Miami-Dade housing market is settling in: report

Market has started to stabilize

Oct.October 15, 2015 02:15 PM

After years of sprinting through growing prices and sales, the Miami-Dade County housing market has slowed down to take a breath.

Data from the quarterly Douglas Elliman report, which analyzes residential markets across the country, shows that Miami-Dade has seen a decrease in sales activity and a growing pile of inventory.

“We’re coming off of a period of frantic growth and activity, and the market is settling into a more sustainable pattern,” Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel Inc. and author of the report, told The Real Deal. “The question remains: ‘What external influences will change the market?’ We just went through the U.S. dollar strengthening. We’re not in the same market we were in two years ago.”

Sales activity for the coastal mainland, which primarily includes neighborhoods east of I-95, has mostly stalled compared to last year. A total of 2,170 single-family homes in that region were sold during the third quarter of 2015, down 0.8 percent from last year’s 2,188 homes.

The mainland’s condos saw a much bigger dip in sales: 2,480 units were sold during the third quarter, down roughly nine percent from 2,706 sales last year.

In Miami Beach, those decreases in sales were more exaggerated. The barrier island, home to some of the region’s ritziest properties, saw 29 percent fewer homes sell year-over-year: A total of 106 single-family properties were sold in the third quarter, down from 137.

And that trend was consistent for the beach’s condos: sales went from 920 transactions in the third quarter of 2014 to 834 this year.

Miller said those numbers can be explained by the market flushing out distressed properties.

For example, last year the mainland saw 772 distressed condo sales during the third quarter: that was roughly 40 percent of all the region’s multifamily transactions. Now, while regular properties held steady for the most part, distressed properties made up roughly 30 percent of the transactions.

“Back four or five years ago, [Miami] was the poster child for foreclosures,” he said. “Now, it’s the poster child for new development.” Miller is talking about the bevy of new condo inventory that’s coming online. The report shows that active mainland listings have increased from 7,128 from 7,713 year-over-year. And in Miami Beach, the number of listings has grown from 3,409 to 3,898.

Single-family homes on the beach saw a similar trend: active listings grew 443 last year to 504 during the third quarter of 2015.

Inventory along the coast has actually decreased by roughly 6 percent. The number of active listings fell from 3,567 last year to 3,349 this year. But these figures don’t necessarily mean the market is headed in the wrong direction.

“The frenzied pace of the last couple years was not sustainable; it wasn’t indefinite,” Miller said. “The pace is more moderated. Still, there are concerns about the new development market.”

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