Seasonality in South Florida


Recognizing the appeal of South Florida as a winter haven for luxury snowbirds, Compass Luxury had the privilege of gathering insights from distinguished agents in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Naples, and Palm Beach. Delving into the nuances of each market, our conversations highlighted the distinct preferences of seasonal residents juxtaposed with those making these vibrant locales their permanent haven.


How do the preferences of snowbirds seeking luxury homes differ from those of full-time luxury residents in Fort Lauderdale?


Snowbirds will often go for condos because they are a "lock & go" deal. There is no maintenance or worry when you are not here. With respect to homes, they tend towards the south or west exposure, because they are here for four months and want the sun, as year-round people generally don't want to face the sun. (Tim Elmes)


In what ways does luxury in Fort Lauderdale stand out from other luxury markets in South Florida?


Boating and the Bahamas!! Surprisingly, Fort Lauderdale luxury clients prioritize enjoyment on their yachts and boats even more than those in Miami or Palm Beach, and they seek dockage right in their own backyards for direct ocean access. A waterfront home with its own dock, just minutes to the Atlantic Ocean, is incredibly desirable and coveted. Where else can you sail off and be in the Bahamas in less than two hours? Fort Lauderdale is the boating capital of the world*, offering easy access for the finest yacht and boat servicing, and boasting more waterways for safe dockage than anywhere else in the country. (Liz Caldwell)


What are your predictions for the luxury real estate market in Fort Lauderdale?


The ultra-luxury market is very strong and I expect this to continue. We have seen prices increase over time, and we just transacted the highest-priced sale ever in the city of Fort Lauderdale for $40,000,000.00. We also just put another property under contract for a very high number as well - it will be a new record for the highest priced per square foot in Fort Lauderdale. (Tim Elmes)




How would you compare and contrast the preferences of full-time and part-time residents in Miami?


Part-time residents are looking for convenience and features that make a residence easy to maintain during the off-season, while full-time residents seek spaces for entertaining, security, and features that contribute to ease of daily living. Snowbirds are drawn to condominiums that offer resort-style amenities and a vacation-at-home vibe, such as communities with golf courses, tennis courts, and clubhouse facilities for recreation and social opportunities. For residents with families, location and school districts play a significant role as well. (Chad Carroll)


What makes Miami different from other luxury markets in South Florida?


Miami is a city with a lot of energy! Buyers seek out this energy with respect to nightlife, as Miami’s nightclubs and high-end restaurants are focused on ambience, music, design and location to draw in the crowds. Celebrity chefs flock to Miami to open new venues, often partnered with celebrities and/or endorsers.  Miami also boasts non-stop events centered around food, sports, culture and entertainment.  There is something new and different happening here every weekend. (Liz Hogan)


What does the future of luxury real estate look like in Miami?


Miami has transformed into more than just a popular vacation destination, it is an international mecca. Visitors are spending more and more time here, with many eventually deciding to relocate here permanently. As our city continues to evolve, the desirability of Miami continues to heighten, and will continue to fuel demand year after year. (Chad Carroll)





Do snowbirds and full-time luxury residents in Naples have different priorities?


The concept of "seasons" is fading away, indicating a more year-round presence in the community. In terms of priorities, it seems that both part-time and full-time luxury residents in Naples prioritize ease of coming and going, as well as access to amenities that enhance their lifestyle. Resort-style pools, fitness facilities, golf and tennis, walkability to town, and proximity to beautiful beaches are sought after by all. These shared preferences reflect the desire for the luxurious and leisurely lifestyle that Naples offers, catering to the needs and demands of both part-time and full-time luxury residents. (Amanda Van Slyke)


What makes Naples unique, as compared to other luxury markets in South Florida?


Many find Naples is more akin to resort-style living. It is a smaller city with a strong sense of community, coupled with the sophistication and culture of a large city, and our exclusive waterfront properties have exquisite Gulf of Mexico views and an indigenous tropical beauty which create a uniquely desirable living experience. (Amanda Van Slyke)


Do you predict that the priorities of snowbirds moving to Naples will change in the future?


The evolving needs and demands of luxury snowbirds in the future may include a growing interest in sustainable and energy-efficient properties, as environmental concerns continue to gain importance. Additionally, technology integration for home automation and security could become more critical, as many snowbirds are looking for smart home features that allow remote management of their properties. (Joe Belz)




What are the top priorities for snowbirds moving to Palm Beach? What about those for full-time luxury residents?


Snowbirds are seeking a part-time retreat and therefore prioritize convenience, fully upgraded smart houses, generators, and security systems. They also favor proximity to the beach, restaurants, clubs, shopping, and heated pools for easy access to leisure activities. On the other hand, full-time luxury residents typically prioritize more substantial properties with spacious lots and yards. They may also prioritize features like exclusive cabana beach access and might be willing to invest in properties requiring renovation or customization. Snowbirds prioritize ease of living, while full-time residents value a more extensive and personalized living space. (Chris Deitz)


How would you say that Palm Beach is different from other luxury markets in South Florida?


One key difference is the strong focus on safety and cleanliness. Palm Beach is known for being a safe and well-maintained town, with a strong emphasis on privacy and security for the ultra-wealthy. It's heavily secluded, creating exclusivity and a peaceful and quiet environment. (Chris Deitz)


Looking ahead, how do you see the luxury market evolving in Palm Beach?


In terms of snowbirds’ evolving in the future, they seem to not only be looking for move-in ready homes, but also starting to look at empty lots and tear down homes for a longer term investment to keep coming back to. (Chris Deitz)



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