April marks fifth month of falling Miami-Dade home sales: report

On the other hand, pace of new inventory entering market has slowed
By Sean Stewart-Muniz | May 23, 2016 05:15PM

Miami skyline (Credit: Creative Commons)

Miami skyline (Credit: Creative Commons)

Five months into 2016 and it’s starting to look like Miami-Dade County’s housing market might not compare favorably to 2015.

A new market report from the Miami Association of Realtors shows sales volume has yet again dipped significantly, this time in April, all while prices continue to rise.

Townhomes and condos fared the worst last month. The county saw 1,269 closed unit sales last month, which is 12.1 percent less than the 1,444 sales made in April 2015.

Single-family home sales also fell significantly: April’s 1,150 closings marked a 7.6 percent decrease year-over-year, according to the association’s report.

April is the fifth month in a row that both segments of Miami-Dade’s housing market have seen declining sales. On the condo and townhome side, the decline started — and peaked — in December with a 15.3 percent drop, although every month since then has shown a decrease of at least 9.9 percent.

Single-family home sales have been much more volatile, though they have consistently declined every month since October.

Closing prices, however, are still becoming more and more expensive. The median sales price of a single-family home hit $285,000 in April, up 9.6 percent from $260,000 last year. Condo prices also rose 8 percent from $199,000 to $215,000 in the same time period.

One possible bright spot for the condo market is that new listing inventory all but evened out in April. There were 2,503 new condo resales on the market last night, a mere 0.3 percent increase from April last year.

New listings for single-family homes are also slowing down. A total of 1,803 Miami-Dade houses hit the market in April, up only 2.3 percent year-over-year. That’s a big way to fall from the huge influx seen in February, when new listings grew by a whopping 24.8 percent.

There’s little doubt now that the residential market here is slowing. As reports from several market-watching agencies like CoreLogic, RealtyTrac, the association and many of Miami’s brokerages have shown, the pace of sales in Miami-Dade downshifted rapidly at the end of 2015 amid worsening economic conditions around the globe and a strong dollar.

Several factors playing into the slowdown include fewer distressed properties trading as the market distances itself from last cycle’s crash, a lack of foreign buyers — which Miami relies heavily on — and a glut of new supply.