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10 Signs that Miami's economy is on the rise

10 Signs that Miami's economy is on the rise

The Miami Herald reports that Miami-Dade is coming out of the national recession far more quickly than anyone considered. When the economy collapsed in 2007 and 2008, Miami developers had built over 37,000 condos downtown and most of them remained empty. Today, the occupancy rate downtown is at 94 percent.

Courtesy of The Miami Herald’s Economic Time Machine by Douglas Hanks, here are 10 signs that Miami’s economy is on the rise.

1.      Unemployment is declining.

There has been over two years of continuous job growth in Miami-Dade. In April 2010, unemployment was at a record high of 12.6 percent; new figures released September 2012, indicate the trend continues as the unemployment rate has dropped to 8.7 percent. 

2.      New Businesses are starting.

In early 2009, the number of new businesses was about 9 percent lower than it is now. The count of Miami-Dade’s business establishments, 87,000, is down just 1 percent from the peak set before the recession began.

3.      Housing prices are higher.

Zillow.com reports that the county average for Home Values is up 15.1% from last year; the median sale price is at $240,000. In Miami Beach, specifically, home values are up 21.5%; the median sale price is $279,100.

4.      Home renovations are back in Coral Gables.

Home construction had significantly ceased during the recession, but is now showing signs of improvement. April 2012 saw an increase of 17 percent in the number of permits issued by the city of Coral Gables from the year before. Second Story add-ons are becoming increasingly more popular.

5.      New Car Purchases.

AutoNation, the country’s largest auto sales retailer, reported sales of new vehicles rose 10 percent in its Florida dealerships in the first quarter. Other consumer sales have also increased, up 10 percent since February 2011.

6.      Restaurants sales are increasing.

County restaurant tax collections amount to $1 million per month, and are up 15 percent since the recession began. New restaurants continue to open throughout Miami-Dade and the latest report on restaurant taxes in Florida’s largest county shows dining-out remains a staple for local residents, regardless of the economy.

7.      High-rise construction projects have broke ground.

Luxury high-rises in Sunny Isles, Williams Island, Miami Beach and Mary Brickell Village are under construction. Other projects are being executed by Armando Codina, Adler Group and Jorge Perez.

Swire Properties broke ground June 25, on its massive $1 billion Brickell CitiCentre project in downtown Miami. The may be the beginning of substantive westward expansion across South Miami Avenue. The project is estimated to create  1,700 job, according to the company, along with $15 million each year in ad valorem taxes for the city of Miami.

8.      Overnight visitors have gone up.

In the past year, Miami has hosted over 13.6 million overnight visitors. Miami-Dade’s hotel industry returned record tax collections last year, and 2012 is averaging close to 16 percent above last year. Miami-Dade’s revenue-per-available-room figure set a new record in March 2012: $177.24, making it one of the highest in the nation.

9.      Cruise capital of the world

It is estimated that 2012 will top its 2011 figures of 4 million passengers due to three additional cruise lines new to the port- Disney, MSC and Regent Seven Seas along with new ships from Carnival, Celebrity and Oceania.

10.  Increase in the number of International Flights.

This year MIA is averaging 1,288 international flights per quarter, one more than JFK.

 

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