The Real Deal Miami

Miami posts third-best year for home sales during 2015

Home sales rose 3.1 percent, year-over-year, while condo sales fell 2.8 percent

February 11, 2016 06:00PM

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A 2013 photo of the Miami skyline from Brickell (Credit: Gabriel Kaplan)

A 2013 photo of the Miami skyline from Brickell (Credit: Gabriel Kaplan)

The final months of 2015 saw a serious slowdown in homes sales for Miami, but it wasn’t enough to stop the city from seeing its third-ever best year of sales.

Miami-Dade County recorded an incredible 29,886 residential transactions during 2015, beat out only by the 30,041 reported in 2013 and the 29,930 seen in 2014, according to a new report from the Miami Association of Realtors.

That figure is split between 13,936 single-family home sales, which grew by 3.1 percent year-over-year, and 15,950 condo sales, which fell by 2.8 percent.

Median prices for both markets saw robust growth last year: single-family homes were trading for a median of $265,000, a year-over-year increase of 8.2 percent, and condos fetched a median of $200,000, growing by 5.3 percent.

Miami’s residential market saw a meteoric rise from over the last three years as it recovered from the 2008 financial crisis. However, in the final quarter of 2015 the market began cooling due to several reasons: global economic troubles have stunted foreign buyers, who make up a large portion of South Florida’s clientele, and a sharp decline in distressed properties has driven down the market’s number of sales.

Roughly 34 percent of the Miami homes sold in 2014 were distressed. That means they were either short sales or lender-owned. By comparison, distressed properties only accounted for 27 percent of Miami’s home sales in 2015.

On the other hand, listing inventory for the county as a whole held relatively steady. There were 24,592 single-family homes and 34,441 condos put up for sale by the end of 2015 — both growing by a mere 0.6 percent compared to 2014.

Market analysts like Jonathan Miller, who authors Douglas Elliman’s quarterly residential reports, have told The Real Deal that these mixed signals could show the market is cooling off from the overheated years of 2013 and 2014. While that typically means fewer sales and plateauing prices, it’s a more sustainable pace going into the future, he said. — Sean Stewart-Muniz

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