From the Miami Herald's Nicholas Nehamas:
Feds crack down on secret real estate deals in Miami-Dade and New York
Federal authorities on Wednesday announced a temporary, anti-money laundering crackdown on pricey homes bought secretly with cash in Miami-Dade County and New York City.
The new policy will require title insurance companies to identify the owners of shell companies that pay $1 million or more in cash for homes in Miami-Dade and $3 million or more for homes in New York City and report their names to the federal government.
The move reflects concerns that dirty money from abroad is helping fuel the local residential real estate boom. Wealthy buyers in South Florida often use a network of domestic and offshore companies to prevent their names becoming public. Using a limited liability company to buy property also offers owners legal benefits such as liability protection.
From the New York Times:
U.S. Will Track Secret Buyers of Luxury Real Estate in Manhattan and Miami
Concerned about illicit money flowing into luxury real estate, the Treasury Department said Wednesday that it would begin identifying and tracking secret buyers of high-end properties.
The initiative will start in two of the nation’s major destinations for global wealth: Manhattan and Miami-Dade County. It will shine a light on the darkest corner of the real estate market: all-cash purchases made by shell companies that often shield purchasers’ identities.
It is the first time the federal government has required real estate companies to disclose names behind all-cash transactions, and it is likely to send shudders through the real estate industry, which has benefited enormously in recent years from a building boom increasingly dependent on wealthy, secretive buyers.