Saunders, Fortune Launch Referral Program

Saunders & Associates’ Andrew Saunders and Fortune International Group’s Edgardo Defortuna (Saunders & Associates, Fortune International Group, iStock)

A Hamptons residential brokerage is looking to make waves with a new link to Miami.

Saunders & Associates and Fortune International Group this week announced an alliance to refer clients between their respective markets. Both firms will remain independently owned and operated.

Fortune CEO Edgardo Defortuna said the alliance provides the company “a direct reach into one of the wealthiest enclaves in the nation.”

Fortune has delivered over 7,000 units and 9 million square feet of projects in South Florida, where the company’s development portfolio spans notable residential properties including the St. Regis Residences, Sunny Isles Beach, and Ritz-Carlton Residences. Fortune Development Sales — its on-site sales and marketing arm for third-party development projects in South Florida — has sold more than 25,000 units.

Saunders & Associates sold and rented $2.6 billion of real estate in 2021. ​​The firm has 260 agents, five offices, and an affiliated title business, New York Title Abstract Services.

“There have never been more synergies between New York and South Florida than there are today,” Andrew Saunders, president of Saunders & Associates, said in a statement.

Among the trends the markets have in common are frenzies in the past few years followed by rising mortgage rates and a lack of inventory has started to slow demand in recent months.

In Miami-Dade County, total home sales in May fell nearly 10 percent to 3,198 closings year over year. Condo sales decreased nearly 9 percent to 2,005 closings, while single-family home sales declined 12.3 percent to 1,193 sales, compared to May 2021.

Prices have skyrocketed in the wake of low inventory. The median price of single-family homes rose 15 percent year over year to $575,000. It jumped 28 percent to $415,000 for condos.

Inventory in the Hamptons this year has hovered near historic lows, falling by 41 percent to 671 available homes from the first quarter of last year. The shift pushed the average sales price up to a record $2.6 million.

In the North Fork, listing inventory was down 26 percent year over year to just 89 homes, the area’s second-lowest level ever.

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