South Florida’s residential markets posted year-over-year gains in the first quarter – with two big outliers: Miami and Miami Beach, according to the Q1 Elliman reports.
Miller Samuel CEO Jonathan Miller, who authored the reports, said that despite the decline in closed sales, new and total pending contracts jumped. In Miami Beach and the barrier islands, where year-over-year sales fell 3.3 percent to 788 closings in the first quarter, new contracts increased 14 percent and total pending contracts were up 22.5 percent compared to the same period last year.
In Palm Beach, new pending contracts surged to 85, a nearly 33 percent increase. Miller said it’s the highest jump in pending contracts in the six years that he’s been tracking Palm Beach.
Jay Parker, CEO of Douglas Elliman Florida, attributes the rise in contracts signed to the new tax legislation. “The tax plan has driven a substantial amount of business,” he said. “It’s not an urgent change, but it is one that requires immediate attention.”
In Miami Beach, condo sales fell 4.2 percent to 707, compared to 738 closings in the first quarter of 2017. Single-family home sales rose 5.2 percent to 81. The median sale price of a condo increased 11.8 percent to $380,000, and the median price of a house rose 16.7 percent to $1.4 million. Inventory grew 9.4 percent to 6,748 homes and condos, and properties spent about 80 days on the market before selling, a 44 percent drop compared to the first quarter of last year.
On the coastal mainland, residential sales fell 3.8 percent to 3,355, down from nearly 3,500 closings last year. Condo sales dipped less than 1 percent to 1,656 closings, while single-family home sales were down 6.7 percent to 1,699. Both homes and condos spent considerably less time on the market compared to the first quarter of last year: 37 percent less time, or about 51 days. The listing discount was about 6 percent for residential homes.
Within Miami, “the downtown Miami condo market is the weakest and also the most developed,” Parker said. “It has everything but it also has the most inventory.”
Miller said that market is continually challenged due to the growing inventory. Downtown is facing nearly 50 months of supply based on the current pace of sales.
Closings jumped nearly 13 percent in Fort Lauderdale to more than 1,000 sales. Condo and townhouse sales reported the biggest annual gains with an 18.6 percent change in closings, up to 556 from 469. Single-family home sales increased by 6.3 percent to 454, up from 427.
Condo inventory fell by 3.3 percent to 1,552 units, while the supply of homes rose 4.4 percent to 1,034. As more condo buildings get delivered, like Auberge Residences and the Gale Residences in Fort Lauderdale Beach, inventory will likely rise.
The median sale price of condos increased 23.3 percent to $324,250, while the median price of a house was up 22 percent to $366,000.
Residential sales rose 32.6 percent to 114 closings in Palm Beach. Single-family closings were up a whopping 50 percent to 33 closings, while condo and townhouse sales jumped nearly 27 percent to 81. Both sectors showed strength during the first quarter, but the single-family market saw properties spend nearly half the time on the market, down 48.7 percent to 120 days, and inventory dwindled to 156 homes, down more than 15 percent.
In the luxury market, defined as the upper 10 percent of sales, sales increased 20 percent to 12 closings, and the median price rose 34.1 percent to more than $10 million. Properties spent 122 days listed for sale, down 49 percent from the first quarter of 2017. Luxury inventory rose 16.3 percent to 100 properties.
Closings were up 5.8 percent to 943 residential sales in Delray Beach, which Miller said is another of South Florida’s stronger markets. Home sales totaled 310 in Delray, a 4 percent increase, and condo sales rose 6.7 percent to 633 closings. The median sales price of a single-family home was $443,450 in the first quarter, up nearly 11 percent year-over-year. The median price of a condo was up about 4 percent to $135,000. Inventory was flat for single-family homes and dipped slightly for condos.