Dressed in an expensive pinstriped suit and sporting the latest Louis Vuitton sunglasses, Miami real estate broker Cristiano Piquet is ready to make a sale. He has a client in his shiny new white Rolls-Royce, and they’re on their way to see $9 million apartment at the W Hotel on South Beach.
Piquet’s client, 32-year-old Antonio Luciano, who comes from a wealthy family in Brazil’s sugar cane and commodities business, had already purchased two properties from Piquet over the phone. Now he is in search of a larger home with a better view. Like most rich Brazilians, Luciano is ready to pay cash for that perfect place.
Waves of wealthy Brazilians such as Luciano are landing on South Florida’s shores and spending millions of dollars on vacation condominiums, clothes, furniture, cars and art, all of which are much less expensive here than in their homeland.
They started arriving in the past few years when South Florida was one of the epicenters of the real estate crisis, with vacant buildings and foreclosures all around. At the same time, Brazil’s economy was starting to surge, and as costs in Brazil soared, the United States and its depressed real estate prices made it the land of opportunity.
“The prices here are really cheap now,” said Luciano. “If you look for the same type of unit to spend a vacation in Brazil, in a place like Rio, it’s double the price. If you go to Rio de Janeiro, you have problems everywhere. You have all the violence. Here, no problems, no violence. You can do whatever you want. You do a nice investment and spend your vacation at the same time.”
The text above was extracted from NBC’s website. Read the full article here: http://rockcenter.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/14/12207356-brazilians-snap-up-south-florida-real-estate-sparking-new-boom