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South Florida home, condo sales surge in October

South Florida home, condo sales surge in October

Home and condo sales in South Florida surged by double digits in October, with especially strong volume in the Miami-Dade County condo market, according to the Florida Realtors.

There were 3,854 single-family home sales in the tri-county region in October, up 11.5 percent from October 2017, when much of Florida was still recovering from Hurricane Irma a month prior. It’s possible that some sales that were scheduled to close in September 2017 were pushed back to October because of the storm. The median sales price increased 5.1 percent, to $350,000.

Statewide, the sales volume was not quite as high. Single-family home sales for all of Florida increased 8.5 percent, to 22,272, while the median sales price climbed 7.6 percent, to $253,853. Closings increased in each of the major metro areas of Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville.

Florida Realtors Chief Economist Brad O’Connor said the growth in single-family home sales came due to a rise in the level of inventory for sale.

“If this trend continues into the new year, and should mortgage rates continue to climb, as well, we might eventually see less vigorous price growth,” he said. “But for now, price growth remains robust.”

In the condo/townhouse market in South Florida, sales spiked 20.3 percent, to 3,763. The median sales price grew 6.7 percent, to $190,000.

Throughout Florida, condo/townhouse sales increased 14.1 percent to 9,270 while the median sales price rose 5.9 percent to $180,000.

“Inventory levels in the condo-townhouse category have also been on the rise as of late, with active condo and townhouse listings up almost 5.4 percent statewide compared to last year,” O’Connor said. “This rise in inventory has been good for sales.”

Miami-Dade County

In Miami-Dade County, single-family home sales jumped 8.1 percent, to 1,073, while the median sales price increased 2.9 percent, to $350,000. Sales volume growth was strongest in the $250,000 to $599,999 price range. Active listings grew 12 percent, so the supply of inventory at the current sales pace increased to 6.4 months. That’s a fairly balanced market between buyers and sellers.

For the condo/townhouse market in Miami-Dade, sales surged 21.3 percent, to 1,211, while the median sales price grew 8.7 percent, to $235,000. Cash deals were up 17.1 percent, an indication of more international buyer and investor activity. Sellers received a median of 93.5 percent of their original list price, a sign that more sellers were willing to drop prices to move their units. Active listings increased 5 percent, so the supply of inventory decreased to 13.8 months. That’s still a buyer’s market because there’s a lot of inventory to choose from.

Broward County

In Broward County, single-family home sales climbed 10.1 percent, to 1,322, while the median sales price increased 6 percent, to $355,000, according to Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale. Sales volume grew the most for homes listed at $400,000 and up. Active listings jumped 16 percent, so the supply of inventory increased to 4.5 months. That’s still a seller’s market, because that was a shortage of inventory on the market for buyers to choose from.

For the condo/townhouse market in Broward, sales were up 20 percent, to 1,476, while the median sales price inched up 1.3 percent, to $157,000. Cash deals surged 22.9 percent. Active listings grew 4 percent, so the supply of inventory declined to 5.6 months. That’s a seller’s market.

“Our numbers continue to appear high this fall because our market was rebounding from Hurricane Irma this time last year,” Ron Lennen, president of Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale. “Closed sales, dollar volume, new listings, etc. These year-over-year numbers are atypical for Broward County.”

Palm Beach County

In Palm Beach County, single-family home sales jumped 15.6 percent, to 1,458, while the median sales price was up 6.8 percent, to $347,250, according to Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale. Cash deals grew 27.5 percent. Active listings increased 2 percent, so the supply of inventory remained at 4.8 months. That’s a seller’s market.

For condos/townhouses in Palm Beach, sales were up 19.2 percent, to 1,074, while the median sales price grew 9.5 percent, to $185,000. Cash deals increased 19.7 percent. Active listings remained flat, but the supply of inventory fell to 5.2 months. That’s a seller’s market.

“The numbers we are seeing year-over-year for single-family homes may not show the true picture since September, October, and even November of 2017 may be skewed due to the lingering effects of Hurricane Irma in the Palm Beach County market,” said Jeffrey Levine, incoming president of Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale. “What we should look at is year-to-date numbers which continues to show a flattening market in all aspects. Median and average sale price, along with dollar volume of units sold, are still increasing, which in turn is also contributing to the slowdown in sales as properties become less affordable.”

Higher interest rates for mortgage could also slow down sales, Levine added.

Brian Bendell, South Florida Business Journal.