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Daily Real Estate News  |  December 30, 2008  |   Renters Get Deals on Condos That Won't Sell
Across the country, particularly in overbuilt or struggling housing markets, a growing number of luxury residential units once up for sale now are being made available to renters.

Jack McCabe of McCabe Research & Consulting says, "Many people are renting in units they could never afford to buy. In many cases you can rent for about 50 percent to 60 percent of what it would cost to own the unit."

In Miami's Cultural District, Florida East Coast Realty is renting out half of the apartments in the 60-story Opera Tower on Biscayne Bay.

Of the 635 pre-construction sales recorded in 2005, only 200 ultimately closed, and only 33 percent of the available rentals have been taken so far.

Condo Vultures say Miami-Dade County's Multiple Listing Service has 10,800 condos available for rent; and the number leased rose above 2,000 between Jan. 1 and Dec. 22, compared to 85 during the same period three years ago.

In Brooklyn and other areas of New York, many units are being made available through lease-to-own programs.

In the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, for instance, Toll Bros. is offering luxury condos on a rent-to-own basis. Condo developers find that rental income gives them a means to pay off construction loans.

Source: Investor's Business Daily (12/24/08) Marilyn Alva

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