Miami Luxury Home Sales Jump in March

Miami Luxury Home Sales Jump in March

Residential News » Miami Edition | By Michael Gerrity | April 25, 2018 8:01 AM ET

According to new data from the Miami Association of Realtors, Miami luxury single-family home sales posted double-digit gains as median prices for all properties continued rising in March 2018.

Miami-Dade County luxury single-family home sales ($1 million and above) increased 10.3 percent year-over-year in March 2018, rising from 68 to 75. Miami single-family luxury sales have risen in five out of the last six months (Feb. 2018, Jan. 2018, Dec. 2017 and Oct. 2017). Median prices for existing single-family homes and condominiums increased 8.1 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.

"Miami is a top-10 market in the world for luxury real estate," said George Jalil, a Miami broker and the 2018 MIAMI chairman of the board. "Miami is a seeing robust demand for luxury single-family homes. Sellers are becoming more realistic with their prices and $1 million and up home sales have posted strong selling months."

Federal tax reform, which was signed into law Dec. 22, sets a deductions cap for income, sales and property taxes at $10,000. The new cap is leading more residents of states with high property values and state income tax to purchase properties in states such as Florida, which has no state income tax and a pro-business tax structure.

Total Home Sales Decrease in March

Total Miami home sales declined 17.5 percent year-over-year in March, from 2,603 to 2,147. Single-family home sales decreased 13.5 percent, from 1,276 to 1,104. Existing condo sales decreased 21.4 percent, from 1,327 to 1,043.

The declines come on the heels of several strong months of sales. Miami existing condo sales had risen for three consecutive months (December 2017 through February 2018). Single-family home sales increased in January 2018.

Total sales volume for all properties accounted for $1.02 billion last month, down 12.8 percent from a year ago. Sales don't include Miami's multi-billion dollar new construction condo market.

Lack of access to mortgage loans continues to inhibit further growth of the existing condominium market. Of the 9,307 condominium buildings in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, only 12 are approved for Federal Housing Administration loans, down from 29 last year, according to Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and FHA.

More than Six Consecutive Years of Price Appreciation in Miami

Miami-Dade County single-family home prices increased 8.1 percent in March 2018, increasing from $322,000 to $348,000. Miami single-family home prices have risen for 76 consecutive months, a streak spanning more than six years. Existing condo prices rose 2.2 percent, from $225,000 to $230,000 in March. Condo prices have increased in 79 of the last 82 months.

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage increased for the sixth straight month to 4.44 percent in March (highest since 4.46 percent in December 2013) from 4.33 percent in February. The average commitment rate for all of 2017 was 3.99 percent.

Miami Distressed Sales Continue to Drop, Reflecting Healthy Market

Only 6.4 percent of all closed residential sales in Miami were distressed last month, including REO (bank-owned properties) and short sales, compared to 11.2 percent in March 2018. In 2009, distressed sales comprised 70 percent of Miami sales.

Total Miami distressed sales declined 52.6 percent year-over-year, from 291 to 138 last month.

Short sales and REOs accounted for 1.3 and 5.1 percent, respectively, of total Miami sales in March 2018. Short sale transactions dropped 58.8 percent year-over-year while REOs fell 50.7 percent.

Nationally, distressed sales accounted for 4 percent of sales, down from 6 percent a year ago.

Miami Real Estate Selling Close to List Price

The median number of days between listing and contract dates for Miami single-family home sales was 49 days, a 3.9 percent decrease from 51 days last year. The median number of days between the listing date and closing date for single-family properties was 95 days, a 9.5 percent decrease from 105 days.

The median time to contract for condos was 76 days, an 8.4 percent decrease from 83 days last year. The median number of days between listing date and closing date decreased 7.3 percent to 115 days.

The median percent of original list price received for single-family homes was 95.4 percent. The median percent of original list price received for existing condominiums was 94.0 percent.

National and State Statistics

Nationally, total existing-home sales rose 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.60 million in March from 5.54 million in February. Despite last month's increase, sales are still 1.2 percent below a year ago.

Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 25,020 last month, down 3.5 percent compared to March 2017, according to Florida Realtors. Statewide closed condo sales totaled 10,997 last month, down 1.8 percent compared to a year ago.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types in March was $250,400, up 5.8 percent from March 2017 ($236,600). March's price increase marks the 73rd straight month of year-over-year gains.

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $250,800, up 8.2 percent from the previous year, according to Florida Realtors. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in March was $183,000, up 7 percent over the year-ago figure.

Miami's Cash Buyers Represent almost Double the National Figure

Miami cash transactions comprised 37.9 percent of March 2018 total closed sales, compared to 43.8 percent last year. Miami cash transactions are almost double the national figure (20 percent).

Miami's high percentage of cash sales reflects South Florida's ability to attract a diverse number of international home buyers, who tend to purchase properties in all cash. Miami has a higher percent of cash sales for condos due to lack of financing approvals for buildings.

Condominiums comprise a large portion of Miami's cash purchases as 54.3 percent of condo closings were made in cash in March compared to 22.5 percent of single-family home sales.

Balanced Market for Single-Family Homes, Buyer's Market for Condos

Inventory of single-family homes increased 2.5 percent in March from 6,355 active listings last year to 6,517 last month. Condominium inventory increased 4.1 percent to 16,043 from 15,416 listings during the same period in 2017.

The increase in inventory is for properties above $400,000. The market had a 17.6 percent jump in properties listed for $400,000 to $599,999, 3.3 percent for $600,000 to $999,999, and 1.1 percent for $1 million and above. Miami saw a drop in inventory for properties below $400,000.

Monthly supply of inventory for single-family homes increased 6.9 percent to 6.2 months, which indicates a balanced market. Existing condominiums have a 14.9-month supply, which indicates a buyer's market. A balanced market between buyers and sellers offers between six and nine months supply of inventory.

Total active listings at the end of February increased 3.6 percent year-over-year, from 21,771 to 22,560. Active listings remain about 60 percent below 2008 levels when sales bottomed.

New listings of Miami single-family homes decreased 3.6 percent to 1,865 from 1,934. New listings of condominiums decreased 13.3 percent, from 2,752 to 2,385.

Nationally, total housing inventory at the end of March climbed 5.7 percent to 1.67 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 7.2 percent lower than a year ago (1.80 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 34 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 3.6-month supply at the current sales pace (3.8 months a year ago).

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