman. I must admit I was energized and inspired when leaving the event which reviewed many exciting things happening in our very own city of Boca Raton.
As the broker owner of Premier Listings, just a few blocks away from both the Addison and the Via Mizner project (including the Residences at Mandarin Oriental, the Mandarin Oriental hotel and 101 Via Mizner Luxury Apartments), I am thrilled to be in the middle of it all. I would summarize the conversation with the following words:
Let me explain more on each topic:
Luxury. Clearly the panel is motivated to discuss the growth of luxury since after all the event was put on by Penn-Florida, developers of the Via Mizner project including the Residences at Mandarin Oriental, with prices ranging from $1.8 to $7 million. The truth is that Boca Raton is experiencing a surge in growth, particularly in the downtown area. My favorite comment of the event was when Mayor Susan Haynie stated, in response to the idea that some residents are resisting recent growth and want a return to being a “sleepy little town,” that “maybe those people should go to Sebastian.” This statement solidifies the reality of what is happening, which is that Boca is on fire. CEO Jay Parker went on to state that there are no qualms about the identity of Boca Raton: Boca is known for luxury and lifestyle. It is not what it once was – the city that everyone visited to see their grandparents. One of the panel members even compared Boca Raton to a fine wine, meaning that the city has matured to a higher quality.
Lifestyle. The decision on where to live is increasingly being driven by lifestyle. There are currently 1000 people moving to Florida daily. Much of this is because of what is known as a "resort lifestyle," including golf, tennis and beach options. The old notion of “sand-only,” referring to out-of-towners considering Florida with the mentality that either they move to the beach or not at all, is gone. Additionally, the golf community trend is dissipating (with 800 golf courses closed over the last 10 years, and another 800 expected to close in the next 5 years.) Instead, people moving to South Florida are interested in a more comprehensive community.
Community. Today’s buyers are interested in having access to places that are within walking distance, in a “livable walkable” community. This idea brings us back to the expansion of downtown Boca Raton and of course the Via Mizner complex. The trend seems to be moving away from golf communities and towards a younger generation interested in family activities. This can be seen in the average age for membership at the Boca Resort, which is now 48, while only ten years ago it was 68, a full twenty years older.
Expansion. There is a new need to appeal to people of different generations in the city of Boca Raton. People moving from New York City and its suburbs stand to save anywhere between 8-13% in tax savings alone. The city of Boca Raton has an assessed value of $21 billion, one of the highest values for any city in Florida, thus translating to a low millage tax rate. This high value is what helps keep our medians manicured and our parks picture perfect. Of course, the question of the election was brought up, to which Parker replied that while he wasn’t taking a political stance, the reality is that if Hillary Clinton takes office, taxes will increase and cause even more of a drive to the South Florida region. On a separate note, there was a comment made that Boca Raton has become a competitor with the Hamptons as a weekend spot for New Yorkers.
Overall, the general feeling is that everyone wants to live here in Boca Raton. And you know what? I agree: Boca Raton has it all – community, culture, good weather, great education, and a downtown area to top it off. I am lucky enough to call downtown "home," with an office smack in the middle of it all. We are located in Royal Palm Place. Please stop by and say hello next time you are having a beer at Biergarten, a coffee at Saquella, or a crepe at Crepe Café.