The Real Deal Miami

Even with blowout month, condos drag down Miami-Dade home sales in August

Lack of available financing is one reason why condo sales are hurting

September 22, 2016 04:30PM
By Sean Stewart-Muniz

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2012 photo of the Miami skyline

2012 photo of the Miami skyline

Miami-Dade had its best August ever last month for single-family home sales, but even that wasn’t enough to keep the county’s overall residential sales pace out of the red.

The culprit? Condos.

According to the Miami Association of Realtors, Miami-Dade saw 1,239 single-family homes trade last month, marking an 8.7 percent jump in sales volume year-over-year. It was Miami-Dade’s all-time record for August, beating out the previous peak of 1,232 sales set more than two decades ago in 1994.

Condos, however, had nothing close to a banner month. By the association’s count, sales fell 13.6 percent from 1,331 in August 2015 to 1,150 this year.

The association blamed that in part on a lack of federally backed loans for condo buyers. According to its figures, only 13 percent of Miami-Dade and Broward’s 9,307 condo buildings are approved for Federal Housing Administration loans, down from 29 percent last year.

Regardless, that plummet in condo sales dragged down Miami-Dade’s total residential sales volume by 3.3 percent compared to August last year. Even so, dollar volume hit $954.4 million — a 3.6 percent boost in the same time period.

One explanation for that disconnect between sales and dollar volumes is that Miami-Dade’s home prices have continued rising for nearly five years straight. August was no different.

Homes traded at a median of $300,000 countywide last month, jumping 14.5 percent year-over-year. Median prices for condos also climbed 5.7 percent to $215,000.

Besides pricing, condos and single-family homes have another trend in common: bulging inventories. Active listings for houses swelled 9.8 percent year-over-year to 6,346 properties in August. Condo inventory doubled that pace, spiking 20 percent year-over-year to 14,055 units up for grabs.

As industry watchers have told The Real Deal in the past, all these market movements are coalescing to cause a residential slowdown in Miami-Dade. That’s not to say the market is going bust — a slower pace in sales volume and price growth could signal a return to stability after years of overheated activity.