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  • Last week, Lionel Messi announced he intends to join Major League Soccer (MLS) club Inter Miami.
  • While this is huge news for the MLS, the Miami real estate industry is also ready for a surge in activity.

Miami just added a new appeal to its arsenal – soccer’s most beloved player, Lionel Messi. This addition to the Sunshine State has sparked a buzz in the real estate industry, highlighting the business opportunities it presents. 

Messi to Miami

Last week, Messi announced his decision to play for Inter Miami, the Major League Soccer (MLS) soccer club David Beckham is co-owner of, instead of taking a generous offer from Saudi Arabia (reportedly close to half a billion dollars annually). 

It didn’t take long for fans to respond to Messi’s decision. Within days, Inter Miami’s ticket prices rose 1,000%, and its Instagram skyrocketed—going from 1 million followers to over 7 million—making it the most-followed U.S. team beyond NBA franchises.

With that type of fan fury, there’s no doubt that Messi’s move is a game-changer for the MLS. 

But the Miami real estate industry is also ready to reap the benefits.

South Florida Market

Miami has always been a hot spot for people worldwide—college spring breakers, celebrities, and in recent years, world-famous athletes. 

This type of draw for South Florida, along with the pandemic housing boom, has caused home prices to rise dramatically over the past couple of years. While there have been some signs of an easing market in Florida, Miami home values were up 8.5% year over year in May, according to Zillow

And with Messi coming to Miami, there may be another push for real estate in the area.

Messi’s Impact on Real Estate

Messi is expected to bring another boom to the local real estate market, much like how LeBron James did in 2010. And because Messi is a global star, his arrival may cause an even bigger impact. 

Angel Nicolas, Miami-based Compass real estate agent and found of The Nicolas Group, told Front Office Sports, “Messi is more of a worldwide celebrity (than LeBron) and is going to attract more of a European crowd than ever before in my opinion.” 

South Florida has drawn in celebrities and athletes for a long time, and over the past couple of years, it has been a top migration spot for Americans. Now, with the blockbuster move of Messi, there is no doubt even more people will be making moves to the area.

I’m already getting a lot of phone calls from Argentinians, people from Columbia, Chile, and lots of Europeans who already have been coming down but now really want to buy a place here and have a condo they can rent out when they’re not using it. Little by little, I assume they will make [Miami] their primary home.

Angel Nicolas

Founder, The Nicolas Group