New single-family contracts exceed condo contracts in May

The number of deals increased last month, even with less inventory

The number of signed residential contracts increased in May in South Florida. (Credit: iStock)
The number of signed residential contracts increased in May in South Florida. (Credit: iStock)

Despite shelter-in-place orders and a shift to virtual showings, the number of signed residential contracts increased last month in South Florida. Fewer owners, meanwhile, decided to list their properties in May, according to the latest monthly report from Douglas Elliman.

In New York City, new residential contract signings plummeted, while the Hamptons market held steady, as brokers continue to report a migration among the wealthy to the Hamptons and Miami.

Miller Samuel’s Jonathan Miller, who authored the report, acknowledged that there’s been a lot of talk about outbound migration from high-tax areas such as New York City in recent years due to the 2017 changes in the federal tax code, which limits the ability of taxpayers to deduct state and local taxes (SALT) from their income. But Miller cautioned against overstating the long-term impact of the pandemic on that wave of Northeasterners moving to Florida.

Plus, not all contracts signed will end up closing. “New signed contracts are a measurement of the current pulse on the market,” he said.

Here’s a breakdown of new contracts signed last month:


In Miami-Dade, signed contracts for single-family homes in May totaled 3,284, up 36.2 percent compared to May 2019. Only one price point experienced an annual drop: homes prices below $200,000, down 34 percent to 115 new contracts. The biggest jump was for properties priced between $500,000 and $599,000, where the number of new contracts was 291, up nearly 62 percent year over year.

Condos experienced a less dramatic rise, which could be attributed to a shift in buyer preference because of the pandemic. A majority of condo associations shut down showings during the lockdown, and slowed down the process to approve buyers. New signed contracts for condos in Miami-Dade totaled 3,058 in May, up 4.1 percent year over year.

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Meanwhile, new single-family listings fell nearly 41 percent to 1,232, and new condo listings decreased by 43 percent to 1,386.


Contracts for single-family houses in Broward rose 33.4 percent to 3,499. The price point with the lowest increase was properties below $200,000: two more contracts were signed in May compared to the same period last month. Homes asking between $400,000 and $499,000 experienced the biggest surge on a percentage basis, jumping 55 percent year-over-year to 640 new contracts signed.

New condo contracts totaled 2,491 in May, up 19.2 percent. Condos in two price ranges experienced declines, though: those priced between $400,000 and $499,000, and units asking between $600,000 and $799,000.

Nearly 1,400 new single-family listings were added to the market, a 42 percent decrease. About 1,100 condo listings joined the market, amounting to a 35 percent annual drop.

Palm Beach

In Palm Beach County, 3,444 new contracts for single-family homes were signed last month, a 27.7 percent annual increase. Again, the under $200,000 market experienced the opposite, falling 5.5 percent to 205 contracts signed.

Condo contracts rose 16.6 percent to 2,033. Contracts for condos priced below $200,000 experienced the smallest bump, rising 13.6 percent to 1,150.

New listings for single-family homes dropped by 38 percent to 1,381, while falling by 29 percent to 906 for condos.