South Florida’s high-end homebuyers didn’t take the summer off.
Palm Beach County last month posted 98 sales of homes priced at $1 million or more, up 53 percent from a year earlier, according to the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches. Sales jumped 70 percent in the $600,000-$999,000 range.
Broward County saw similar increases in July. And June also was active for luxury deals in both counties.
Consumer confidence is back, and buyers are worried about future price increases, said Steven Presson, an agent for Corcoran Group Real Estate in Palm Beach.
“Summer is typically the slow time of year for luxury real estate,” Presson said. “But I’ve seen a major uptick. People are willing to pull the trigger. They say, ‘Steve, just get the deal done. We know it’s the right time.'”
Boca Raton agent focusing on Chinese buyers
Aviva Eyal, a luxury agent for the Keyes Co. in Boca Raton, is starting to market to investors and other buyers from China.
The country’s economy is booming, creating millionaires who want to invest in the United States, Eyal said. They’re eschewing more expensive destinations such as New York and Los Angeles.
“China is a huge incubator for buyers and investors,” she said. “Since I speak the language and understand the culture, I think I can give them the services they’re looking for.”
Telecom company signs on at West Palm building
Granite Telecommunications signed a lease for 7,800 square feet at Reflections Office Center in West Palm Beach.
Peter Reed and George Sacks, of Commercial Florida Realty Services in Boca Raton, handle leasing at the 130,000-square-foot building on Australian Avenue. Massachusetts-based Fox Rock Properties represented the tenant.
“What’s encouraging about the Granite lease is that it’s a new business to West Palm Beach, rather than the more typical West Palm shuffle of (a) business moving from one building to another,” Reed said in a statement.
The lease follows a 2,500-square-foot deal for Asset Strategy Consultants earlier in the year. The two leases increase the building’s occupancy to 77 percent.
Tutor Time to change name, move to new Fort Lauderdale digs
Tutor Time is getting a new name and a new home in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
The child care center at 100 S.E. 3rd Ave. is moving a half mile away to 120 N.W. 7th Ave. The school paid $1.3 million for seven contiguous lots that used to be a car dealership.
Tutor Time, in its current location for the past 19 years, will open a 10,800-square-foot facility and change its name to New River Child Care/Learning Center. The anticipated completion is March.
Berger Commercial Realty Vice President Judy Dolan represented the school. Coldwell Banker Commercial in Boca Raton represented the seller, Lauderdale Land & Finance Co. & TAB Partnership in the deal.
Broward agents win statewide honors
Two Broward County real estate agents took home statewide awards recently at the Florida Realtors convention in Orlando.
Brenda Ghibaudi, of Better Homes & Gardens Florida First, was named Associate Realtor of the Year. She has served in several leadership posts with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors since joining the group in 1985.
Jill Johns was named 2013 Humanitarian of the Year. Johns, from Century 21 Hansen Realty, is involved in the Make-A-Wish-Foundation of Southern Florida.
Meanwhile, two Broward agents were elected to board positions with Florida Realtors. Christine Hansen takes over as the 2014 secretary, while Stephen B. McWilliam, of Florida State Realty Group, will be the District XI vice president.
Lauderhill apartments fetch $4.4 million
Olive Tree Apartments, an 88-unit complex in Lauderhill, sold recently to a Deerfield Beach company for $4.4 million. Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services announced the deal.
The property, at 2051 NW 43rd Terrace, consists of five two-story buildings on about 3 acres.
Marcus & Millichap’s Felipe J. Echarte said in a statement that Olive Tree offers “excellent upside” because of a desirable mix of two- and three-bedroom units. The buyer could significantly increase rent to market rate, Echarte said.