Brokers put sales stats in spotlight

Sep.September 02, 2009 01:23 PM

South Florida’s existing homes sales showed gains again in June and July, with moderate-priced homes and condos seeing the most activity.

“The high end of the market, which is the most challenging, is beginning to show signs of activity. However, the most active segment of the market in Southeast Florida remains single-family homes under $250,000,” said Charles Richardson, regional senior vice president at Coldwell Banker.

Inventory in the $250,000-and-under price range is down to 5.7 months in Broward County and 7.8 months in Miami-Dade County. “This is good news compared to the 13-month inventory this past January,” Richardson said.

Single-family homes throughout the tri-county area are selling if the price is right, and condos in established buildings near the water are seeing the most activity.

“It depends on the building,” said Jeri Jenkins, a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker in Miami Beach. “If you look at the tried and true buildings, sales are very good.” The market here for condos up to $900,000 is more active than a year ago, she said.

“The condo market is not in shambles. There are a lot of brokers who specialize in condos and are doing very well now.” Jenkins points to Apogee, the twin towers south of Fifth Avenue on the beach, where the condos are going for $1,500 a square foot.

In some buildings, activity may be up, but sales at some of the newer buildings on the beach are at a virtual standstill. “Some can’t even give the apartments away,” Jenkins said.

Aventura saw noticeable inventory drops in the $500,000 and under range and a less noticeable decrease in the $500,000 to $1 million range, as shown in MLS stats.

In Aventura’s lower price range, the inventory of 1,067 homes and condos dropped 5 percent from June’s inventory of 1,122. The median sales price dropped from $242,000 in May 2008 to $182,000 in July 2009.

Inventory in the $500,000 to $1 million range dropped by only two units. Median sales price decreased from $700,000 in May 2008 to $639,000 in July 2009.

Sales have picked up in Miami Beach’s $500,000 to $1 million range, with inventory dropping 27 percent from last May and 4 percent from June. Median sales price edged upwards from $630,000 to $644,000.

Jenkins predicts that August and September will bring further reductions in South Florida’s inventory of homes and condos. “A lot of my buyers have the feeling that after the summer that is the best time to get a deal. No one is in a real rush now. My advice to them is once it becomes clear that we are on the upswing, it is too late.” 

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