- Wealthy homebuyers are purchasing property in South Florida’s most exclusive enclaves.
- From Miami to Palm Beach, the rich are moving into mansions and private estates.
- Locations like Indian Creek Village, Fisher Island, and Star Island are among the popular locales.
From elite estates to island hideaways, rich Americans have poured money into Miami’s most exclusive neighborhoods and suburbs.
In August, luxury single-family home sales (priced at $1 million and above) rose by 68.6% year over year, according to The Real Deal, which reported that amid low inventory, residential prices rose in Miami-Dade, Broward (where Fort Lauderdale is), and Palm Beach counties, while luxury condo sales soared 217.1%.
“Inventory for new waterfront homes over $20 million is so low that wealthy buyers are competing to even find a home to buy,” Compass agent Chad Carroll told Insider.
But for transplants making a permanent move or newcomers buying second and third vacation homes, location is what’s top of mind, according to top South Florida brokers. With the influx of the wealthy have come multimillion dollar property deals by the dozen, as waterfront mansions and luxury condos get scooped off the market, sending demand for the state’s most sought-after neighborhoods soaring.
“Location is everything, and the location must include water frontage and space,” Carroll said, adding that the most coveted properties for the local elite in are guard-gated communities and on the water, with must-have amenities like smart home automation, a home office, gym, theater, and yacht docks.
Wealthy Miami enclaves in high demand
“Buyers want the true South Florida lifestyle with panoramic water views, a dock for their yachts, and plenty of space to entertain,” Carroll said.
What that comes down to are a lot of waterfront mansions and island estates.
In Miami, the most sought-after homes are on large waterfront lots in private communities with guarded gates, Carroll said, adding that the most popular include Indian Creek, Tahiti Beach, Fisher Island, Bay Point, Harbor Beach, Golden Beach, and Star, Palm, and Hibiscus Islands.
Perhaps the most famous is Indian Creek: the exclusive island village known for drawing high-profile residents like Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen, Carl Icahn, Adriana Lima, and Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.
“It’s called Billionaire’s Bunker for a reason,” Carroll said. “Multimillion-dollar waterfront estates with max security, perfectly manicured streets and access to Indian Creek Country Club and golf course. Everyone who owns there is high profile and highly successful.”
Not far is Fisher Island, a private island known as the richest zip code in the US, home to a members-only club and reachable only by boat or ferry.
“Living here is like you are on vacation, with residents riding around in golf carts and spending time at the beach club,” Carroll said. “In addition to the multimillion-dollar condo or home that wealthy residents are buying, there is also a $350,000 membership fee.”
Similarly, Bay Point is a private guard-gated community with waterfront homes, situated between Miami’s popular Design District, Brickell, and Miami Beach. There are only about 250 homes in Bay Point, Carroll said, adding that it’s one of the city’s best hidden secrets, and the newest hot spot for wealthy buyers. Local homes often sell for upwards of $11 million, according to Realtor.com.
“Luxury buyers who want a house directly on the sand are dropping millions to buy mansions in Golden Beach,” Carroll added. Situated between Sunny Isles Beach and Hollywood, it’s the “only neighborhood in Miami with homes directly on the beach. It’s ultra-secure with a guard gate and its own police force, and also has a private beach club for residents.”
In addition, “Star Island has always been one of the top neighborhoods for uber-wealthy buyers,” Carroll said, adding that it too boasts waterfront, guard-gated, and centrally located property. Only two homes on Star Island are listed for sale right now, both for above $30 million, per Realtor.com.
Not to mention neighboring Palm and Hibiscus Islands, which were under-valued for some time, Carroll said, but “due to the lack of inventory have exploded with deals closing at record prices.” The median list price of homes on Palm Island is $25.8 million, according to Realtor.com.
In Miami Beach, the wealthiest home seekers are focused on streets like North Bay Road and Pinetree Drive, Hertzberg said, adding that guarded communities like the Sunset Islands, Star Island, and La Gorce Island are in huge demand. Just south of Miami in Coral Gables, high-net-worth buyers are seeking out homes in Gables Estates, too, another guarded community.
Coveted havens from Palm Beach to Naples
Rich Floridians are looking outside of Miami, too, scooping up homes from Palm Beach to Coral Gables.
Much like their Miami counterparts, coveted properties in these locations boast all the trimmings of luxury Florida living, from private gates to water frontage.
For celebrities and executives just outside of Miami, Tahiti Beach in Coral Gables is one of the most coveted neighborhoods, Carroll said. “It’s an exclusive double guard-gated community with less than 30 waterfront estates. We recently sold a nearly $30 million home here to a wealthy executive,” he said.
And for wealthy buyers looking further north in Fort Lauderdale, Harbor Beach is an ultra-private gated community with its own beach club and private marina,” Carroll added. “We recently sold a record-breaking $23 million mansion with breathtaking water views to an out of state buyer.” The median list price in Harbor Beach is $6.5 million, according to Realtor.com.