Blog: Luxury Market Trends in South Florida

by Michelle Ross

MFRHeadshotSales in South Florida despite a mild slowdown have remained strong through 2015. The $1 million-plus real estate market is robust across the three South Florida counties: Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. For all three counties, April was the best sales month this year. The South Florida market did experience a big drop off in August, which can be partially attributed to turbulence in the markets coupled with the typical summer slowdown. There is a strong demand for South Florida property among domestic buyers as well as foreign buyers, especially from the BRIC countries, with urban areas being the most desirable. At MMD Realty, we achieved record-breaking sales this year reflecting the hot South Florida market.

In the city of Miami, sales volume for September was $39.7 million and in October it rose to $51.5 million. Across Miami-Dade county, sales volume was $369 million in September and then fell to $340 million in October. The total sales volume for Palm Beach County was $17.9 million in September and then in October it rose to $20.6 million. Sales volume in Miami peaked in April at $95.4 million. Coral Gables sales volume hit $54.2 million in September and then dropped to $33.1 million in October. Fort Lauderdale sales were at $63 million in September and rose to $78.1 million in October, far surpassing Miami’s sales volume in the $1 million-plus market.

Miami has come to be recognized as a leading U.S. city for global luxury market buyers, and the housing stock offers many desirable qualities, including state-of-the-art condos with the latest tech upgrades and green-certified homes that are very popular and in high demand among Millennial buyers; large waterfront estate properties and horse farms are popular among boomers and foreign buyers. What we’re seeing is that the HNWI Millennial buyers go for convenience time and time again, whereas more boomers and foreign buyers are looking for trophy properties and beachfront estates. There is also interest among the international community of breeders and trainers for Wellington-area equestrian properties. These various taste trends and preferences are reflected in sales volume across the three counties.

Overall, sales have been the slowest in the city of Palm Beach, dropping down to almost zero, whereas the popular Delray Beach has experienced a healthy volume this fall in the $1 million-plus market. Miami has been as hot as ever, but the big surprise was Fort Lauderdale, where sales were also hot. Fort Lauderdale has experienced a really strong sales volume this fall – enough to beat downtown Miami figures. The city offers everything that Miami does but it’s a much more boat-friendly culture, and a place where luxury buyers can get more square footage per dollar spent.

Metropolitan centers such as downtown Miami and Fort Lauderdale are experiencing the strongest sales volumes this year, with Coral Gables coming in third. Strong sales are expected to continue through December going into 2016. Unstable markets in other parts of the world should help keep international luxury demand up. Overall the outlook for the luxury market, especially for all-cash buyers, is strongest in South Florida’s metropolitan areas.

Michelle Farber Ross founded MMD Realty LLC in 2011. A dynamic force in the South Florida real estate community, she joined forces with NFL legend Dan Marino and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Wekerle to create MMD Realty, focusing on luxury residential and commercial properties in South Florida. The company earmarks up to five percent of company profits for the Dan Marino Foundation.

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