“Lionel Messi’s New $10.8 Million Home in Fort Lauderdale: A Win-Win Situation for Everyone”

Lionel Messi, the soccer superstar, is elevating the sport’s popularity not only in Miami, but throughout the United States, and his acquisition of a $10.75 million villa has drawn interested eyes from around the world to a gated neighbourhood he now calls home in Fort Lauderdale.

When the 36-year-old forward signed with Inter Miami CF earlier this summer, fresh off his World Cup victory in Qatar last year, Messi Mania descended on Miami, with ardent supporters and the newly initiated lining up for tickets and merchandise. Although the real estate market may not go as crazy as the stock market, it is not immune to the hype, according to industry analysts.

“A buyer with a massive international following is a magnet for attention, and ever since the news broke that Messi was house hunting in Fort Lauderdale, and then closed on a home in Bay Colony, all eyes have been on the area,” said Chad Carroll, vice president of the Carroll Group at Compass. “A new high-profile neighbour like Messi will up the ante for the neighbourhood, which is already one of the most exclusive in the city.”

Carroll describes Compass Bay Colony as an island community of roughly 100 waterfront mansions that draws boating enthusiasts as well as those seeking utmost security because it is guard-gated 24 hours a day. According to Zillow, the average price of a property in the area is $4.6 million.

Messi’s purchase of the nearly 10,500-square-foot mansion with his wife, model Antonela Roccuzzo, will undoubtedly “create a stronger demand in the community and create a new price benchmark for future sales,” according to Samuel and Donna Simpkin of Compass’s Team Simpkin, who represented Messi and Roccuzzo and are the Inter Miami CF’s exclusive real estate agents.

Others, however, point out that while a buyer with a well-known name may draw attention to the region, it is unlikely to affect prices, according to Ron Shuffield, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty.

“Buyers aren’t necessarily going to spend a million dollars more because they’re living next door to a celebrity,” he added. “It’s a collective, positive stamp for a neighbourhood, and it certainly adds to the reason why people might want to move to said location or why it might be more of a draw … people may be more interested in living in that enclave because the celebrity singled it out for its status and offerings.”

Furthermore, Shuffield emphasised the attractiveness of the Fort Lauderdale area, which extends beyond Bay Colony.

“While Miami will always be the global brand of South Florida, our sister cities—from the southernmost tip of Key West to the northern reaches of Palm Beach County—have continued to grow in their appeal among consumers,” he went on to say. “A prime example of this is Fort Lauderdale.” Ft. Lauderdale’s city leadership has been aggressive in transforming the city from what had been predicted for many years as a spring break paradise to a booming economic centre and a top destination for permanent inhabitants.”

Messi’s arrival on the scene has prompted the development of even more new infrastructure—stadium designs.

“Messi moving to South Florida has been big news, and it has absolutely impacted everything,” Cyril Bijaoui of the Corcoran Group said in a statement, emphasising that the construction of Inter Miami’s stadium has now begun. “This will absolutely have a positive effect on future sales within the community and nearby.”

Jennifer Abbott of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty sold the home in an off-market transaction.

According to PropertyShark records, the property last sold in 2022 for $9 million. The sellers, who made a 20% profit, were unavailable for comment. She refused to comment.

According to a 2022 offering, the eight-bedroom, nine-and-a-half-bathroom property was built in 1988 and designed by Toronto-based designer Lori Morris. According to the description, there is 170 feet of lake frontage, two docks, a gymnasium and spa area, an office, and a 1,600-square-foot primary bedroom suite. Rais did not respond to a request for comment right away.

“Homes in Bay Colony don’t trade often so inventory is limited and I think Messi’s purchase will cause prices to skyrocket,” Carroll told the news outlet. “It is one of the few neighbourhoods with 24-hour armed security, and is less than a mile from one of the most prestigious private schools in South Florida.”

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