Existing Home Sales Are Up Again In South Florida. And Who’s Buying May Surprise You

Sales are up across Miami-Dade County and Broward, according to the latest Miami Association of Realtors report, and it’s not just snowbirds from the northeast driving activity.

Millennials, and their parents, are also driving sales with lower interest rates sparking investment.

“Millennials surpassed the Baby Boomers in Miami. Millennials were renting, but now they are coming to the age when they are buying, ” said Nancy Batchelor, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty. “The parents are often giving the deposit for their kids to buy. That’s something we haven’t seen before.”

In another shift, Baby Boomers are abandoning the suburbs for urban living.

“They want to live in a walkable neighborhood and have a carefree lifestyle,” Batchelor said.


Total home sales increased by 15.6% year over year, from 1,607 sales in January 2019 to 1,857 sales in January 2020. Condo transactions increased by 16.4%.

Inventory of existing homes decreased by 13.6% for single-family houses — from 7,265 to 6,277 — and 9.8% for condo units — from 16,518 to 14,902. That equals 5.6 months of supply of single-family homes and 12.5 months of supply for condos. A supply of six- to nine- months is considered a balanced market, meaning the market still favors sellers.

Median prices continued to rise. Single-family home prices grew by 7.1%, from $350,000 to $375,000. Condo prices increased by 6.5%, from $230,000 to $245,000.

Luxury sales of homes priced over $1 million rose for both single-family homes and condos. The number of transactions increased by 34.5% for single-family homes, to 78, and by 6.5% for condos, to 49 transactions.

More than 90% of single-family homes and condos sold for at or near the asking price. Cash transactions dipped, comprising 33.8% of sales in January 2020 compared to 37.7% in January 2019. Still, that’s nearly double the national percentage of 21%.

“The banks have good rates,” said Batchelor. “They’ve come up with some creative lending programs.”

The number of foreign buyers also declined.

“About 85% of her clients are from the United States as opposed to five years ago, when that percentage was about 50%,” said Batchelor.


Total home sales for existing inventory increased in Broward by 6%, from 1,916 to 2,031 transactions. The number of single-family homes sold outpaced that of condos. House sales grew by 10.7% from 882 to 976, and 2% for condos, from 1,034 to 1,055.

“I think this activity is going to continue,” said Niki Higgins of Douglas Elliman. “I see activity in the market increasing.”

Existing inventory decreased. The number of single-family homes dropped by 17.4% — from 6,162 to 5,087 listings — and condos by 8.4% — from 8,095 to 8,835 listings. There are 3.8 months of supply of single-family homes and 6.2 months of supply for condos.

The median price for a single-family home grew by 5.5%, from $355,000 to $374,450, and by 6.3% for condos, from $160,000 to $170,000.

The number of sales rose by 24.5% for luxury single-family homes to 61 transactions, but decreased by 10% for luxury condos, or 81 transactions. Higgins sees the the increase in luxury home sales as a lifestyle choice.

“More people are looking for a permanent residence and they tend to look for a single-family home for that,” Higgins said. “Some families are upgrading and, for the most part, if you have two-plus children your not going to find condo living to be the right fit. Luxury prices are also moving up. The top sale in January 2020 was $12.2 million versus $8.5 million in 2019. That says that high net worth individuals are moving here. Luxury buyers are coming from as near as Plantation and as far as Boston, Chicago and New York City. They often buy in the Bay Colony, Harbor Beach and Las Olas areas.”

More than 90% of single-family homes and condos sold for at or near the asking price. Cash transactions dipped, comprising 38.2% of sales in January 2020 compared to 37.7% in January 2019.


Source: Miami Herald