Mid-priced homes thriving in Miami-Dade while overall market struggles: realtors report

Downtown Miami from Brickell Key (Credit: Ines Hegedus-Garcia)
For more than a year, Miami-Dade County’s housing market has found itself in a spiral of slower sales, especially for condos, as economic forces abroad collude to steer away foreign buyers.
That trend continued in October, according to a report from the Miami Association of Realtors released Tuesday. But despite the market downshifting, sales for mid-priced homes appear to be thriving.
Miami-Dade’s condo market was decimated last month when sales fell to 983 units, marking a 30 percent free fall year-over-year. Though they fared much better, single-family homes also saw a nearly 13 percent reduction in sales to 997 properties in October.
The report points to competition with Miami’s new construction market and sparse availability for Federal Housing Administration loans as major reasons why existing condos are facing such large cuts in sales volume. A soft luxury market, inventory constraints at lower prices and distressed properties are also driving down volume for single-family homes.
However, homes priced between $300,000 and $600,000 appear to be hot tickets. Sales in that price bracket jumped nearly 19 percent to 377 in October, growing to represent about 38 percent of all homes sold last month.
Likely a result of distressed properties being flushed from the market, inventory for homes priced below $300,000 is also shrinking. The number of active low-end listings fell 28 percent to 1,325 properties in October, according to the association’s data.
That dwindling pool of entry and mid-level homes has helped drive up Miami-Dade’s overall pricing. The median cost of a single-family home rose 17 percent year-over-year to $310,000 last month, while condo prices jumped 7 percent to a median of $214,000. Both property types have seen their prices swell each month for the last five years.

Source: The Real Deal Miami

LeFrak talks condo market volatility in SoFla, NYC: VIDEO

Billionaire real estate developer Richard LeFrak made an appearance on BloombergGo this morning to give his perspective on the condo market — especially the luxury sector — in both South Florida and New York City.
“In Miami…the market there is somewhat dependent on the dollar exchanges,” LeFrak said. “A lot of the customers come from Latin America; a lot of those customers are suffering, especially Brazil… from a let’s say poor local economy.”
Recent months have seen a strong slowdown in Miami area condo sales, especially for neighborhoods like Sunny Isles Beach that have large concentrations of high-price condos.
LeFrak said markets tend to correct themselves, and in New York, he predicts that will lead to condos converting to apartments in order to cash in on a steady national rental market.
Both millennials and baby boomers, he said, are looking to urbanize and move out of the suburbs. That means more demand from two of the nation’s largest demographics.
South Florida’s rental market has already seen growing interest from investors, as evidenced by the more than $2.8 billion worth of multifamily properties that traded hands during 2015.
“The rental apartment business has been unbelievably good, and it’s going to continue to be good,” Lefrak said. [Bloomberg] —Sean Stewart-Muniz

Source: The Real Deal Miami