Broward home sales slide in October, but prices are still rising: realtors report

Broward's realtors association feels a seller's market is coming in 2017

Nov.November 21, 2016 05:30 PM
Fort Lauderdale's skyline (Credit: Kolossos)

Fort Lauderdale’s skyline (Credit: Kolossos)

October marked yet another month of drooping home sales in Broward County, according to a new report, as the entirety of South Florida grapples with a slowing housing market.

But despite that shrinking sales volume, houses and condos in the region don’t appear to be getting any cheaper.

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors association just released a report stating home and condo sales both fell sharply when comparing last month to October 2015, continuing a trend of weakening sales volume that began earlier this year.

A total of 1,244 single-family homes traded in Broward last month, down 12.9 percent year-over-year. Condos and townhomes fared similarly, with October’s tally of 1,257 sales marking a 12.5 percent dip from last year.

Despite the steep dropoff in sales volume, the association’s report contends that Broward could become a seller’s market next year because inventory is shrinking in certain segments.

The number of single-family homes on the market fell 10 percent last month to 5,338 properties, driving Broward’s inventory down to 3.8 months of supply. Standard wisdom suggests six to nine months is considered a balanced market — anything below that typically favors a home seller.

Broward’s condos and townhomes didn’t enjoy the same inventory upheaval last month, according to the association’s data. Active listings actually grew 1.2 percent to 8,250 units, though the total months of supply is still at 5.9. The county’s backlog of condo listings is also a far cry from Miami-Dade’s situation, where inventory is swelling at times by double digits.

That inventory reduction is one reason why Broward’s housing prices are still growing — at least for single-family homes. The median closing price of a house spiked by 12 percent to $325,000 last month. Similarly, the median cost of a condo surged 11.6 percent to $145,000 per unit.

Another explanation: foreclosed properties and short sales, which usually trade for lower prices and can drag down a housing market’s overall values in great enough numbers, are steadily being cleared out of Broward.

In October 2015, lender-owned and distressed condos made up roughly 19 percent of the 1,437 units sold in Broward that month. This year, their market share shrank to 11 percent. Distressed and foreclosed single-family homes also represented about 23 percent of Broward’s 1,428 sales last year, but that ratio fell significantly to just below 13 percent in October.

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