July 20, 2013
How one billionaire – and America’s housing market and America’s housing market – came back from the brink
By JOANNA SLATER
In Miami, condo king Jorge Perez is back from the financial abyss that he was thrown into after the collapse of the market in 2008. Across the U.S., builders are getting back to work, eager to capitalize on rising home values and pent-up demand.
On a recent sunny Friday morning, Jorge Perez, the ruling magnate of Miami real estate, strode into the living room of his waterfront home and settled into an overstuffed chair with a view of Biscayne Bay. A small, fluffy white dog named Samson jumped into his lap.
The developer was in casual mode – jeans, a blue-and-white striped shirt, slip-on shoes – and preparing to leave for a vacation in Tuscany. In conversation, he had the expansive air of someone who has veered close to disaster and lived to tell the story. After all, it wasn’t so long ago that his company was nearly crushed in the real estate collapse.
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