This is South Florida’s Newest Real Estate Hot Spot

Credit: 252bbd.com; "252 Bal Bay Drive Sold for $23.35 Million by Oren Alexander"

Around the world, Bal Harbour is synonymous with luxury. A small town made famous by the one of the country’s most high-end shopping centers, Bal Harbour Shops. But tucked away behind a guard gate, just steps from the shops and the beach’s sandy shores, is an ultra-exclusive residential community known for its privacy and understated panache.

“The secret’s out,” said Moshe Goldshtein a leading luxury agent with Harding Realty who has closed four deals in Bal Harbour in the past 90 days. “I have never been busier. The phone is ringing every day with people who want to buy or build their dream home in Bal Harbour.”

South Florida has seen a recent surge in sales of luxury single family homes, experts say a majority are buyers from the Northeast. According to Goldshtein, Bal Harbour has become a magnet for people seeking shelter, space and tax savings amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Location. Location. Location,” said Goldshtein. “It’s a beautiful private oasis, driving into the neighborhood gives you a feeling of driving into paradise.

56 Bal Bay Drive Listed for $12.5 Million by Brigitte Lina with One Sothebys

“The pandemic really showed people the intrinsic value of owning a home and living somewhere where you can love being stuck at home,” said Goldshtein. “The taxes benefits are also a substantial draw for the folks in the price range that Bal Harbour tends to attract.”

Florida residents pay no state income or estate tax, receive a homestead exemption of up to $50,000, and a 3 percent annual cap on home assessments. Recent high-profile billionaire buyers in Bal Harbour include healthcare mogul Bent Philipson and investor Richard Kilstock, son-in-law to British Billionaire Marc Rich. The appeal according to agents is a perfect blend of privacy with proximity to the beach and restaurants.

“Location. Location. Location,” said Goldshtein. “It’s a beautiful private oasis, driving into the neighborhood gives you a feeling of driving into paradise. You are completely secluded with a strong sense of safety, but also in walking distance to the beach and we’re practically attached to the world famous Bal Harbour Shops. Ultimately people who come visit, fall in love.”

The average sale price in the neighborhood has increased every year since 2016, according to Minette Schwartz with The Schwartz Team at Compass. From 2019 to 2020 the average price per square foot jumped from $1,400 to $1,800, a 28% increase. Property records show many parcels registered under the same owner.

“People who own there believe in the village, they never move and some own multiple properties. Many are buying homes for their kids to move into with their families as they grow older,” said Schwartz. “Historically inventory is very thin because there is no land left to develop on, and demand only continues to rise, which means prices will too.”

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