Paula Sanchez is a real estate broker with Unique international propertiesa company she started after working in television journalism, a media agency and a bank where she focused on real estate.
The mother of four – José (23) Benjamin (21) Dominga (19) and Olivia (15) – likes to exercise daily and spend time with her friends, talking about the “good things” of his life.
Sanchez specializes in international buyers, with a particular focus on Chile. Sanchez recently spoke with Islander News to provide her perspective on current market challenges and what could come next for Key Biscayne and Miami.
How do you define your business?
Sanchez: Unique International Properties is a real estate company specializing in various services: business and family relocations, property purchase and sale operations, renovation, decoration and property management. Many people, especially foreigners, who want to invest, contact us and we develop the business models, find the property, rent it and manage it.
We have defined areas that we focus on, which are Key Biscayne, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Brickell, Miami Beach, Sunny Isles and Weston.
Do you specialize in Chile?
Because it’s my country of origin, it’s the strength of my client portfolio. I have a lot of Chilean clients calling me, especially recently with the changes in the country. But we also have many Colombian, Mexican and other customers.
How do you see the market in Key Biscayne and Miami in general?
There are 139 properties for sale in Key Biscayne. Very little inventory. You notice a certain paralysis. He slowed down. There is also a shift in rentals, and prices tend to normalize after very large increases. I think it’s good that the market is stabilizing a bit. But in Key Biscayne and other areas, there is a noticeable drop in activity.
In Miami, in the housing sector, 30% is purchased with cash and the rest with financing. Rising interest rates make financing more difficult, so the market shrinks. With apartments almost 50% is purchased in cash, therefore for apartments there is a high activity which could continue. But there is no inventory.
With rising rates and the looming recession, are you worried about future market conditions?
The signs are worrying, but I don’t think there will be a crash. Miami, unlike the rest of the United States, is a bit different. The American buyer is always interested in this region, and Miami is always a place for (foreigners) to invest, especially with the crises in Latin America. It’s good that there was a bit of a break in the activity, because it was crazy. I sold an apartment for $300,000 above the listing price. (Some) price increases were not healthy for the market. I think it’s good that things are stabilizing and prices are stabilizing.
It seems to me today that people are watching and waiting to see what to do. Some are waiting to see if prices fall further; others want to see what’s going on with the rates. Without a doubt, we are in a moment of uncertainty, despite the fact that there are always people buying. The demand today comes from foreign investors.