Residential sales may be on the rebound in South Florida following a dismal third quarter, thanks in part to pent-up demand from Hurricane Irma, according to the Q4 Elliman Reports.
In Miami Beach and the barrier islands, closed sales jumped 14.2 percent year-over-year to 757. New contracts signed also increased 16.1 percent to 274. Properties spent 52 fewer days on the market and sold for bigger discounts. The median sale price in Miami Beach rose slightly, by 2.8 percent to $406,000.
“The general overview is the fourth quarter showed more activity, and more strength at the upper end of the market after being less active,” said Miller Samuel CEO Jonathan Miller, author of the reports. “Essentially what’s happening in a lot of these markets is sellers have been holding out for several years and now they’re more amenable to actual market conditions.”
While the fourth quarter was the strongest for South Florida in 2017, overall residential sales were down in some markets. For the full year, sales fell 3.7 percent to 3,033 in Miami Beach and the barrier islands.
The Miami mainland experienced a slower fourth quarter. Sales fell 10.2 percent for the quarter, year-over-year, to 3,180 and fell 7.2 percent for the full year to 14,352. Homes and condos spent a whopping 40.5 percent less time on the market in the last quarter of 2017, down to 44 days from 74 days the previous year.
“The bigger discounts represent the sellers traveling farther to meet the buyer because the buyers have been holding firm,” Miller said. “In many of these markets, days on market is relatively high.”
In Fort Lauderdale, overall sales fell 6.8 percent to 851 closings in the fourth quarter. Single-family home sales were responsible for the bulk of that with a 12 percent decline in closed deals. The luxury sector, which Elliman defines as the top 10 percent of sales, reported double-digit growth in Fort Lauderdale. Luxury condo sales rose 17.1 percent to 48 closings and high-end home sales were up 18 percent to 59.
Father north in Palm Beach County, the number of sales dropped in Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens. Weaker markets like Wellington and Palm Beach saw improvements, Miller said.
In Wellington, total residential sales were flat. While condo closings took a dive of more than 20 percent to 74 sales, home sales increased 8.6 percent year-over-year to 253. Inventory fell slightly for single-family houses and more so for condos. The average size of homes sold also grew in Wellington, which Miller said is a sign that the luxury sector is recovering.
Palm Beach saw a reversal from the previous quarter. In the fourth quarter of last year, condo sales fell nearly 31 percent year-over-year to 36 closings while single-family sales increased 31 percent to 21. The inventory of both condos and houses declined while both spent more time on the market.
A number of high-end sales boosted the median sale price of single-family homes in the tony town more than 125 percent to $6.75 million. Meanwhile, the median condo sale price dropped 31 percent to $505,000.