Monday, June 29, 2009

Listings & Sales at The Beach Club Condos - Hallandale -



As of: June 29, 2009


BEACH CLUB ONE Units available for sale: 54

Studios and One-bedroom - 4 units – Priced from $360,000 to $600,000

2 bedroom – 13 units – Priced from $335,000 to $729,000

More than 2 bedroom – 37 units – Priced from $425,000 to $1,775,000

Least expensive available: Unit 409 – 1,082 Sq.Ft. - $ 335,000

Most expensive available: Unit 4405 – 2500 Sq.Ft. - $ 1,775,000

BEACH CLUB ONE CONDOS sold in the last 90 days: 8 units from $290,000 to $720,000



BEACH CLUB TWO Units available for sale: 66

Studios and One-bedroom – 13 units - Priced from $200,000 to $467,000

Two-bedroom – 23 Units – Priced from $539,000 to $1,500,000

More than 2 bedroom – 30 Units – Priced from $649,000 to $2,000,000

Least expensive available: Unit 2705 – 800 Sq. Ft. - $ 250,000 (SHORT SALE)

Most expensive available: Town House – 4,020 Sq. Ft. - $ 2,000,000

BEACH CLUB TWO CONDOS sold in the last 90 days: 11 Units from $237,000 to $900,000



BEACH CLUB THREE units available for sale: 77

Studios and One-bedroom – 9 units – Priced from $280,000 to $467,000

Two-bedroom – 22 Units – Priced from $328,000 to $1,250,000

More than 2 bedroom - 46 Units – Priced from $359,000 to $1,799,000

Least expensive available: Unit 2906 – 1,086 Sq.Ft. - $280,000

Most expensive available: Penthouse 4404 – 2548 Sq.Ft Living area – 5,008 Sq. Ft. total area - $ 1,799,000

BEACH CLUB THREE CONDOS sold in the last 90 days: 9 Units from $295,000 to $600,000


Our remarks:

28 total SALES have closed in the last 90 days at the Beach Club complex

This is an average of 0,311 closing per day at the Beach Club Condos complex

197 total Active listings at the Beach Club: as of June 29, 2009

Total of apartments at the Beach Club Condominum Complex (All three buildings): 1,258

Percentage of Beach Club Condo Units on the market: 15.66%

Henry B. Nathan is a Florida Realtor at United Realty Group Inc. and a Florida Licensed Mortgage Broker.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

My favorite Hollywood restaurant.

Sushi Blues Cafe

I discovered it around 1991. A narrow storefront, bar on the right, behind the musicians stand; tables aligned on the left, against the wall.
We hesitantly started ordering mainly their hot appetizers, with just one or two adventurous steps on sushi rolls. And a glass of white wine, or a bottle of their enigmatic Japanese beers.
And then there were the blues. We didn't even realize how good the food was till we got hooked. On the music and on the food. It was a different time in South Florida, and the options were limited.

This was sort of a little Chicago or New York corner, very friendly; where we would meet the kind of people we didn't suspect would be living in Hollywood, Florida: gentle, smiling, sometimes educated, and always happy.

It just became our favorite joint and we would take our out-of-town visitors every time to show them how life in Florida wasn't so boring after all. The fact is that, not only was this place our introduction to Sushi, it made us get a taste and an appetite for good jazz.
I still remember listening one night to this wonderful musician, a black kid on a mission, vibrantly playing all night, while his dad, for whom they have accommodated a chair on the side, kept vigilantly watching.

But things change.

A few years ago, the building on the Young Circle was boarded and the stores closed.

We eventually discovered the new Sushi Blues place. It was now on Harrison Street. Very different, beautifully decorated, modern, stylish. A "South Beach" look, if you mind.
We still found a couple of the original waiters; Yozo now known as a famous sushi expert, still smiles behind the counter. And Junko, the Japanese owner, who takes her chef occupation very seriously, still concocts wonderful inventions from time to time; sometimes stops at our table for a few seconds, because she has become sort of an old friend.

Even after the small fried fish tidbits have disappeared from the menu many years ago, and this menu has grown enormous, Sushi Blues is a sure bet when I just want a great dinner with some entertainment. Aside from the traditional sashimi and sushi, they have some very good fish plates. I can make it a big splurge or just a wine-and-appetizers affair.

Always close-to-perfect food.

I adopt restaurants where I am sure that I will never have a bad experience; where the quality is consistent, and the owners are proud of their profession. Sushi Blues Cafe is a good example.

They used to have music every night.

A few years ago, Ken Maslak, Junko's husband and co-owner of the restaurant, ruled that we would get music only on the weekends, starting Friday night. But they also started to present a wider musical variety. Ken knows how to choose good artists. He often joins them, but not always. He is a great saxophonist and plays a bunch of instruments, including the drums. Posters of his concerts in Europe and Asia cover one of the walls. One of their daughters is an international-class pianist and played sometimes in the past. Not any more.

I lately discovered that I could even invite some of these orthodox Jews friends, since the fish options are plenty. I am not at all religious myself, but that was one of the few places they would try, and they it's always love at first sight.

Where else can you dine while you enjoy concert-quality music for free?

Well, I am not a part-owner of this joint, nor am I on their advertising budget.

It's just something that I would like to share with my friends and customers. I had nothing better to blog about today.

Sushi Blues Cafe is on Harrison Street, a couple of blocks East of Dixie Highway.

Now Junko... how many more of these posts do I need to write, to get me a free dinner?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Market bottom and Real Estate Inventories in South Florida

With my limited resources, and as almost anybody in this country at this time, I try to get some feelings about where the market is at this time and where it is headed.

Since we hesitate to believe the assessments of the realtors main organizations, which historically tend to be overly optimistic, and inject some hope within its members and the public at large, one of the simple but effective tool that we can use is our access to the MLS.

The multi-listing system, while it does not cover the entire of real estate commerce, is however sufficiently inclusive that we can interpolate its results and get generally reliable information.
Of course, there are people who do not use an agent to buy or sell a property. There are properties which have been withdrawn from the MLS but are still available for sale; there are expired listings wating to be placed again on the system.
But these are factors that are permanents and should not affect specific findings, opinions, or judgments.

It is very simple. I just take a note at specifics times of the quantity of homes available for sale in my main areas of interest. I split them between condos and single family homes.

The comparison in the active listings for sale between certain dates should give us an idea about how the inventory of properties for sale is evolving throughout the last months.

The last time I had compared these inventories was May 15, 2009. I had evaluated the changes since March 19, 2009, a period of about 8 weeks, or 2 months. I saw evident signs of inventory reduction.

I had all but forgotten about the whole thing. But then, on June 10th, 2009, it occurred to me that it would be worth to do the same comparison one more time. So I just pulled out all active listings on the MLS in the same locations. And guess what? The same trend continues. Correct me if I am wrong, but except the Brickell Avenue area, there is not one neighborhood or city in South Florida where the inventory has not gone down. OK, I might be exagerating since I didn't really cover all locations. But whatever I looked at confirmed these findings.

So again, I am asking:

Is this the bottom of the market?

Does this constant reduction in the listings announce the long-due recovery?

Prices are still falling, but at a much slower pace. In many area they appear to be stable. Of course that some foreclosure sales are being made at surprisingly low prices, but these are not the whole market. And in some of the most desirable areas, (like the beaches which are my specialty areas), I can feel some pressure on the prices.

How can I explain this? Perhaps less available bargains than ever during the last year or so? Less "steals" to offer to my buyers?

We can't deny that new construction is at a standstill all over South Florida. In the last two years, only the completion of some projects has added new properties on the market. New projects are almost non-existent.

The flow of out-of-town buyers, investors, new first-home-buyers must have done its job of eroding the inventory. It will go on. The assistance that the Federal authorities are putting in place to help middle-class homeowners is starting to show. Prices have made real estate more affordable.

Perhaps not as affordable as we would hope. We can't forget that the real price is the price at which a buyer can afford it without getting in trouble. Sacrifices have always been done in order to achieve the American dream of home ownership. But you still have to feed your family, pay your water, electricity and a minimum of inescapable expenses. (let's not talk about health-related bills which for many people have become another unattainable dream). If you can pay your mortgage, taxes and maintenance fees after saving as much as possible on the rest, then the property is affordable.

Fannie Mae has traditionally ruled that housing expenses for a homeowner shouldn't exceed about 30% of his gross income. That should be the criteria to determine a reasonable market price.

But all this is not what we really want to talk about.

We are analyzing the inventories of active listings of properties for sale.

There is a factor that we cannot ignore. Foreclosures and short sales can and will increase in the immediate future, due to the end of banks "moratorium" on foreclosures but, so far, we haven’t seen a sensible effect on increasing real estate inventory. Or perhaps the acceleration of market normalization would be much more evident if these new foreclosures wouldn't be feeding the market.

This comparison is significant. Not a lot of economics and theories. Just cold facts. As much as 10% less homes for sale in less than three months.

Are we reaching bottom? I am starting to give it some serious consideration.

These are the inventories of condos and homes in some of the most important areas of South Florida.

As of March 19, 2009

As of May 15, 2009

As of June 10, 2009

Aventura Condos




Bal Harbour Condos




Brickell Area Condos




Hallandale Beach Condos




Hollywood Condos




Fort Lauderdale Condos




North Bay Village Condos




Pembroke Pines Condos




Sunny Isles Condos




Surfside Condos




Weston Condos




West Palm Beach Condos




Aventura Homes




Coconut Grove Homes




Coconut Creek Homes




Coral Gables Homes




Coral Springs Homes




Hallandale Beach Homes




Hollywood Homes




Fort Lauderdale Homes




Miami Beach Homes




Pembroke Pines Homes




Surfside Homes




West Palm Beach Homes




Weston Homes




Sunday, June 07, 2009

Explaining the $8,000 Tax Credit

Congress has passed legislation granting a tax credit of up to $8,000 to first-time home buyers.

Let's see what it's all about. To qualify, you need to be a:

a) First-time home buyer purchasing a home between January 1, 2009 and December 1, 2009.

Clock is ticking!

b) A“first-time home buyer” may not (or their spouse) have owned a residence during the three years prior to the purchase.

b) Tax credit is only applicable on primary residences, including: single-family homes, condos, town homes, and co-ops.

c) The maximum amount allowable is $8,000. It is determined by the price of the home . Maximum credit is 10% of the purchase price up to $8,000.

d) Only buyers with maximum incomes of $75,000 for single persons or $150,000for married couples are eligible for the whole credit of $8,000

e) Buyers with incomes between $75,000 and $95,000 if they are single or between $150,000 and $170,000 if they are married couples filing jointly, may receive the tax credit, but its amount will decrease as the income(s) approaches the maximum limit.

f) Incomes over $95,000 for singles and $170,000 for couples will automatically disqualify buyers from getting this tax credit. (God forbid you make more than $170,000 in 2009! )

g) Beneficiaries of the tax credit need NOT to pay it back, but (there is always a but!) they must occupy the home for at least three years. If they sell it during the first three years, they will have to give it back at the time of the sale.

h) The tax credit can be used to pay closing costs.

i) U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has ruled that, in FHA loans, the tax credit can be used upfront. Accordingly, FHA approved lenders can develop bridge loans that would allow the coverage of closing costs, or buy down their interest rate, or increase down payment over the minimum 5 percent.

j) These bridge loans cannot cover the minimum 3.5 percent down payment.

k) Of course, there are other sources of assistance for buyers needing help with the 3.5 percent down payment, including state and local government programs and nonprofit lenders.

Henry B. Nathan is a Florida Realtor at United Realty Group Inc.

and a Florida Licensed Mortgage Broker.

Call me: (954) 296-6741

Or visit my website:

where you can also search for

Hallandale Beach Condos, Sunny Isles Condos,

Aventura condos