South Florida by the numbers: Focus on 2016 election and real estate impact

Donald Trump (via Gage Skidmore) and Hillary Clinton
Donald Trump (via Gage Skidmore) and Hillary Clinton

“South Florida By The Numbers” is a web feature that catalogs the most notable, quirky and surprising real estate statistics.

The 2016 presidential election will begin in earnest this month, as both Republicans and Democrats hold their national conventions and formally nominate their respective candidates. While the parties and candidates have already been slugging it out for months, we turn our attention to examine what impact the 2016 election may be having on the South Florida real estate market. In the spirit of fairness, we took great pains to find and present articles that do not advocate or criticize any particular party, candidate, or position, but instead analyze how the election itself is affecting the industry. With liberty and justice for all, let’s take a closer look in this edition of “South Florida by the numbers.”

27: Percentage of participants who believe the outcome of the presidential election could make the housing market worse, according to a national Redfin survey of homebuyers. The results demonstrate strong general angst about the election, with nearly 28 percent believing the housing market would be better served having alternatives to candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. [FloridaRealtors]

4,393: Number of Miami and Miami Beach closings in 2016’s first quarter, according to a report by brokerage Douglas Elliman — a figure nearly double the average quarter when that market was healthier. Despite that positive trend, the Elliman report reveals a significant slowdown in Miami home sales volume and price growth. Jonathan Miller, co-founder of research firm Miller Samuel and the author of the report, believes the presidential election can “cause hesitancy for home buyers…as they wait for the new administration’s effect on federal mortgage rates to get hashed out in the months following inauguration day in January.” [TheRealDeal]

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25: Percent of participants who believe that “uncertainty of governmental policy” is the most pressing issue facing South Florida real estate, according to a survey of South Florida real estate professionals conducted by Miami law firm Berger Singerman. This was the leading issue of concern, compared with “future of foreign investment” (18 percent), “oversupply” (17 percent), “availability of credit and credit quality” (15 percent), and many others. However, other survey results indicate a strong lack of specific concern about the election itself. “Upcoming election” was named the “primary reason for optimism and confidence in the real estate market” for only 8 percent of the participants, and was the “primary reason for a lack of optimism and confidence” among only 5 percent of the participants. [BergerSingerman]

$295,000: Median price for a Miami single family home in May 2016; up 4.6 percent year-over-year. Despite this modest bump, data from the Miami Association of Realtors showed a continued drop in local home and condo sales, mainly attributed to the strong dollar and a dearth of foreclosure inventory. Realtor Jeff Morr also attributes the slowdown to politics, noting that “the election year really threw off some people’s confidence,” but notes positive factors such as historically low interest rates and Miami’s strong real estate value compared to other similar markets. (Full disclosure: Morr is the chairman of the Miami Master Brokers Forum.) [MiamiHerald]

$310,000: Median price for a Broward home in April 2016; up 8 percent to its highest point since July 2015. Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors data showed 1,463 homes were sold that month, roughly the same as the previous April. Julie Van Pelt, a real estate agent in Broward and Palm Beach counties, said some potential buyers are choosing to hold off until after the presidential election in November, when they can get a better indication of how stable the economy might be. [Sun-Sentinel]

This column is produced by the Master Brokers Forum, a network of South Florida’s elite real estate professionals where membership is by invitation only and based on outstanding production, as well as ethical and professional behavior.