Do you believe in magic? You certainly might after this edition of IOR’s Market Focus, because we’re spotlighting Magic City – Miami, of course! Why the “Magic City” nickname? Miami’s founder, Julia Tuttle, convinced railway tycoon Henry Flagler to extend the railroad into the area, and to help attract northerners to the southern city he had New Yorker E.V. Blackman write a “strong, positive story” about the city for Flagler’s magazine East Coast Homeseeker. The hope was to paint Miami in a “magical” light, and the article was so successful that it helped put Miami on the map and turned it into one of the fastest growing cities in the United States.

The city today is known for many things, from the gorgeous year-round weather and pristine beaches to its dynamic nightlife and cultural diversity (and everything in between!). Miami is considered one of the country’s top vacation destinations, and residents get to experience even more fun and excitement than it promises its visitors. Join us as we set our sights on this truly magical city!

Rental Trends

The Miami rental market continues to be quite hot, in part because the city is seeing a growth in businesses relocating to the area, which is putting as train on the already tight rental market. Many assignees from all over the world are often surprised that Miami is more expensive than some of the larger cities they are residing in. There is still a great deal of competition and limited inventory. It’s important for assignees to start the home finding search early, as well as rely on their Destination Services Consultants for support. Being prepared will give assignees the best opportunity to find their ideal housing.

In order to successfully navigate the market, assignees need a realtor to access most properties. In many other US cities, realtors do not work with renters, but Miami is very different because there are so many private buildings with owners renting their own units. In Miami, the owners/landlord pay the commission that is then split between their realtor and the one representing the renter/tenant.

Where to Live

The Brickell area is a mecca for single, young professionals because of its proximity to many offices, great nightlife, top-notch restaurants, and bars. Additionally, the area is very walkable and offers the best public transportation available in the city. 1-bedrooms start at $2,500/mo and 2-bedrooms start at $3,500/mo. Doral is another great option, conveniently located one mile from the Miami International Airport and twelve miles from downtown Miami. This neighborhood offers impressive cultural amenities, great school systems, a strong business district, and is known for its shopping and entertainment complexes and golf courses. 1-bedrooms start around $2,400/mo and 2-bedrooms are around $3,000/mo.

Families tend to be drawn to Pinecrest for its sprawling over-sized lots that often include swimming pools, access to an array of parks, and its outdoor attractions for children and teens. Pinecrest is also home to the largest concentration of private schools and great public schools. Most properties in this area are single-family homes with 3+ bedrooms. 3-bedrooms start at $5,700/mo and 4+-bedrooms start around $6,500/mo. Coral Gables is also popular for families because of its distance from the hustle and bustle of downtown Miami, its safety, and impressive amenities. The area is known for its historical landmarks like the Biltmore Hotel and the Venetian Pool, the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, and the Miracle Mile – a shopping and dining paradise that attracts both families and young professionals. 1-bedrooms start at $2,500/mo and 2-bedrooms are around $3,700/mo.

Insider Tips

Miami is well-known for its rich culture, and especially for its strong Latin American heritage and population. One of the biggest culture shocks for assignees moving to the area is the amount of people who speak Spanish or Portuguese, so it’s worth considering learning a bit of the language if you don’t already speak it! A little bit of Spanish knowledge can go a long way and help assignees feel more prepared, confident, and more at home upon moving to Miami.

Local Insights

Miami is known for its beautiful beaches, and locals take full advantage of the beach access and beautiful weather year-round by chartering boats and other watercrafts and exploring all the available beaches and their different amenities. Lummus Park, Miami Beach, and South Beach (known by locals as SoBe) are particularly popular, and if you’re looking for an escape from the crowds we recommend Crandon Park, which runs into Key Biscayne. Beach life not your scene? The Venetian Pool is a historic landmark that offers a pool day experience like no other, featuring two waterfalls and cave-like grottos to explore.

The city has so much more to offer than just the beaches! Miami is also a world-class destination for arts and culture. From inspiring theatrical performances and community art displays like those at Wynwood Walls in the Arts District to breathtaking exhibits at the Perez Art Museum Miami and annual festivals like Art Basel Miami Beach, there are endless opportunities to be immersed in the city’s rich heritage and culture! The Underline is another new project to keep on the radar, which is transforming the land underneath the southern part of Miami’s Metrorail into a 10-mile linear park, urban trail, and public art destination. It is estimated to be completed in 2025, but phase one of the project is already done and well worth a visit.

A huge perk of Miami is its proximity to other nearby major Florida cities for day trips and weekend trips. It is a 1.5 hour drive to both the west coast of Florida, where you can watch beautiful sunsets on the Gulf Coast, and to the top of the Keys, where you can spend a relaxing weekend eating fresh seafood and enjoying outdoor bars with live entertainment. Miami is also only a 3.5 hour drive from Orlando, which is famous for its amusement parks including Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios Florida, and LEGOLAND Florida. Many people head there for weekend fun and have annual passes for the parks – and even better? Once you have a Florida driver’s license you have access to the Florida resident discounted rates on theme park tickets and hotels!

IOR Destination Services