Like the apartment construction cycle, South Florida's condo development is heavily concentrated in select markets.
Miami's central business district is again the sweet spot for condo builders like the Related Group, which has multiple projects under way or planned in the Brickell Avenue area. High-end coastal markets like Miami Beach and Sunny Isles Beach also are targeted by the luxury condo sector.
Pent-up demand for homes in urban and oceanfront markets is starting to trickle into suburban areas like Coral Gables, said Torres, the Astor Development executive.
Astor began assembling the nearly 2-acre Merrick Manor site in 2010, knowing Coral Gables had not had new condo construction since 2006.
"There is simply a depletion of inventory in the Gables market," Torres said. "The locals really take to the area. We have high demand from young professionals. We anticipate having a good second-home market and are also anticipating good demand from families."
Astor is funding the 301 Altara Ave. project with a model similar to the Brickell condo projects, with heavy deposits from buyers for units ranging in price from the low $200,000s to the mid $500,000s. Overall, the company has about 700 units planned for South Florida. Torres declined to disclose other potential Astor projects.
The deposit-heavy financing model, dubbed the "Latin American model" by some observers, also should be viable in suburban markets, Shuffield said.
"Many of the buyers from Latin America, as well as local buyers, want to pay cash," he said. "They don't want financing."
Eric Kalis can be reached at (305) 347-6651.