State of the South Florida Luxury Real Estate Market from Miami to Palm Beach Holding Strong


Two South Florida Real Estate annual conferences were held recently in Miami, The Real Deal South Florida Showcase & Forum at Mana Wynwood and Haute Residence Luxury Real Estate Summit at Bentley Residences Showroom.

Industry movers and shakers spoke on numerous panels sharing their views on the state of the South Florida real estate market.  The consensus seems to be that South Florida luxury real estate is holding strong, unlike the rest of America and the world.

The Real Deal Showcase
The Real Deal Showcase

Florida has seen the largest migration of people in the past few years and Miami and Palm Beach have been the biggest beneficiaries. As always, the year-round sunshine and favorable lifestyle/quality or life have been a draw. Plus, Florida being an income tax-free state fuels the movement here. Financial firms and tech companies are moving here in droves.

The Real Deal Showcase Booth
The Real Deal Showcase Booth

Miami has been nicknamed ‘Silicone Beach’ attracting many tech companies from out-of-state, especially California where state taxes are high. Palm Beach has been coined ‘Wall Street South’ with so many hedge funds moving there.  Miami also got a big win with one of the biggest hedge funds, Citadel relocating their headquarters to Miami from Chicago. And the baby boomers and many snowbirds are packing their bags permanently for the Sunshine State.

Leaders in Innovation & Design Panel
Leaders in Innovation & Design Panel

The buying frenzy has normalized a bit in South Florida, but no big price declines yet. The bigger problem is lack of available inventory.  Demand far exceeds supply in South Florida in the luxury sector. There just aren’t enough luxury condos or homes for sale to meet the demand. The labor shortage and materials supply back-up, mean completion of new construction developments to help fill the supply pipeline will be delayed. And even rents have skyrocketed with limited supply. All these factors contribute to keeping South Florida Real Estate strong.

The commercial market is also booming in Miami with so many companies moving here. Palm Beach commercial market has become a bit more saturated. However, with so many companies moving to South Florida, both markets for commercial real estate are still strong.

It all boils down to economics 101 regarding supply and demand. As long as demand stays greater than supply in South Florida, the real estate market will remain hot.

Titans of Miami Panel
Titans of Miami Panel

Below are some of the highlights from both recent real estate conferences.


Haute Residences Summit was a more private, VIP gathering of real estate movers and shakers.  It was held at The Bentley Residences beachfront sales lounge in Sunny Isles Beach, being developed by Gil Dezer of Dezer Development. Other completed Dezer Sunny Isles developments include Armani Residences and Porsche Residences which include the “Dezervator” invention to bring cars right up to owner’s condos via a special car elevator.

Bentley Car in Bentley Residences Lounge
Bentley Car in Bentley Residences Lounge

The summit had a variety of panels including the “South Florida Power Brokers Panel” and “Leaders in Innovation and Design” giving those in attendance the inside scoop on the dynamic South Florida luxury real estate market. Each panel was a unique and informative learning and networking experience for all involved. A gourmet lunch was served oceanside with fine wines and the inside lounge had liquid libations flowing all day long.

Bentley Sales Lounge Exterior
Bentley Sales Lounge Exterior

The summit kicked off with the “Titans of Miami” panel featuring Gil Dezer, president of Dezer Development; Louis Birdman, owner of Birdman Real Estate Development; Edgardo Defortuna, president and CEO of Fortune International Group; Michael Stern, Founder and CEO of JDS Development Group; and Dan Kodsi, CEO of Royal Palm Companies.

Titans of Miami Developers
Titans of Miami Developers

These titans led a very interesting panel talking about the future of Miami real estate.

April Donelson, Haute Living & Gil Dezer, Dezer Development
April Donelson, Haute Living & Gil Dezer, Dezer Development

Below are some of the best take-away from the Haute Residence Luxury Real Estate Summit:

“Today it’s less about the brand and more about the lifestyle. The brand gets the customer in the door, but at the end of the day, it is all about the lifestyle.”  Louis Birdman

“Don’t just slap a name brand on the building. Put the brand design integrity into the building.” Gil Dezer

“The luxury buyer is a cash buyer so they are not affected by the interest rates.” Dan Kodsi

“For the high-net-worth buyer, it is all about allocation of assets. They can pull some money out of the stock market and buy real estate as a hedge.” Louis Birdman

“It’s economics 101, supply versus demand. Prices are not coming down and the market is not cooling off as long as demand is greater than supply.”  Dan Kodsi

“The future of luxury is about health and sustainability, less about showing off anymore.” Michael Stern

“Health is the new wealth. The wellness sector is growing exponentially.” Dan Kodsi

“Buy now and wait. Don’t wait to buy. Things won’t get cheaper.” Edgardo Defortuna

“Miami is an international brand known worldwide.” Dan Kodsi

“Miami is the most insulated real estate market in the world.” Dan Kodsi

“Buyers want everything in their homes now: gym, office, kid’s playroom.” Oren Alexander, The Alexander Team

“Time over time for centuries, real estate always appreciates.” Richard Steinberg, Compass


The Real Deal South Florida Showcase & Forum is an annual event that draws a huge cross-section of the real estate industry.  This year 4500 real estate professionals attended along with 25 panelists of top industry leaders and 100 sponsor participants.

Miami Development Movers & Shakers Panel, Stuart Elliott, Carlos Rosso, Bruce Eichner, & Arnaud Karsenti
Miami Development Movers & Shakers Panel, Stuart Elliott, Carlos Rosso, Bruce Eichner, & Arnaud Karsenti

It was held at Mana Wynwood Convention Center owned by serial entrepreneur, Moishe Mana, and landowner of major parcels in downtown Miami. Attendees packed the venue, networked, listened, learned and checked out real estate industry displays in the showcase area.  Libations and sustenance like sushi, bellinis, tequila and coffee were provided by exhibitors for the attendees to enjoy.

The Real Deal Forum Audience
The Real Deal Forum Audience

The Agency booth was attracting a lot of attention with their recently launched hit real estate reality show on Netflix, “Buying Beverly Hills.” The Agency Founder & CEO, Maurcio Umansky was one of the speakers kicking off the broker forum panel along with other industry leaders Pam Liebman, President & CEO of the Corcoran Group, Ryan Serhant, CEO Serhant.

Gil Dezer, Dezer Development & Kamal Hotchandani
Gil Dezer, Dezer Development & Kamal Hotchandani

The top developers on the first panel included Carlos Rossi, Rossi Development, Bruce Eichner, Chairman & CEO, The Continuum Company and Arnaud Karsenti, Managing Principal, 13th Floor Investments.  Commercial honchos Michael Shvo, Chairman & CEO Shvo, and Jeff Greene, Entrepreneur talked about the commercial real estate market. Robert Rivani, President Black Lion Investment Group and Marc Roberts, Founder E11VEN Partners talked about the hospitality industry in Miami. The day ended with the next generation speakers, Alex Witkoff, EVP Development Witcoff and Rishi Kapoor, CEO Location Ventures giving their views on the real estate market.

The Real Deal Power Broker Panel, Hiten Samtani, Pam Liebman, Mauricio Umansky, & Ryan Serhant
The Real Deal Power Broker Panel, Hiten Samtani, Pam Liebman, Mauricio Umansky, & Ryan Serhant

These were the panel topics:

Miami Development’s Movers & Shakers: Top Developers On The Projects That Are Pushing The Industry Forward

How Residential leaders are bringing national perspectives to South Florida’s roaring market

Michael Shvo & Jeff Greene on South Florida’s Shifting Commercial Markets

Hospitality in the Sunshine State: How South Florida Became The Nation’s Hottest Hospitality Market And Where It Goes Next

The Next Generation: Talking to the Up-And-Comers and Young Industry Players Making Their Marks on Miami

Key take-aways and memorable quotes from The Real Deal Forum include the following:

“Winter is coming, but winter never comes to Miami.” Arnaud Karsenti

“There is a permanent shift of people to South Florida.” Arnaud Karsenti

“There are two types of residential development now: uber high-end luxury development & short-term rental developments.” Carlos Rossi

“We have the greatest internal migration in history. People are coming because Miami is perceived to be safer.  Crime and homelessness are hurting other cities.” Bruce Eichner

“Miami’s office market is way up, not down like the rest of America.” Carlos Rossi

“There is a resurgence of the Latin American customers. Mexicans and South Americans are returning, especially Brazilians.” Carlos Rossi

“Florida is a beacon today. Miami won’t get discounted in the future. Miami was a city of booms and busts, but now it is riding the crest.” Arnaud Karsenti

“Miami is a global city. Miami is number 1. Miami welcomes all people.” Ryan Serhandt

“Brand names are important to take a great restaurant to an iconic experience.” Robert Rivani

“Stick with Miami and you won’t go wrong.” Mark Roberts

“South Florida is here to stay.” Robert Rivani

And on that note, we have a perfect happy ending!

In conclusion, the industry bigshots all seem bullish on the real estate market in South Florida.

Come one, come all. The Sunshine State of Florida is pro-business and welcoming to outsiders. It is the new home of the American dream!

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