Reports on Miami’s Q3 housing market paint a positive picture

by Andrew Morrell

Reports out this week from three different South Florida brokerages paint a mostly positive picture for the Miami housing market’s performance in the third quarter of 2018.

The reports from Brown Harris Stevens, Douglas Elliman and The Keyes Company each broke down sales data across multiple categories, comparing closed transactions and pricing for single-family homes and condo units between July and September. Each report also went into detail on luxury properties and sales figures from other hotspots in the Miami metro area.

Miami Beach

The BHS report, which included all home and condo sales data for Miami proper, focused on areas within Miami Beach and downtown. Miami Beach, defined as the area between 5th Street and West 63rd Street, saw its total sales hit a speed bump — Q3 brought the lowest number of condo sales in that area in three years. At 239 closed condo transactions, Q3 2018 was the first to see a year-over-year sales decline (2.8 percent) after three consecutive quarters of growth. The median sales price for condos in that area fell accordingly, by 3.8 percent to $280,000. The largest share of sales were one-bedroom units, which made up 45.2 percent of third quarter closings at a median price of $252,450.

BHS found that luxury sales South of Fifth Street (the SOFI district) fared better, with closed sales increasing 16.7 percent annually. Median prices on SOFI condos also grew to $824,250.

Reports from Douglas Elliman and Keyes, which focused on luxury sales for homes and condos, echoed BHS’s findings. According to Douglas Elliman’s overview of Q3 sales in Miami Beach and the Barrier Islands, home and condo sales “surged year over year the most in at least four years.” In this case, Douglas Elliman’s survey included both single-family homes and condo purchases.

The Keyes report for the Miami Beach luxury market also focused on the positive:

“It took a few quarters, but total sales were up during Q3 for both single-family residential homes and condo/townhomes in the Miami Beach luxury market,” the report explained. “Single-family home sales were up 35.3 percent, while 9.1 percent more condos/townhomes were sold than during Q3 2017.”

The biggest Q3 sale tracked by Keyes in Miami Beach went to a nine-bedroom estate on Pine Tree Drive that sold for $21.8 million. That listing also claimed the title for biggest home sale in all of Miami-Dade County and South Florida during that period.

Downtown Miami

The center of Miami and its close surroundings saw overall strong sales results, based on findings from the three Q3 reports. Douglas Elliman saw listing inventory continue to grow, helping sales rebound 11.1 percent over the previous quarter, the first quarterly increase in three years. The median price still rose 4.8 percent over year-ago levels, to $315,000, while the average time a listing spent on the market grew to 83 days (from 76 last year).

Drilling down further, BHS described a resurgence in sales among downtown Miami’s condo market. Closed listings grew 15.8 percent annually there, bringing prices down only slightly. But in Brickell, where significantly more sales occurred, average prices grew, driven in part by a quicker pace of buyer activity. Most condos sold in Brickell were two-bedroom units, which carried a median closing price tag of $422,500.

According to the Keyes’ luxury market report focusing on all of Miami-Dade County, it was single-family homes worth at least $1 million that showed some of the best Q3 results. Luxury single-family sales across the county grew by 28.5 percent over last year to 257 total. Luxury condo sales also grew by nearly 15 percent. Notably, Keyes found luxury homes and condos sold last quarter were slightly smaller — single-family luxury homes averaged 4,040 square feet, while condos averaged 2,460 square feet.

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