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Meet The Broker

Palm Beach Broker Margit Brandt, a Rising Star in the Luxury Real Estate Industry

1741 S Ocean Blvd, Palm Beach, FL

Margit Brandt is a rising star in the luxury real estate industry. Since 2020, Margit has taken the Palm Beach Island real estate market by storm, notching impressive rankings amongst the Top Agents in America on The Real Trends & WSJ’s “The Thousand”: #5 in Palm Beach, #15 in the State of Florida, and #66 in the Nation. At just 35 years of age and having closed sales of over $400M since the Spring of 2021, Margit is one of the only females in America under the age of 40 who is a Top 100 real estate agent nationwide, and the only real estate advisor under 40 in Palm Beach who is in the Top 5 local producers. And, aside from larger teams at the firm, Margit’s placement on the 2023 Real Trends list also etched her into the #1 individual spot at Premier Estate Properties, the high-end boutique firm on Worth Avenue exclusively affiliated with Christie’s International Real Estate. Her Margit Brandt Palm Beach brand is now celebrating its 6th anniversary on Palm Beach Island.

How have you been enjoying your time in the Hamptons this summer? Please tell us what you like most about spending time here.
We’re situated just outside of Sag Harbor and have loved being close enough to some of our favorite restaurants and the boat in the marina, while also having proximity to friends, the town, and the beaches in East Hampton. Going out on the water around Haven’s Beach, North Haven, Major’s Cove/Harbor, West Neck cove, and all over Shelter Island is a favorite, as are day trips to Montauk to grab lunch at Duryea’s or to Bridgehampton for a glass of wine at Wölffer. We love visiting all of the farm stands, especially the ones in Sagaponack, Balsam, Amber Waves, and Round Swamp. Another favorite destination of ours are the Khalily (formerly Campbell) Stables in Bridgehampton!

The South Florida real estate market has been on a hot streak for a while, how is the inventory? Any listings you have right now that you want our readers to know about?
Inventory is fine overall as long as you can truly access the off-market, not just through our own direct clients but also through positive and collaborative relationships within the brokerage community. For almost all of our clients right now, we can show them up to 5+ strategic options for most criteria sets, which is enough to give people a strong grouping of choices without being overwhelmed with information, which can lead to indecision and soften a market if the perception is that it’s “too available”.

Since 2021, we have transacted over 33% of our properties in the off-market and this is a testament not just to productive communication with our colleagues, but also our own internal portfolio and rolodex. Almost all of our portfolio at this time of year is private and off-market, since we’re still in the Palm Beach off-season for a few more weeks. We don’t like putting properties on the market when Buyers aren’t in town to view them in person.

Our two publicly listed MLS properties include a waterfront mansion at 1125 S Ocean Blvd on Billionaire’s Row – in the Estate Section of Palm Beach Island. It’s a rare opportunity to have an annual oceanfront lease in one of the most upscale parts of town for $2.34M per year or $195,000 per month. The house comes with complimentary access to the adjacent beach club, 10,000 square feet of living space, a 20,000 square foot lot with private enclosed pet fence, a seaside pool directly on the sand, and 8BRs/8.5BAs. In previous years, this property has scored the largest lease in Palm Beach. For those seeking to buy and looking for a mansion in the sky, we have an 8th floor unit at coveted One Watermark Place, asking $8.999M. It offers great views of Palm Beach Island, the ocean, and the Intracoastal, plus an unbeatable location just steps to everything — while also boasting air-tight security.

But these two listings probably represent only 20% of our exclusive inventory right now, so it’s best to connect directly to fully review the options.

What type of Properties in the Palm Beach area are in high demand, at the moment?
The two types of properties that are really standing out to my clientele are either a) big economic opportunities where there is a runway to renovate or build new, take advantage of broader fiscal headwinds on the buy-side, and create long-term equity, and b) extremely large and turn-key properties priced above $20M, often houses 7,000+ square feet with 6BRs+, multiple structures (pool or guest house), sometimes gated, and 15,000-20,000+ square foot lots. In other words, we either have local investors who want a “deal” and are willing to put in the work (time, money, headache) to add strategic value, or we have relocating families who want something that checks all of their boxes immediately without having to lift a finger. So there are a lot of professional real estate investors in the market and a lot of buyers seeking instant gratification; in fact the marriage of those two groups has been a big part of how Palm Beach went from a $1BN per year to $4BN per year market over the past 5 years.

Many of our clients are readjusting their lifestyles, moving their corporate offices and kids schools to South Florida for residency benefits, while also keeping secondary homes in Aspen, the Hamptons, Greenwich, or Nantucket. For many of the constituents in this group of people, the interest in moving to Palm Beach is strong as long as they can find a big enough property, with enough bedrooms for the whole family, often detached guest houses, and enough lot size where they don’t feel like they are downgrading too much in size from other markets where land is much cheaper.

Some of the markets our Buyers are matriculating from have an average PPSF between $500-$1,500 PPSF, so people have to find opportunities in Palm Beach that are comfortable enough for it to make sense – especially in a market that is often $2,500-$3,500 PPSF and up. To accommodate this, many of our Buyers are consolidating assets in other locations to achieve the Palm Beach outcome they want. This makes sense especially if you’ve decided to spend 8-9 months a year in Palm Beach, if your office and kids are both in West Palm Beach now, and when you factor in the tax savings over a 5+ year horizon.

Any wisdom you can give someone who is looking to relocate to the Palm Beach area?
You want to be selling when everyone else is buying and buying when everyone else is selling. In that regard, especially compared to the past two years, this is a relatively favorable market to be a Buyer in Palm Beach because there are a lot more opportunities to be aggressive with your offers — as long as you can close quickly and with no contingencies.

There are a lot more win-win scenarios out there where Buyers and Sellers can meet in a very reasonable place as opposed to 2021-2022 where it was “my way or the highway” for Sellers. Showing traffic is down, offer frequency is down, and sales volume is down (by over 50%), so the bidding wars are over and this is a much more normal market where both sides can find something to be happy about in most deals.

Even with sales volume being down year over year (market could be a $3BN market in 2023 versus a $4BN market during 2021-2022), we still see prices remaining very stable and in most cases actually trickling up. For example, the market was hitting a $3,000 PPSF during COVID and many thought it would stabilize around there, but over the past few months we’ve actually seen average pricing go up to $3,300 PPSF, a 10% increase, as it pertains to new products and renovated inventory. In fact, some deals have clocked in at $3,500-$4,500 PPSF non-waterfront.

It’s also important to remember that Palm Beach is a seasonal market. So, if you’re sitting in the Hamptons and reading this in August or September, the time to strike on a Palm Beach purchase is before the Holidays at the end of the year.

Generally speaking, Palm Beach is maxed out on population in January-April and that just means that when you go look at a house, chances are 5 other families looked at it that same week as well — so we tend to encourage people to be aggressive over the Summer and in Q4. On the other hand, a lot of inventory often pops onto MLS in Q1, so you may encounter new options at that time – even if it means you’re going to get less of a “deal” on them.

What are some of your favorite Palm Beach hot spots?
We love Le Bilboquet, which is a place we can also go year-round considering the great Sag Harbor location on the Long Wharf. We also like Imoto, Pizza Al Fresco with the kids, Cafe L’ Europe, Sant Ambroeus for coffee (also love the East Hampton location), and the Colony Cafe for smoothies.

Margit Brandt, Senior Luxury Real Estate AdvisorPremier Estate Properties
Christie’s International

m: 561.545.7386 @margitbrandtpalmbeach