Doubletake in Miami: sales of condos drop, homes rise

Single-family home prices jumped 14 percent in September, year-over-year

Oct.October 22, 2015 03:00 PM

Miami condominium sales fell 8.3 percent in September, year-over-year, as the new construction condo market continues to take a bite out of resales, a report released Thursday shows.

At the same time, home sales rose 2.9 percent, compared to last September, according to the report by the Miami Association of Realtors and the Multiple Listing Service. The median sales price of homes jumped 14 percent to $285,000 last month. Still, single-family home prices remain at 2004 levels despite four years of consistent year-over-year increases.

“After a historic summer of home sales and rising prices, the Miami single-family home market continued its upward trend in September,” said Christopher Zoller, the 2015 residential president of the Realtors’ association, in the report. “Not only are more single-family homes being sold compared to last year, but it is taking significantly less time to complete those transactions.”

Yet slower condo sales pulled down total existing Miami-Dade County residential sales, including both single-family homes and condo sales, which declined 3.2 percent to 2,507 last month compared to 2,591 a year ago.

Historically-low mortgage rates are boosting home buying activity, the report said. According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.89 percent in September 2015, down from 4.16 percent a year ago.

However, Miami’s existing condominium sector is being hit by a lack of access to mortgage loans, the report said. The vast majority of existing South Florida condominium buildings aren’t approved for Federal Housing Administration loans. Of the 8,523 condominium buildings in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, only 29, or .0034 percent, are approved for FHA loans, according to statistics released earlier this year from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and FHA. The U.S. average is 30 percent.

Despite slower condo sales in September, the median sales price for condos increased 2.8 percent to $200,500 from $195,000 a year ago, according to the report. Miami existing condo prices have increased in 51 of the last 52 months.

New condo construction has been rising in the latest cycle. Twenty-seven towers with 3,109 units have been completed in Miami-Dade east of I-95 since 2011, according to Currently, 78 towers with 9,430 units are under construction. About 66 towers with 9,859 units are planned, but have not begun development. Another 65 towers with 11,280 units have been proposed in Miami east of I-95.

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