“It used to happen, but COVID-19 has accelerated it: Due to Florida’s ‘business friendliness’, schools and businesses have remained open. People knew they could expect more continuity there,” she explains. “This reasoning has taken over, beyond the tax advantages, for three or four months.”
Branded residences continue to gain ground
The boom in hotel-branded residences will continue into 2022, with The Standard, Waldorf Astoria, Mandarin Oriental and E11EVEN all developing new residential properties in South Florida. (The area is already home to high-end homes from Ritz-Carlton, W Hotels and Four Seasons, among others.)
But now other brands are also entering the arena, with automotive, fashion and even restaurant groups partnering with developers. According to Sotheby’s International Realty’s 2022 Luxury Outlook Report, some 130 companies are already pursuing this type of investment, and at least 40 more will enter the category in the coming years.
Several months ago, Bentley Motors announced the launch of its first dedicated residences, a 216-unit tower in Sunny Isles Beach, with sales starting at $4.2 million. The British luxury carmaker is following a path already taken by Porsche, Aston-Martin and Pininfarina.
“Even though it’s not a hotel company, with a known brand, you know what you’re getting,” Stribling-Kivlan told AD PRO. “When you think ‘Porsche’, you think ‘beautiful sleek design.’ You know they deliver a great product. Everything they do is reflected in their name. There is a sense of security knowing that you are going to have something built to the highest standard.
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These developments aren’t just for show, says Oliver Essex, senior sales associate at Qatar Sotheby’s International Realty. “For non-hotel brands, residences are a way to diversify their business model and expand guest relationships,” he says. “If you advertise the residential product, it attracts people who like the brand. It’s not just an apartment; it is quite an experience.
Fashion companies are also eager to get involved with South Florida properties: the all-new Diesel Wynwood Condominium sees the Italian design firm launch its first-ever luxury residential venture, with 159 residences north of downtown from Miami. Units will range from studios to three-bedroom penthouses. He joins Giorgio Armani, Fendi and Missoni in brand residencies at The Magic City.
Properties like these are “an easy crutch for developers to lean on,” says UrbanDigs’ Walkup. “Don’t trust me, trust the brand. And it can also mean that the lobby was made by Tommy Hilfiger, Karl Lagerfeld or Ralph Lauren.
Including as many amenities as possible will be the name of the game for luxury residences, Sykes says, with condominiums increasingly resembling resorts: “You can get anything you want — dog grooming, hair salons , restaurants, bowling alleys — building exit. Today, we lean towards the familiar and the safe.
Not only that, but many luxury buyers are looking for ways to connect to local communities, through transport, beach clubs and access to cultural institutions.
Unusual equipment in Stribling-Kivlan has risen to the top of buyers’ wish lists, especially in climates where ice and snow can be a plague: heated driveways and streets. “With everyone feeling so much pressure, it’s just a little way to make life a little easier,” she says.
Pandemic-related supply chain issues have also made turnkey furnished properties a must-have for luxury buyers in 2022.
“There’s a huge premium for single-family homes and turnkey condos,” Sykes says, as the prospect of remodeling during a pandemic is an exit for many. And many buyers are willing to shell out for it, offering 20-30% more than for properties in need of renovation.
The Growing Influence of Cryptocurrency in the Market
Last April, a Beverly Hills mega-mansion with a 20-foot water wall and a 2,000-bottle wine cellar went on the market for $65 million, or its Bitcoin equivalent. Then, a month later, a Miami penthouse made headlines when it sold for the equivalent of $22.5 million in cryptocurrency.