School-Sponsored Forum Reveals Bright Future, But Near-Term Challenges for South Florida Real Estate
July 09, 2008
The forum brought together 12 leaders from the region’s development, banking, government, and education sectors, representing such firms as The Related Group, Carlisle Development Group, Ponce Circle Developers, CB Richard Ellis, BankUnited and Condo.com, among others. It was moderated by Rene Sacasas, director of real estate programs at the UM School of Business Administration and included dozens of invited guests in the audience. The assessments made during the forum are detailed in a report available at www.bus.miami.edu/realestate and include such views as:
- Although the fundamentals are strong in commercial real estate and new development continues, the rise in unemployment and downsizing in banking and other industries will pose challenges for the office sector in South Florida.
- The weak dollar will have an impact on foreign investment in the South Florida commercial, residential and vacation real estate sectors; the growth rate of foreign investment is beginning to slow.
- Although there are positive signs from buyers in the residential sector, as indicated by the Web traffic on Condo.com, the difficulty in obtaining financing is hampering that side of the Miami and South Florida real estate market.
- Miami maintains a competitive edge in international business and will continue to do so with its expertise in moving goods to and from Latin America and with Asia becoming a key link in the trading pattern.
- In some parts of the South Florida commercial sector, buyers “knock your door down” to get space, and are willing to pay $750 per square foot.
Participants in the real estate forum, held on April 30, 2008, included Matthew Allen, executive vice president and COO of The Related Group; Charles Bohl, director of the Masters in Real Estate Development and Urbanism program at the University of Miami School of Architecture; John Dellagloria, general counsel for the Community Development Agency of the City of Palm Bay, Fla.; Matthew Greer, CEO of the Carlisle Development Group; Andrea Heuson, professor of finance at the University of Miami School of Business; Manuel Lasaga, president and co-founder of Strategic Information Analysis Inc.; Julian Perez, a senior program manager and urban planner; Rafael “Ralph” Sanchez, president of Ponce Circle Developers LLC; Matthew Shore, director of acquisitions at DRA Advisors; Scott Sime, managing director at CB Richard Ellis; Richard Swerdlow, founder and CEO of Condo.com; and Clay Wilson, executive vice president of commercial real estate at BankUnited.
An executive summary detailing the discussion, along with transcript excerpts and slide presentations, is available at www.bus.miami.edu/realestate. A hardcopy report will also be available.