Brian Bilzin

MIAMI—Real estate, tourism and hospitality are largely driving Miami’s economic growth. So says the Bilzin Sumberg New Miami Investment Survey:

Close to 60% of respondents see investment pouring into real estate over the next 12 to 18 months, with condominium homes (33%) and multifamily rentals (38%) being the most attractive assets. Of survey respondents, 13% attribute growth to the hospitality and leisure sectors, with 73% of respondents believing current conditions for tourism to be better than they were a year ago.

On another front, individual investors dominate South Florida investment. Forty-eight percent of respondents believe that individual investors will serve as the primary source of investment over the next 12 to18 months.

Of course, it’s no surprise that Latin America dominates investments but other regions are increasing in activity in South Florida. Seventy-two percent of respondents believe Brazil will be the primary source of activity, followed by Venezuela (16%). But the next 12 to 18 months should see an increase in investment from beyond the Americas, with China (28%) and Russia (27%) viewed as the largest growth markets.

“South Florida, and Miami in particular, stands out today as one of the hottest growth areas in the nation,” says Brian Bilzin, partner and co-founder of Bilzin Sumberg. “Functioning as a gateway to Europe as well as to Latin America and Asia, South Florida’s thriving tourism and hotel industries have inspired the confidence of individual and institutional investors who, confronted with economic challenges around the world, are seeking markets already in growth mode.”

Meanwhile, financing environment continues to improve. Fifty-eight percent of respondents believe the financing environment has improved since 2011, with the chief sources of capital and debt financing being venture capital funds (30%) and community banks (27%). Participants in the New Miami Investment Survey also believe that Miami’s dominant tourism industry is on the uptick, with 58% of respondents saying the sector has grown slowly in the past year.

As Bilzin sees it, Miami is at a dynamic point in its history, undergoing an incredible rebirth that has it poised to emerge as a global destination and major world class city. The firm chose to undertake this study in order to measure the confidence level of its business community and to reveal what business leaders think are the critical issues central to South Florida’s future as 2013 nears.