“One non-stop boom”: After surge in home sales, inventory keeps shrinking in South Florida

Condo sales jumped in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties in the fourth quarter

(Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
(Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

After a period of rapid absorption spurred by the pandemic lockdown of 2020, single-family home sales declined across South Florida in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to newly released reports.

Single-family sales fell, year over year, as a result of very limited inventory, said Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel, who authored the reports issued by Douglas Elliman. In some cases, the supply of both homes and condos was limited to just one month of inventory. Condo sales still rose in the fourth quarter, on an annual basis, according to the reports.

“There was a common theme across the region,” Miller said. “The acceleration in falling supply has increased to the point where it is beginning to restrain sales.” Still, single-family homes sales are higher than they were before the pandemic, he added.

Demand was created by low mortgage rates, Miller said, resulting in supply being absorbed faster than new inventory could hit the market.

Read more

“It just was one non-stop boom,” he said.

Prices also rose by double-digits across the tri-county area.

Miller predicts that price growth will slow and prices will plateau — eventually.

The luxury end of the market bounced back much faster after the lockdowns were lifted. “Lower wage earners saw a much more severe punishment from the economy,” Miller said. “Affordability, which is being pressured, will slow down demand until prices cool off.”

Here’s a look at some of the South Florida markets Elliman covers:

Miami Beach and the barrier islands

In Miami Beach and the barrier islands, which includes Bal Harbour, Bay Harbor Islands, Fisher Island, Golden Beach, Indian Creek, Key Biscayne, North Bay Village, Sunny Isles Beach and Surfside, residential sales rose more than 40 percent to 1,652 closings in the fourth quarter, compared with the same period of 2020.

Single-family home sales declined by 22 percent year over year, to 174 closings in the fourth quarter. At the same time, inventory decreased by 60 percent to 210 active listings, and supply fell to 3.6 months.

Condo sales rose, jumping 55 percent to 1,478 closings. Inventory was cut in half, to 2,757 listings, while supply fell to 5.6 months.

The median condo price grew 18 percent to $472,500, and the median single-family home price increased 33 percent to $2.6 million.

Coastal Miami mainland

In coastal areas of Miami-Dade, which include Greater Downtown Miami, Coconut Grove, Palmetto Bay and other neighborhoods, residential sales rose, again thanks to a jump in condo sales.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

While condo sales rose by 36 percent to 3,221 closings, single-family home sales declined slightly, by 5 percent to 2,162 closings.

Condo inventory fell dramatically, by 59 percent to 2,727 listings, or just 2.5 months of supply. And the number of single-family listings decreased 33 percent to 1,377, amounting to just under two months of supply.

Median prices continued to rise, up 29 percent to $355,000 for condos, and up 17 percent to $560,000 for single-family homes.

Fort Lauderdale

Condo sales jumped in Fort Lauderdale, up 29 percent for a total of 728 closings, while home sales dropped 6 percent to 581.

The median price of condos rose 30 percent to $410,000, and the median price of homes increased 12 percent to $572,500.

Listings totaled 447 for condos, down a whopping 70 percent, and 362 for single-family homes, a 46 percent annual decline. Just 1.8 months and 1.9 months of supply were left for each property type, respectively.

Palm Beach

Residential sales fell in the fourth quarter in Palm Beach, a small and ultra high-end market. The town saw just 62 condo sales — down 40 percent, year over year — and just 19 single-family home sales, a 68 percent decline. Active condo listings dropped 72 percent to 74 listings, for a total of just 3.6 months of supply. Active single-family home listings fell 37 percent to 37 listings, amounting to a healthier 5.8 months of supply.

Price growth continued in Palm Beach, as well. The median single-family home price climbed 72 percent to $8.5 million, and 30 percent to $967,000 for condos.

West Palm Beach

Condo sales surged in West Palm Beach, jumping 63 percent to 838 closings. Single-family home sales fell 7 percent to 575 closings.

Inventory is extremely low in West Palm Beach, falling to about 1 month of supply for both homes and condos. At the end of the fourth quarter, 281 condos were on the market, down 73 percent, year over year, while 231 single-family homes were listed, down 5 percent.

The high demand and limited supply pushed pricing up 46 percent for condos to a median price of $196,000, and up 16 percent for houses to a median price of $419,000.

Boca Raton

Condo sales in Boca Raton surged to 913 closings, a 51 percent annual increase. Single-family home sales declined 15 percent to 699 sales.

The median condo price jumped 35 percent in the fourth quarter to $310,000, and up 27 percent to $690,000 for single-family homes.

Condo inventory dropped 70 percent, year over year, to a total of 374 listings, or 1.2 months of supply. Active listings of houses also dropped, down 56 percent, to 250 listings. Just 1.1 months of supply of single-family homes remained at the end of the fourth quarter.