Monday, September 17, 2012

Argentinian Hot Money Hits the Shores of Miami

NYT reports on the trend:
IN early August, Jorge Sanchez, a broker with Douglas Elliman, flew to Buenos Aires to sell some Miami real estate. He returned to Florida a few days later with four signed contracts from Argentines for apartments in a 60-story tower in downtown Miami.

The fact that the buyers signed the contracts without ever flying to Miami to see the building -- Opera Tower -- speaks volumes about how eager, and desperate, Argentines have been to direct their money out of their country and into real estate in Miami and New York.

In the past few months, Argentines have quietly passed Brazilians to become the most active group from Latin America buying Miami real estate, according to Millie Sanchez, executive vice president of development marketing for Douglas Elliman Florida.

Brazil’s demotion from the top spot likely has something to do with the weakening of its currency, the real, versus the dollar in recent months. But in Argentina, a weakening peso and 25 percent inflation, economists say, have spurred many affluent Argentines to move their money into American real estate by expensive and sometimes illegal means.
With Bernanke pumping money on top of this, and the U.S. housing market improving, Miami could become a hot spot once again for real estate investors.

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