Miami's Housing Market Still on Fire in Early 2022

Miami's Housing Market Still on Fire in Early 2022

Residential News » Miami Edition | By Michael Gerrity | February 22, 2022 9:03 AM ET

Over 40 percent of all closing in January were cash transactions

According to the Miami Association of Realtors, the greater Miami residential property market continued its historic run of home sales with its best-ever January sales month as existing condo transactions surged for the 16th consecutive month.

The red-hot market is coming off a historic 2021 that saw Miami shatter many records, including its all-time annual total home sales, highest annual total dollar volume, most single-family home sales, most condo transactions, and more.

"The demand for Miami real estate has never been higher from both domestic and global homebuyers," MIAMI Chairman of the Board Fernando Arencibia Jr. said. "Major U.S. companies opening HQs in Miami, surging domestic and global migration to South Florida, a larger percentage of Florida residents in their prime home buying years, the expansion of remote work, low mortgage rates, Florida's low-taxes, relaxed Covid restrictions, South Florida's healthy lifestyle and more have each played roles in Miami's booming sales."

Best January Sales Month in Miami History

January is typically a slower month for sales in South Florida because of seasonality (historically, sales tend to pick up in March as many homebuyers move to close ahead of the start of Miami's next school year). But not this January.

Miami-Dade County total home sales rose 19.6% year-over-year in January 2021, from 2,211 sales to 2,645. Miami single-family home transactions increased 4.1%, from 968 to 1,008. Miami existing condo sales increased 31.7%, from 1,243 to 1,637. It marks the 16th consecutive month of double-digit year-over-year condo gains.

Miami home sales are also significantly higher in January 2022 vs. January 2020. Miami total home sales are up 42.4% in January 2022 vs. January 2020, from 1,857 to 2,645. Miami single-family home sales (13.6% increase) and condo transactions (68.8% jump) are higher than January 2020.

Miami Luxury Condo Sales Surge 69.9%; Mid-Market $400-600K Transactions Jump Also

Miami existing condo luxury ($1-million-and-up) sales surged 69.9% year-over-year to 192 transactions. Miami single-family luxury transactions rose 20.4% year-over-year to 201 sales in January 2022.

Miami luxury condos boast a healthy inventory of 6.9 months of supply (balanced market), portending more future growth in the sector given the high demand. There are 3.2 months of supply in luxury single-family homes. Luxury months of supply continue to trend downward for all property types because of the robust demand.

Low interest rates, a robust S&P 500, the appeal of stable assets in a volatile economy, homebuyers leaving tax-burdened Northeastern states to purchase in Florida (no state income tax), and work-from-home and remote-learning policies have all combined to create a robust market for luxury single-family properties in South Florida.

With global vaccinations rising and unstable political situations around the world, South Florida is seeing an increase in foreign homebuyers. Global buyers are coming here for the vaccine and purchasing property.

Vaccinated foreigners were allowed to resume travel to the U.S. back on Nov. 8 and that is leading to more international investment in South Florida - the No. 1 destination in the U.S. for foreign buyers. Global buyers purchase in Miami because Miami is a world-class global city with better real estate prices than other similar global cities. Foreign buyers feel at home with our incredible diversity and acceptance of all cultures, along with all our amenities.

Miami single-family homes priced between $400K to $600K increased 31.3% year-over-year to 386 transactions in January 2022. Miami existing condo sales priced between $400K to $600K increased 98% year-over-year to 303 transactions in January 2022.

More Inventory Arriving by Spring for Low-Supply/High-Demand Market

There is always a seasonal fade in inventory in the winter. More inventory is expected to come to the market by spring 2022 as potential home sellers become more comfortable listing and showing their homes. The falling number of homeowners in mortgage forbearance will also bring about more inventory. Expectation that interest rates will rise should continue to drive demand in the first quarter of 2022.

New listings of Miami single-family homes decreased 9.1% to 1,401 from 1,541. New listings of condominiums decreased 3.6%, from 2,500 to 2,410.

Inventory of single-family homes decreased 30.4% year-over-year in January 2022 from 3,401 active listings last year to 2,367 last month. Condominium inventory dropped 53.1% year-over-year to 5,908 from 12,608 listings during the same period in 2021.

Months' supply of inventory is down since July 2019 for single-family, reflecting strong demand. Months' supply of inventory for single-family homes decreased 41.9% to 1.8 months, which indicates a seller's market. Inventory for existing condominiums decreased 74.3% to 2.9 months, which indicates a seller's market. A balanced market between buyers and sellers offers between six- and nine-months supply.

Total active listings at the end of January 2022 decreased 48.3% year-over-year, from 16,009 to 8,275.

Nationally, total housing inventory at the end of January amounted to 860,000 units, down 2.3% from December and down 16.5% from one year ago (1.03 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 1.6-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 1.7 months in December and from 1.9 months in January 2021.

Fed's Decision for More Rate Hikes in 2022 Should Slow Growth of Median Prices

Rising median prices is a trend nationwide. Low inventory relative to high demand leads to prices rising. Locally, the greater share of Miami luxury sales is part of the reason for the large year-over-year increase in median prices.

The Fed's decision to raise rates and end bond buying in 2022 will accelerate demand for housing in the short term and eventually put downward pressure on median prices.

Miami-Dade County single-family median prices increased 10.8% year-over-year in January 2022, increasing from $469,500 to $520,000. Miami single-family median prices have risen for 122 consecutive months, a streak of 10.1 years. Existing condo median prices increased 28.6% year-over-year, from $280,000 to $360,000. Condo median prices have increased in 124 of the last 128 months.

Lower mortgage rates are making home purchases more affordable. According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.45% in January, up from 3.10% in December. The average commitment rate across all of 2021 was 2.96%.

Should mortgage rates continue rising, home price growth is likely to slow in response. As more sellers list properties in 2022, the increased inventory should ease the growth of median prices.

Thumbnail image for lawrence-yun.jpg
Lawrence Yun

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun expects the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to increase to 3.7% by the end of 2022. It would be still lower than the pre-pandemic rate of 4%.

With interest rates still at record lows, many South Florida homeowners have refinanced their home loans. So not only are many homeowners paying lower mortgage payments today; they are doing so while their wealth (home equity) has significantly increased. Home equity can be tapped for renovations, college loans and more.

Miami remains a bargain compared to other global cities. In Miami, $1 million can net homebuyers 85 square meters of prime property, according to Knight Frank's 2021 The Wealth Report. Monaco (15 square meters), Hong Kong (23), London (31), New York (34) and Geneva (35) and others offer significantly less prime land for $1 million.

Miami Dollar Volume Totals $2.1 Billion, Showcasing Impact Housing Plays in Local Economy

While other industries struggled over the past year, housing lifted the economy nationally and locally. For every two homes sold in the U.S., one job is created. The total economic impact of a typical Florida home sale is $90,300, according to NAR.

Miami total dollar volume totaled $2.1 billion in January 2022. Single-family home dollar volume increased 16.7% year-over-year, from $879.2 million to $1 billion. Condo dollar volume increased 56.2% year-over-year, from $667.1 million to $1 billion.

Miami Distressed Sales Keep Dropping, Reflecting Healthy Market

Only 1.2% of all closed residential sales in Miami were distressed last month, including REO (bank-owned properties) and short sales, compared to 1.8% in January 2021. In 2009, distressed sales comprised 70% of Miami sales.

Total Miami distressed sales dropped 20.5% year-over-year in January 2022, from 39 to 31. Short sales and REOs accounted for 0.6% and 0.5% year-over-year, respectively, of total Miami sales in January 2022. Short sale transactions increased 13.3% year-over-year while REOs dropped 41.7%.

Miami's percentage of distressed sales are on par with the national figure. Nationally, distressed sales represented less than 1% of sales in January 2022, equal to the percentage in January 2021.

Miami's Percentage of Sales Continue to Outpace the Nation, State

Statewide, single-family home sales increased 1.4% year-over-year in January 2022, from 21,587 to 21,885. Florida existing condo sales increased 6.7% year-over-year in January 2022, from 9,608 to 10,252.

Nationally, total existing-home sales transactions completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, climbed 6.7% from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.50 million in January. Year-over-year, sales fell 2.3% (6.65 million in January 2021).

Statewide, the median sale price for single-family homes was $375,000 in January 2022, up 23% from 305,000 in January 2021. The median sale price for Florida existing condos rose 23.9% to $285,000 in January 2022 from $230,000 in January 2021.

Nationally, the median existing-home price for all housing types in January was $350,300, up 15.4% from January 2021 ($303,600), as prices rose in each region. This marks 119 consecutive months of year-over-year increases, the longest-running streak on record.

Miami Real Estate Attracting Multiple Bids, Buyers Going Over-List Price

The median percent of original list price received for single-family homes was 98.1% in January 2022, up 1.3% from 96.8% last year. The median percent of original list price received for existing condominiums was 97.3%, up 3.2% from 94,3% last year.

The median number of days between listing and contract dates for Miami single-family home sales was 24 days, a 14.3% decrease from 28 days last year. The median time to sale for single-family homes was 74 days, a 7.5% decrease from 80 days last year.

The median number of days between the listing date and contract date for condos was 40 days, down 36.5% from 63 days. The median number of days to sale for condos was 87 days, a 21.6% decrease from 111 days.

Miami Cash Sales 48.5% More than National Figure in January 2022

Cash sales represented 40.1% of Miami closed sales in January 2022, compared to 33.1% in January 2021. About 27% of U.S. home sales are made in cash, according to the latest NAR statistics.

The high percentage of cash buyers reflects Miami's top position as the preeminent American real estate market for foreign buyers, who tend to purchase with all cash as well as some moving from more expensive U.S. markets who can buy more with their profits from real estate sales.

Cash sales accounted for 49.4% of all Miami existing condo sales and 25% of single-family transactions.

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