The Miami area ranked eighth among the top 10 luxury real estate markets in the world in a report from Christie's International Real Estate, putting it in a league with London, New York, Paris and Hong Kong, (but also Dallas and Toronto).
Miami-Dade placed high in the percentage of second-home buyers, cash buyers, and foreign and other non-local buyers, according to Christie's, a luxury brokerage whose local affiliate is Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Realtors in Coral Gables.
The priciest home sold in Miami in 2012 was the spectacular bayfront estate at 3 Indian Creek Drive in Indian Creek Village, which fetched a record-setting $47-million.
The trophy property -- a 10-bedroom, 14-bathroom resort-like project constructed along a series of pavilions -- went to a Russian buyer, whose identity hasn't been disclosed.
The Miami-Dade deal paled compared to the top residential sales last year in London ($121.2 million) and New York ($88 million).
"Fueled by strong interest from South American buyers, Miami had a high percentage of both international and secondary and additional home buyers," the Christie's paper said. In Miami, 45 percent of the luxury buyers were from out of town, including foreign buyers.
Greater Miami's luxury homes are still a relative bargain: For the year ended Sept. 30, 2012, for Miami residences listed at more than $1 million, the average was $764 per square foot. The record price in Miami was $3,463 per square foot, the report said.
By contrast, in New York, the average price for properties over $1 million was $1,810 per square foot, and the record was $13,049 per square foot, the highest of any city.
The top end of the residential market moves to its own rhythm, according to the report. "Residential real estate is a tale of two markets -- luxury and everything else," Christie's CEO Bonnie Stone Sellers said in the report. "Prestige residential will more likely follow growth trends in non-consumable luxury goods than trends in the general housing market."
Miami, which has a shortage of inventory across all sectors of the residential market, ranked seventh among the top 10 cities in luxury inventory, with just 2,036 residential listings for more than $1
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