Bulk buyers swarm Florida’s overbuilt condominiums

MIAMI – Aug. 26, 2009 – Investors are swooping into distressed condominium markets from New York to Las Vegas, with Miami considered ground zero for the trend. The city has more unsold condo units than anywhere else in the country – as many as 10,000 held by developers alone. The glut of unsold inventory is attracting speculators to the area, as is Miami’s growing popularity among the global set.

Since June, five major bulk transactions have closed in South Florida; a total of 10 – encompassing more than 600 units – have closed since July 2008; and several more deals are in the pipeline. Meanwhile, additional deals for multiple units have been carried out via foreclosure auctions.

Despite the draw, bulk investing has not emerged to the extent that analysts had predicted. In fact, more and more individual buyers are driving the transactions. The reason is that while bulk sales can yield discounts of as much as 25 percent off of already-reduced prices, developers and lenders are not lowering the prices enough to bring in all-cash buyers in high numbers.

The prices are low enough, however, to catch the interest of a growing pool of regular home buyers.

Source: Market Investor’s Business Daily (08/21/09) P. A5; Alva, Marilyn