The famous and ultra-high-net-worth are leaving Manhattan for elite Miami neighborhoods, Bloomberg reports.
The average home on Miami’s Star Island now costs $40 million, up 71% from $23.5 million in December 2019, making it the most expensive neighborhood in America, according to Zillow.
Hedge fund manager Ken Griffin of Citadel Securities drove up those averages by buying five properties on the gated Island for a total of $194 million. Shaquille O’Neal and Rosie O’Donnell are now among Griffin’s acclaimed neighbors.
Miami, Naples and Jupiter, Florida, in fact, now boast nine of the 12 highest-priced neighborhoods in the country, with Beverly Hills rounding out the list. New York’s Upper East Side and San Francisco’s Nob Hill didn’t even make the cut.
Real estate values have increased by $12 trillion since the pandemic, according to Bloomberg analysis — with some of the biggest gains in real estate wealth in Park City, Utah, and Flagstaff, Arizona, where real estate prices have soared by more than 90% in some ZIP codes.
In fact, Florida accounts for 38 of the 50 million-dollar U.S. neighborhoods where real estate prices have more than doubled since 2020, Zillow data shows.
“The pandemic really was like a tectonic plate shift,” says Maria Elena Lagomasino, CEO of WE Family Offices, which caters to the UHNW.
Driving the migration are: laxer COVID rules, lower or no state income tax, sunny climates, spaciousness, crime — and politics.
“Miami Beach used to be this place where you come a few days to party, get some sun and get out,” says Dina Goldentayer, executive director at Douglas Elliman in Miami Beach. “Now it’s a place to live. It’s the lifestyle, weather, economic policies, political policies. Everyone wants to come here.”
Goldentayer sold an astonishing $750 million worth of properties in 2021, up from an average of $100 million to $200 million a year before the pandemic. Last year was still a boom year, though, with $475 million in sales.
“It used to be that there would be that ‘whale’ in town every other week looking to buy,” Goldentayer says. “Now there’s one every day of the week. When states like California do their mansion tax, or Massachusetts implements a millionarie’s tax, it just means more business for me.”
As Bruce Ring, a waterfront home realtor with Lenson Realty Inc. in Palm Beach, explains the stratospheric level of billionaire finances: “One guy told me the taxes he’s not paying in Massachusetts is essentially paying for his new house in Florida. For them not to do it would cost them more than to do it.”
Back in New York, Christie’s International Real Estate associate broker Brian Meier says co-op, condo and townhouse listings on the Upper East Side have increased, which may be why Zillow data shows their prices have declined 8.8% in the past three years.
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