South Florida home sales hit 10-year high in 2015: report

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

South Florida hit a 10-year record for the number of home sales transacted during 2015, according to a new report from RealtyTrac.

Out of the region’s three counties, 114,002 single-family homes and condos were sold last year. That volume just barely eeks past the previous record of 112,936 home sales reached in 2013.

It also means South Florida was the second hottest residential market in the U.S., beat only by Chicago with 122,378 transactions last year, according to RealtyTrac data. The region joined 38 other metropolitan areas that hit 10-year highs during 2015.

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South Florida’s all-time high was set in 2005 several years before the housing market crash. A whopping 158,167 homes were sold that year, setting real estate history for the next 10 years.

Although 2015 was a banner year for home sales in the tri-county area, recent months have seen clouds on the horizon for South Florida’s housing market. A strong U.S. dollar has discouraged South American buyers, long credited with helping the region recover from the 2008 housing crash, and home sales have taken a significant dive during the final months of the year.

Analysts like Jonathan Miller, who authors Douglas Elliman’s quarterly residential reports, suggest that the recent slowdown could mean the market is cooling off from an overheated — and unsustainable — pace that was set in 2013 and 2014. — Sean Stewart-Muniz