Miami Real Estate Market


Now Is the Time to Buy in Southern Florida

Miami Condos

People are purchasing homes in southern Florida as if there were no tomorrow, and it’s reminiscent of how the housing market was faring in 2005. One difference is that current purchase prices aren’t quite as high as they were at that time. However, the number of single-family homes sold in Miami-Dade County this past July is higher than the number of houses sold in any month during the boom. At the moment, purchase prices are 35 percent lower than they were during the boom, but they have been going up.


Why are purchase prices continuing to increase? Right now, there is plenty of supply. At the same time, mortgage interest rates favor the buyer, but this isn’t expected to last much longer, so demand is also high.


According to the Miami Association of Realtors, people paid the median price of $180,000 for a Miami condo in July. Last year at that time, buyers only paid $135,000. The number of sales also increased in July. In Miami-Dade County, there were 1,538 closings when last year there were only 1,356. During that time, more Miami condos for sale were being listed. Last year, 7,451 units were listed, but 8,458 were listed this year. Also in July, realtors determined that their condominium supply would last six months, but in June, they only had enough properties to last 5.8 months. The six-month estimated supply is also higher than the amount of inventory from July of last year that was only estimated to last 5.6 months.


A six-month supply of Miami condominiums is highly advantageous because this signals that there are nearly as many homes for sale as there are buyers. If there are more buyers than sellers, then the sellers have the upper hand when it comes to setting prices. As things are today, sellers can set an asking price and receive it.


In Broward County, the supply is decreasing. With more buyers, sellers receive more of their asking prices than they have in the recent past. Furthermore, the inventory isn’t remaining on the market for as long as it had been. These actions taken together cause purchase prices to steadily increase.


An example of the above trend is what happened in Davie. Coldwell Banker real estate agent Bette Abrams listed a three-bedroom house with two bathrooms on a Friday with an asking price of $239,000. She only had to wait two days to receive an offer that was a little more than the listed price.


According to Abrams, there is definitely interest in Miami homes for sale, but there is just one little problem. Abrams has been unable to close some of her sales because the appraisals were much too low. This appears to be the main obstacle to Miami homes sales right now.    


The president of EWM Realty International Ron Shuffield stated that Miami-Dade condo sales increased because sellers were waiting for an opportune time to place their properties on the market, and now is that time.



What Future Buyers Need to Know about the South Florida Housing Market

Miami condos for Sale

The Miami real estate market continues to recover, and proof of this is what occurred in April. During that month, the average purchase price of Miami single-family homes was $225,000, and this was an increase of 23.7 percent over last April’s average purchase price. The average purchase price of Miami condos for sale increased to $175,000, and this is a 17.1 percent increase over the same time period.


In April, inventory for single-family homes decreased by 6.9 percent, but this did not prevent an increase in sales for these properties. At that time, 1,094 single-family homes were sold, and this was an increase of 15.2 percent in the Miami-Dade area.


Miami-Dade also saw an increase in the number of condominium homes sold. There was only a 1.1 percent increase in the number of listings for the area in April, but there was an 18.7 percent increase in sales over the previous year. In April, there was high demand for condominium homes and an increasing number of sales expected, so it was estimated that Miami-Dade had only 5.7 months worth of inventory remaining. Last year, the market had enough inventory to last 6.1 months during the month of April.


Real estate agents know that there is a lack of inventory, so they are astonished that people are purchasing properties at greater numbers as time goes by. The Chairman of Miami Realtors Natascha Tello stated that sales weren’t expected to surpass 2012 levels because of the limited number of supply and the past two years of record-setting sales, but the opposite is happening.


The housing market in Broward County is experiencing the same phenomenon. Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors stated that the average purchase price for a single-family home increased by 22 percent over last April’s purchase price to $250,000. The Realtors’ Group declared that average prices for condominium homes and townhouses increased by 24 percent. In April 2013, people were paying the average price of $105,000 for these types of properties.


Charles Bonfiglio of Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors offered an explanation for current market trends. Those who have been waiting to list their homes on the market believe that now is the time to do so because it’s very likely that they will receive their asking prices or something very close to them.


According to the Realtors’ Group, Broward homeowners only received 91.6 percent of their asking prices in 2012. This year in April, homeowners received 94.8 percent of their asking prices. Sellers of condominiums and townhouses saw similar numbers. Last year, they received 91.6 percent of their asking prices, but they received 94.4 percent of their asking prices this year in April.  


All over Florida, housing markets are recovering, and this was very evident in April when housing prices and sales increased by double digits. For example, the average purchase price of single-family homes was $165,000 in April, and this was a 14.2 percent increase over the year before.




Miami Real Estate Prices Compared to Prices Around the World


It might seem that real estate prices in Miami are on the high end of the scale, but one look at housing prices throughout the world shows the reality of the situation. While there are economists and journalists putting forth their opinion that real estate in the Miami area is overpriced, they are simply wrong. In fact, Miami homes on the market tend to be on the lower end of the pricing scale, compared to some other parts of the country. In fact, property in Miami is less expensive than real estate in New York, Denver, or even San Francisco.

This can be seen in the price per square foot comparison taken between Miami and San Francisco, for example. Miami real estate estimates come in at around $182 per square foot, while San Francisco prices tap out at around $520 per square foot. Taken in that context, it certainly seems that Miami prices are definitely not out of touch with the rest of the world’s housing prices.

Part of what makes Miami so attractive when it comes to real estate is the absolute beauty of the area. Anyone who has seen what life is like on the shore knows that Miami is one of the most dazzling areas to live. Because of the interest in the area, it stands to reason that a great number of terrific shops, boutiques, and restaurants are also found in Miami. Taken from any angle, living in Miami is nothing short of a dream come true. There are few other parts of the country that offer Miami’s unique combination of a cosmopolitan experience combined with a “laid back” beach lifestyle, making Miami homes for sale one of the first areas where some experts feel the housing market will begin its rebound.

It looks as if this is the season when Miami is going to be one of the hottest areas for real estate, with buyers from the North looking to bask in the sunshine while their friends and neighbors shiver in the cold. By the same token, many European buyers have set their sights on Miami, both for the scenery and the incredible value. This can be seen by comparing real estate prices in Helsinki with the prices in the Miami area. Someone living in Finland, for example, would be paying around $1,366 per square foot for their real estate. When that is compared to the prices in Miami, it is easy to see why Miami is attracting so much attention from around the world.


South Florida Real Estate $15 Billion Housing Stimuls Package Was Proposed..

South Florida Real Estate $15 Billion Housing Stimuls Package Was Proposed By President Barack Obama


The American jobs act included a proposed $15 billion housing stimulus plan. What are the contents of this plan? More importantly, how will the $15 billion housing stimulus package affect Miami real estate and the overall market value in South Florida? Is the housing stimulus plan beneficial to South Floridians?

Pres. Barack Obama designed a plan to connect unemployed Americans to distressed areas where there is a growing need for repair, re-purposing, and reselling residential and commercial properties. Modeled after the successful neighborhood stabilization plan, the Americans job act will invest $15 billion in targeted rehabilitation programs within targeted communities nationwide. Miami is one of the targeted areas included in this job act.

The American Job Act's Goals:

1. To stabilize the community by providing focus and resources to distressed areas

The idea of focusing the resources on distressed commercial properties and pushing off new business construction has its roots in occupancy. By re-purposing buildings already in existence, the American Job Act hopes to raise occupancy in buildings within Miami Beach real estate to give the area a boost. Of course, once occupancy is raised sufficiently, then new buildings will gain focus once more in an area no longer distressed due to the economy.

2. To support collaborative redevelopment strategies

The American Job Act seeks to combine the efforts of multiple avenues within South Florida real estate to engage new investors and buyers in purchasing South Florida real estate. This includes non-profit organizations, local government and private sector business working together. And, when the area is not distressed anymore, the focus would shift back to new businesses and developments within Miami real estate.

3. Provide funding for land banking

Funding of this type increases the interest within the community, which in return increases holdings and eventually increases the rate of redeveloping distressed properties. Project rebuild provides necessary capital infusions to increase private sector development interest. Basically, it provides access to monies at low interest rates. It is a goal that requires time to fully reach fruition within Miami Beach real estate.

4. Create jobs

The creation of jobs will be and in particular areas and industries. Property maintenance, property rehabilitation, and rebuilding will see the most rise in job related activities. Jobs improve the area's economy and increase sales of homes within Miami Beach real estate as families find their financial footing.

Florida stands to receive $2.7 billion in federal grant money through project rebuild. A large some of this money will be directed towards redeveloping the communities real estate, funding land, and development of new properties within the area. Of course, this must all be approved by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The neighborhood stabilization program, or NSP, has already provided cantonal financial results within Miami real estate. In Palm Beach County alone, 15 homes or rehabilitated and are now occupied by new owners as a direct result of the neighborhood stabilization program.

The goal of this program is to place families and individuals into homes that are affordable within this economy. However, the new program may experience struggles on the climb to success. Either way, the program will provide additional value to South Florida real estate and its surrounding areas.


Canadians Showing Support of Miami & South Florida Real Estate


Lately, a lot of attention has been focused on the Miami real estate market and the international buyers it is attracting that hail from Europe and South America. However, one of the largest groups showing an interest in the region are from Canada. Florida realtors, a trade group, reports that thirty six percent of international and real estate purchases can be directly attributed to Canada.

Canadians interest in South Florida real estate

The Bank of Montréal reports that twenty percent of Canadians are looking to purchase US property as an investment and vacation destination. That is a huge number when the statistical data is analyzed.

The recent recession in the economy has depressed the US real estate market and dropped prices to a near all time low. At the same time, the loonie, the Canadian dollar, has gained strength. This is spurring renewed interest for Canadians purchasing vacation homes abroad. The Canadian interest in South Florida real estate has always been strong. It is only the recent economical situations of both countries that has sped up the timelines for owning property abroad for Canadians buyers.

Canadians from all parts of Canada, but the largest groups are from Toronto, Calgary, Montréal, and they are interested in purchasing South Florida real estate for the same reasons that US citizens are interested in purchasing Miami real estate. Due to the harsh weather experienced in Canada during the winter months, many Canadians are seeking warmer climates for vacationing. Florida, however, experiences a tropical climate year-round, making it an ideal place for Canadian buyers. In addition, Miami real estate offers nice beaches and easy flight access while still offering a variety of potential lifestyles. Miami has properties available in almost all districts, each offering distinct experiences for the new home owners. Miami is a tropical paradise that finally has reached a point in which real estate is affordable due to the recession.

Another contributing factor in Canada's interest in Miami Florida properties for sale is the rising property value within their own country. As US's real estate market has experienced declining property values over the last few years, Canada has seen a doubling of property value during the same time span. According to the Montréal Gazette, the average property value in Canada is just over $330,000 which is up from $150,000 fifteen years ago.
It is this appreciation in Canadian homes that is allowing homeowners to utilize the equity within the domestic properties to purchase Miami property for vacationing. This particular method of refinancing a home means that the transaction is a fairly simple process.

What Miami Property Are Canadians Buying?

Most properties purchased by Canadians are focused in the areas of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach. This information is verified by the Miami Association of realtors. The types of Miami Florida properties for sale the Canadians purchase are varied. While many are seeking single-family homes to use expressly for the purpose of vacation, there is also a large number of Canadian purchases that are targeted toward condos within Miami real estate. Condos offer great vacationing locations with beautiful ocean front views while single family homes are suited larger families.


Real Estate Investment is in Demand in Miami Florida


Investors are finding Miami rental properties and Miami commertial real estate appealing as prices dip down due to a depressed economy. Due to this situation, Miami real estate is becoming one of the hottest commodities on the market. In turn as one of the best places to invest, Miami is seeing a surge in interested investors that promises to turn the local economy around. With the promise of a bright and profitable future, investors cannot go wrong with purchases made in the real estate Miami has to offer.

Three reasons back the growth within the Miami real estate market. Foreclosures began the interest in both Miami commertial real estate and Miami rental properties, creating a large list of available properties from which investors could pick. Next, the drop in the economy contributed by driving prices down in an attempt to gain buyers. Finally, the sheer lack of new construction gains attention for buildings in which Miami luxury real estate is already completed and waiting for buyers, setting the stage for investors looking to make a profit based on returns through renting the properties purchased under contract.

Projections, or going means, indicate that Miami real estate will continue to be a mecca for those searching for Miami rental properties as a source of income based on the steady rate of foreclosure as the economic drop steadies out Miami commertial real estate and Miami luxury real estate can provide a nice income for buyers when the units are rented, thus creating a more steady Miami real estate market. In fact, this trend is expected to continue to rise through at least 2013. With the numbers on their sides, investors are ready to take the plunge into owning rental property and commercial property at prime prices with a high rate of return on their investment.

Miami rental properties make good sense as many buyers wish to rent due to the tougher economic tides within the market today. A short term contract between investor and renter is more desirable than the risk of a mortgage for many buyers in a time where jobs are not as stable as they once were. This makes purchasing Miami luxury real estate a profitable business for those investors wishing to see high returns on their investment within real estate. Many of the luxury units available for purchase by investors include Miami beach waterfront condos, an especially alluring location for buyers and renters looking for vacation homes.

The economic down slide in the market, due in part to the instability in the job market, has also created a downsizing in terms of building. Therefore, many investors have placed their bets on Miami beach waterfront condos in which rental agreements and outright purchase of units by buyers have managed to show profit gains regardless of the socioeconomic situation.

This demand for rental properties place the torch of power into the investors hands in Miami commertial real esate as well as in the residential Miami beach waterfront condos. Since real estate markets invariably turn with the tide of the economy, investors can be assured that Miami luxury real estate will continue to gain appreciation, allowing investors the opportunity to sell down the road for a hefty profit within the Miami commertial real estate markets and in the residential sector with Miami beach waterfront condos.


Ft.Lauderdale sales market rebounds quickly thanks foreign investors


In 1998, new condo construction began within the Fort Lauderdale real estate market. L'Hermitage Tower I and L'Hermitage Tower II were two of the condominiums built. L'Hermitage Tower I sold first in ’98 with its twin selling in ’99. These two buildings marked the turn of an age. However, that age would suffer its own woes before the market would stabilize, evening out and reaching its full potential.

Fort Lauderdale real estate took a major hit when the market crashed during 2008 and 2009. 2010 saw a mild rebound with 2011 bringing the market back into focus with higher sales in oceanfront condo in Ft.Lauderdale and single family homes in Fort Lauderdale. Foreclosures and repossessions would eventually benefit the international market during 2010 and 2011 by pushing prices into the arena of the irresistible discount on prime properties such as L'Hermitage Tower II and single family homes in Fort Lauderdale.

Oceanfront condo in Ft.Lauderdale has seen the biggest rise in sales. Currently, there are only around 400 available for sale. Foreign purchasers are pushing the increase with some help from buyers in the midwest. The drive for foreign investors began with the allure of low prices as the exchange rate for the dollar decreased, giving deeper savings to investors. The lure of purchasing while the economy struggled to stabilize is the eventual savings.

According to statistical data, that approach has worked in favor of the investor. CNN reported on a 62 unit oceanfront condo in Ft.Lauderdale that grossed its overseas investor a whopping 30% in profits a mere 9 months after purchase. The investor, an Australian, bought the oceanfront condo in Ft.Lauderdale on a short sale. The advantage of this was apparent as the investor could still sell the property well below other developers to continue to see high profit returns.

Foreclosures are also enticing international buyers as investors from Canada have shown with a high interest in single family homes in Fort Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale real estate is a virtual "candy land" for investors seeking to rent property or to use the homes for rental purposes. Available units in L'Hermitage Tower I are also appealing to investors as these can be purchased for multiple purposes once the sale has been completed.


Miami Condo Sales Up 46 Percent

The Miami real estate scene is unlike any other. To the average person, the entire situation will look like an enigma. However, there are reasons for everything that’s taking place. The biggest mystery when it comes to Miami home sales is why prices continue to decrease even though inventory is decreasing and sales are up? There is an explanation.

The first thing we need to look at is year-to-date sales. This gives us a broad overview of what’s taking place withMiami single family home sales as well as condo sales. In Miami-Dade County, condo sales have risen an impressive 36.2% over last year. Miami single family home sales posted an increase of 19.4%. The numbers are similar in nearby Broward County, where increases have been 16.5% for condos and 14.2% for single family homes.

If you take a simple supply and demand look at the real estate picture in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, prices should increase. However, what most people don’t realize is that Latin Americans and international investors are scooping up Miami home sales at bargain-basement prices, which has driven sales prices lower. Did you know that 60% of condos for sale in Miami have been bought by foreign buyers? When it comes to single family homes, foreign buyers have bought 90% of the properties. These buyers have taken advantage of the Miami foreclosure sale trend as well as short sales. In most cases, these are cash investors. These factors are what have led to decreased prices. The problem with traditional sellers is that they’re not willing to sell unless it’s absolutely necessary. In their minds, why would they sell when prices are bottoming? Are they correct? Is there proof that prices are bottoming?

There is as much good news as there is bad news. In 2009, there were 61,755 single family homes and condos for sale in Miami. In May of 2011, there were only 31,659 condos and homes for sale in the Miami area. That’s a huge decrease in inventory. As this trend continues, prices for Miami home sales will begin to rise again – regardless of the methods being used by savvy buyers. Also bear in mind that the first five months of 2011 was one of the best stretches for Miami home sales on record. Over 23,000 single family homes and condos were sold.

Let’s focus on May of 2011, which was a banner month for Miami real estate. When compared to May of 2010, condo sales rose 46% and single family homes rose 20%. These numbers exceeded expectations and bucked the national trend for the year. On a national level, real estate prices dropped by double digits during the same time period. If you think Miami might only be a small sampling and a fluke, consider that Broward County also posted increases when it comes to volume of sales. Condos sales in Broward County rose 14% while single family homes in Broward County rose 6%.

With all these factors considered, it looks as though stabilization is taking place. This is what eventually happens when inventory slashing takes place. There are two ways to look at this. If you’re a seller, then it would be wise to remain patient because prices are likely to rise. If you’re a seller, then it would be wise to jump on the opportunity now. Every day you wait decreases your odds of turning a profit. All that said, two potential threats still remain, which are the local job picture and home equity. Unemployment is at 13.4%. This could go either way. If the jobs picture remains ugly, people will begin to accept lower paying jobs, which should help boost local real estate sales, although not as much as if the unemployment and national economy improve as a whole. As far as home equity goes, it’s non-existent. If Warren Buffet believes you should buy when there’s blood in the streets, then it’s time to start buying. Ten years from now, you might quadruple your net worth.


Home Prices Rose in August in Half of Major Cities

The real estate market has suffered quite a blow as a result of the national recession in the U.S. However, recent statistics indicate that the home prices in several major cities are now stabilizing. As of October 18, 2011, a new home development in Canonsburg, PA has made evident that the housing market is on the rise, with an increase in home prices in August as compared to July. These price increases have been tracked in 10 of the 20 cities surveyed according to Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index.

Chicago, Detroit, Miami and Washington experienced the most significant increases in prices, while Atlanta and Los Angeles had the greatest declines. Based on the findings of the Chairman of S&P's index committee, David M. Blitzer, the August data indicates a "modest glimmer of hope" that some of the hardest hit areas are turning around. It was noted by Mr. Blitzer that midwestern cities like, Detroit, Minneapolis and Chicago have shown strong signs of recovery since May of this year.

In areas such as Chicago and Minneapolis, higher home prices make better sales figures due to the fact that not many homes are being listed for sale. The low number of foreclosures in these cities was the notable cause. The largest decline in homes for sale was discovered in the Twin Cities with a record seven year decline.

The recent housing market data looks promising, however, the co-founder of the index and Yale Economics Professor, Robert Shiller was quoted in a CNBC interview that "The overall home prices were "flat", and a recovery was not on the horizon. Another price decline is anticipated when the banks repossess foreclosed homes that number in the millions. The government's investigation of mortgage lending practices has delayed the banks' actions.

Based on the predictions of Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist for BTIG, the housing decline is behind us and we should see some improvement from now on. Though the vast amount of home inventory is still on the market, prompting even more price decreases before the market is clear.

The home prices of coastal cities have certainly stabilized in the past six months. Spring investors and buyers have definitely helped this area. Florida Miami homes have peaked in sales at phenomenal rates. The luxury homes in South Florida, especially the Miami Beach real estate and Fort Lauderdale real estate areas, offer Miami condos for sale at prices that make for a prime investment opportunity. This area is popular for its alluring upscale shops, dining and entertainment venues that attract people from every corner of the world.

Comparably other regions of the country are experiencing a slower recovery rate. This includes the cities of Las Vegas, Cleveland, Tampa, Phoenix and Detroit, which have come to their lowest points since the market crash four years ago.


Miami Foreclosure Statistics for 2011 and South Florida Real Estate

Recent data made available from Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties has indicated a significant decrease in foreclosed homes and condos in South Florida. As of early June 2011 it was found that the amount of foreclosed Miami real estate is now at 11,551. This number is favorably decreased from last year's 30,635 homes and condos which caused one of the worst bust cycles in South Florida. Key contributors to this extreme drop in foreclosures is a rise in employment throughout the state and a generous amount of foreigners that buy these Miami properties.

According to the latest statistics, the properties in and around Miami are experiencing a buying frenzy at phenomenal rates. This boom in the Miami housing market has attracted many saavy investors to these incredibly desirable properties. The value of real estate in Miami has also taken a turn upwards, which is great for the economy of the state of Florida.

Home sales have gone up even more significantly than employment according to 2010 figures. Single family home sales are up over 50% along with condo sales up over a whopping 130%. Historically, the state of Florida has always experienced these boom and bust cycles. Clearly in 2010 home values were down, transforming the real estate scene into a buyers market.

Upscale Miami rentals have also become popular, with Miami Beach rentals leading the way. These properties have literally vanished as prospects from New York have choosen South Florida for their preferred place of residency. A healthy share of New Yorkers are seeking both buying and rental opportunities. A time where pocket listings that do not require an MLS listing for rental has come around again. In downtown Miami and Brickell, a report from the Downtown Development Authority showed a 31% increase in February of this year. That is a significant rise from 2009.

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