Residential sales volume declined in a number of South Florida markets during the first quarter, according to the latest Douglas Elliman reports.
Jonathan Miller, who authored the reports, said market conditions are generally improving, but decreases in sales are sending mixed messages.
Miami Beach and barrier islands
Miami Beach, which in previous quarters has been saddled with an oversupply of inventory, was among the stronger areas. Unlike other markets that Elliman tracks, the median price for luxury condos in Miami Beach rose, and inventory fell. “The decline in supply probably has more to do with [condo] developers managing inventory,” Miller said. “We’ve seen it level off and we’ve seen a little bit of tightening but there’s still a ways to go.”
Still, the volume of residential sales dipped in Miami Beach and the barrier islands during the first quarter. The number of sales totaled 772, down 2 percent from the previous year, while the median sales price increased 2.3 percent to $440,000.
Single-family home sales remained flat in the first quarter, at 81 closings. Condo sales fell 2.3 percent to 691. Pricing held steady for condos, which reported a median sales price of $380,000 in the first quarter, but skyrocketed for single-family homes — up nearly 18 percent to a median price of $1.65 million.
Condos sat on the market for much longer than they did in the first quarter of last year, up 76.5 percent to 143 days. Single-family houses lingered for 171 days, an increase of a whopping 144 percent from the same period last year.
The area of the barrier islands includes Sunny Isles Beach, Bal Harbour, Bay Harbor Islands, Surfside, North Bay Village, North Beach, Key Biscayne and Fisher Island.
Coastal Miami mainland
Sales volume fell 7.5 percent to 3,104 on the coastal Miami mainland, which covers Aventura, downtown Miami, Brickell, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, South Miami, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay. Condo sales dropped by 4.6 percent to 1,580, while single-family home sales tumbled by 10.3 percent to 1,524 closings.
The Coral Gables condo market and the Palmetto Bay single-family market were the only markets on the coastal mainland to experience a positive quarter, with sales increasing 10.5 percent to 63 closings, and 24.4 percent to 56, respectively.
The median sales price in Miami was $249,000 for condos – up 4 percent year-over-year – and $375,000 for houses, an increase of 2.7 percent.
The condo inventory grew to 8,276, up 4.1 percent from the same period last year. The inventory of single-family homes grew by 13.2 percent to 3,971, according to Elliman.
Residential sales volume declined by 13 percent in the first quarter in Fort Lauderdale, down to 878 closings. Condo sales decreased to 507 closings, down 8.8 percent; while single-family home sales tumbled to 371 – an 18.3 percent decline.
The median price of a condo was $295,000, down 9 percent year-over-year. For a house, it reached $385,000, up 5.7 percent.
Condo inventory grew slightly (2.1 percent) to 1,584; and the single-family home inventory was 1,102, up 6.6 percent.
In Palm Beach, sales volume fell 8.8 percent to 104 – a difference of 10 units compared to the first quarter of last year. Condo sales rose nearly 5 percent to 85 closings, and single-family home sales plummeted to 19, down 42.4 percent. It was the lowest level in seven years, according to Elliman.
The median price in Palm Beach for a house was $4.2 million, up 5 percent from last year, and $599,000 for a condo, roughly on par with the median condo price last year.
Home and condo sales volume fell in Boca Raton during the first quarter to 1,083, an 8.4 percent drop year-over-year. Single-family home sales dropped 10.5 percent to 486; and condo sales decreased by 6.6 percent to 597.
The median sales price for a condo was up only 1.2 percent to $270,500. The median sales price of a single-family house was $450,000, an increase of 4.7 percent from the previous year, but flat from the fourth quarter of 2018.