International Council of the MIAMI Association of REALTORS



International Articles and Advertisements

The MIAMI Association of REALTORS® features a half-page article each week in The Miami Herald –International Edition, promoting MIAMI Members and the South Florida real estate market to affluent consumers in Latin America and Europe.

  • Miami is Expanding, Improving its Rail Options

    by | Jan 04, 2017

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    Home to Florida’s only heavy rail rapid transit system, Miami already offers residents and tourists a 25-mile Metrorail connecting South Miami, downtown and the airport. The popular Miami Metromover —smaller, fully-automated trains — links downtown’s cultural art institutions to Brickell, the area’s epicenter for international banking.

    With the future in mind — millennials or those between 18-to-34 prefer to take trains versus driving cars, according to various studies — Miami has plans to improve and expand its rail. From the $3.1 billion under construction All Aboard Florida rail system connecting downtown Miami to Orlando to the potential Bay Link Project linked Miami Beach to the mainland, South Florida residents have plenty to be excited about.

    South Florida, one of the world’s top cities, even more attractive to the next generation. At 95 million, millennials are already the largest generation alive. By 2025, millennials will comprise the vast majority of the U.S. workforce. Catering to millennials’ preferences for rail and effective transit options will be critical in attracting and retaining top talent in the coming decades.

    Miami Rail Ridership Strong
    Ridership on Miami’s Metrorail system stands at 75,000 daily, according to Miami’s department of transportation and public works department. Those are strong numbers for a Metrorail system that opened in May 20, 1984.

    The Metrorail saw a 10.56 percent increase in ridership between 2012 and 2013, according to the American Public Transportation Agency (APTA). About 21 million trips were taken through the heavy-rail transit system in 2013.

    Miami Metromover ridership is also strong. The fully-automated trains transport almost 10 million passengers around the downtown and Brickell neighborhoods each year. The Metromover is popular with tourists, students, attorneys and more.

    Orange Line to the Airport
    In July 2012, the county completed construction of the Metrorail Orange Line to Miami International Airport. It was a 2.4-mile project that cost $506 million and took about three years to build. The line allows residents and tourists to take the metro from downtown to the airport.

    Popular with airport workers and international travelers, the line starts and ends at Metrorail’s newest station, a state-of-the-art facility with digital screens announcing train and flight schedules.

    New Miami Metrorail Trains on the Way
    Miami is using surtax funds of $375 million to buy a new fleet of Metrorail cars. Hitachi Rail USA will build 136 cars at its Miami factory to replace Miami-Dade County’s Metrorail fleet. The first new vehicles are scheduled go into service in late 2017, Hitachi said.

    The new cars will be equipped with the “latest technology that will offer transit customers improved reliability and customer service.”

    South Miami-Dade Pushing for Light Rail

    In late March, leaders of Homestead, Palmetto Bay and other suburban cities gathered for a meeting to insist Miami-Dade agree to fund a study on how to build light rail along a current 20-mile busway. The Metrorail’s most-southern stop is Dadeland Mall. The South Dade Busway, a 20-mile stretch of highway reserved for busses, currently runs from Dadeland to Florida City.

    All Aboard Florida Project
    All Aboard Florida is a sizable project in the works. The $2.5 billion project, a high-speed passenger rail linking downtown Miami to Orlando, is expected to remove up to 3 million cars from Florida’s roads and attract 14,000 riders a day by 2020.

    The privately owned and operated line plans to run 16 round-trip trains a day between Miami and Orlando, with stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, covering the 235-mile route in about three hours. Service will start with five four-car trains carrying up to 240 passengers each.

    Downtown’s growing population is a chief impetus for the development. The number of downtown residents grew from 40,000 to 80,000 from 2000 to 2015, according to the Miami Downtown Development Authority. Most of the growth is coming from millennials. Residents ages 25 to 44 comprise half of the downtown’s population.

    Potential Bay Link Project to Connect Miami Beach to the Mainland
    Miami officials are also working on a massive project to link Miami and Miami Beach with rail.

    In February of this year, the long-delayed Bay Link project won a key approval when a board of local officials agreed to pursue the massive project in two parallel plans. Miami Beach is working on a project after it received a proposal from French rail company Alstom. The city is doing an environmental analysis while using the Alstom bid to collect proposals from other firms.

    Connecting South Florida with Rail
    South Florida’s increasing rail options will only make the region more attractive to millennials and national companies looking to relocate here.

    Millennials prefer trains and light rail to cars, according to studies. Uber, Zipcar, public transit are the modes of transportation. Only half of millennials get their driver’s licenses at 18.
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  • South Florida’s Quality Schools Boosting Real Estate Market

    by | Dec 07, 2016
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    Most families with children make a decision on where to buy a home by the quality of local education, and South Florida boasts some of the nation’s top schools.

    From pre-kindergarten through graduate school, South Florida’s schools are innovative, specialized and nationally-regarded. The region’s schools excel in student achievement, a big factor for homebuyers looking for a local home.

    It begins with South Florida’s strong primary educational system, where students learn and develop the fundamentals and studying habits to become successful members of the community and workforce.

    South Florida’s four public school systems — Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Broward County Public Schools, the School District of Palm Beach County and the Martin County School District — have each achieved state and national acclaim for their educational programs.

    Innovative Public School Districts
    Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) is the largest and arguably most acclaimed urban school district in the United States. MDCPS is home to 392 schools and 345,000 students. District students speak 56 different languages and represent 160 countries.

    Under Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho, MDCPS has received state and national recognition for unprecedented increases in student achievement and graduation rates. In 2012, MDCPS received one of the nation’s top education prizes --- the Broad Prize for Urban Education — for its overall performance and improvement in student achievement while narrowing achievement gaps among low-income students and students of color.

    In November 2016, the White House recognized MDCPS as one of 30 leaders across the nation in personalized learning and innovation. The district offers iPrep Academy and iPrep Math, two educational programs centered on personalized learning. MDCPS also implements technology in the classroom using interactive boards, digital devices and apps.

    Miami-Dade has installed over 11,000 interactive boards and distributed 140,000 digital devices in classrooms in addition to setting up 30,000 WiFi access points on school campuses.

    MDCPS receives more National Magnet Schools of Merit Awards than any other school district nationally. MDCPS offers 460 choice programs in all grade levels, which is the most of any Florida school district and among the top in the country.

    Broward County Public Schools (BCPS), the first fully accredited school system in Florida since 1962, offers 236 schools, centers and technical colleges. BCPS has more than 271,000 students and about 175,000 adult students. BCPS students represent 208 different countries and 181 different languages.

    BCPS finished a finalist for the Broad Prize in 2008, 2009 and 2011 because it outperformed other Florida districts serving students with similar family incomes in math at all school levels (elementary, middle and high school) and in reading at the middle and high school levels, according to the Broad Prize methodology

    The School District of Palm Beach ranks as the top-performing urban school district in Florida. The school district is the fifth largest in the state of Florida with 185 schools, serving more than 183,000 students. The student population speaks 150 languages.

    Education Week recognized the District as having the eighth-highest graduation rate in the nation. Palm Beach County has a higher percentage of “A” and “B” district-operated elementary and middle schools compared to the state and the state’s largest urban school districts, according to the 2014 School Grades.

    The Martin County School District, located north of Palm Beach, has the fifth highest graduation rate in the state (88.9 percent in 2014-15 compared to the state average of 77.8 percent). Martin County offers 25 career academy programs at its three high schools and several career and technical education programs at its five middle schools.

    Standout Private Schools
    South Florida is also home to some of the best private schools in the nation.

    Miami’s Ransom Everglades School, located in Coconut Grove, finished as the top-ranked private school in the nation in 2016, according to About 71 percent of the Ransom faculty holds advanced degrees. Twenty years is the average faculty tenure at the school, which has 1,084 students. 100 percent of graduates matriculate to four-year colleges or universities.

    Palmer Trinity School, located in the Miami suburb of Palmetto Bay, also has a 100 percent student acceptance into four-year universities. About 67 percent of the faculty has advanced degrees at the school, which has 740 students enrolled in grades six through twelve.

    In Broward County, the Pine Crest School finished as the second-best private school in Florida, according to Niche. The all-faith college prep school in Fort Lauderdale boasts a 13:1 student-teacher ratio and a 99 percent four-year matriculation rate to four-year colleges and universities.

    Robust Colleges, Universities
    Greater Miami ranks as the eighth largest “college town” in the nation because of its 438,000 full-time and part-time students.

    South Florida has seven universities/colleges and five law schools. Miami Dade College (92,085 credit students in 2014-15) is the largest and most diverse college in the nation.

    The University of Miami, a private institution in Coral Gables, is ranked as the 44th best university in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report rankings for 2017. Miami is ranked No. 1 among Florida schools. Miami’s excellence helps to attract international students.

    Florida International University — Miami’s first and only public research university — has the fifth-most international business programs in the nation. FIU, which is classified as an R1 institution for highest research activity, is the nation’s leader in awarding bachelor’s and master’s degrees to Hispanic students.

    Barry University in Miami Shores is one of the largest Catholic universities in the Southeast and was recognized as one of “America’s Top Colleges” by Forbes magazine in 2013 for the third consecutive year.

    Florida Atlantic University, the first public university in southeast Florida, opened its doors in 1964 and today serves more than 30,000 students at campuses in Boca Raton, Dania Beach, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Harbor Branch and Jupiter. More than 180 degree programs, 40 research centers are available at the university.

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