Miami’s residential market is cooling after nearly three years of frenzy, and realtors are dropping like flies.
The pool of the city of Miami’s active agents shrunk by 36.3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, compared to the same period of the 2021, according to a report by AgentStory, a Miami-based company that tracks agents and their deals.
The report found Miami had 4,529 active agents as of the fourth quarter, down 2,580, year-over-year. AgentStory defines active agents as listing, co-listing, and buyer’s agents involved in residential sales in the quarter. Essentially, that’s how many realtors are making money.
The city of Miami had a total of 22,286 agents in the fourth quarter, according to AgentStory, meaning only 20.3 percent were active.
The recent dramatic drop in active agents reflects a resettling of the market following a pandemic-fueled boom that transformed the residential landscape across South Florida. In the first quarter of 2022, following a banner 2021 in Miami, active agents were up 14.5 percent, year-over-year, the report shows.
Brokers flooded a hot market, and brokerages beefed up their numbers in response to heightened demand. Active agents in the city of Miami jumped to 7,705 in the second quarter of 2021, from 6,059 in the first quarter, the report shows. Miami had 7,289 active agents in the third quarter, and 7,109 in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The numbers started to shift in the second quarter of 2022, with a 7 percent year-over-year decline in active agents, despite a slight quarter-to-quarter bump. The third quarter showed a more drastic drop of 23.5 percent, year-over-year.
The latest declines, while significant, do not necessarily show a market in crisis, as year-over-year numbers are compared to 2021, an outlier year. The Federal Reserve’s war on inflation and subsequent mortgage rate hikes helped set Miami on the path to a new normal, and sales volume has steadily declined since the summer months.
According to a report from the Miami Association of Realtors, Miami-Dade County residential sales dropped 48 percent in December, year-over-year.
Prices appear to be holding, despite the slowing volume. The same report found the median price of single-family homes rose 1 percent in Miami-Dade, year-over-year, to $530,900. The average price of condos rose 5.5 percent to $374,500.
The AgentStory report provides a window into the possible impact of the slowdown on agents, a group for which employment data is difficult to track. Layoffs tend not to affect residential brokers, as they are independent contractors and typically maintain their licenses even when sales are few and far between.