Condo sales slump may attract buyer, agent interest

by Andrew Morrell

Real estate agents in the Miami area may be ramping up marketing efforts that target condo buyers, as recent data show a local market primed for sales opportunities. Some condo owners and developers are even launching their own campaigns focused specifically on agents as they look to boost sales performance.

According to the latest sales figures from Miami Realtors, condo sales in Miami-Dade County fell by almost 12 percent in January 2019 compared to the same month last year. Meanwhile, median sales prices showed no change compared to last year, and the number of active condo listings grew 6.1 percent year-over-year, to finish the month at more than 16,500.

That combination of sluggish sales and growing inventory is expected to drive renewed efforts to get condos sold. Stakes are particularly high for developers that need to offload stagnant inventory quickly to satisfy investor expectations. According to The Real Deal Miami, more condo developers in the area are rolling out big discounts on long-vacant units to entice buyers, as well as their agents. Condo buyers may notice listings offering more than just a price cut — discounts may also take the form of waived association fees or even the ability to lease back a condo unit for a cut of potential rental income. For brokers, some developers are taking the additional step of upping their commission rates in an effort to drive additional buyer traffic.

Miami’s single-family home market faced similar headwinds in January, as closed sales fell 11.5 percent over last year. However, the median price paid on a single-family home in Miami-Dade County grew 6.1 percent year-over-year (to $350,000) while inventory also rose. By the end of the month, Miami-Dade County’s housing market boasted 6.8 months-worth of inventory, thanks to a 16.1 percent year-over-year increase in active listing count. This trend of lower closings but greater inventory generally held true across the U.S. during January.

“As the new year gets underway, more new listings and gains in inventory (active listings) are positive signs for potential homebuyers in Florida,” said Eric Sain, president of Florida Realtors, in a statement on the Jan. 2019 numbers statewide. “Having more homes available for sale in many local markets may start to ease some of the affordability constraints we’ve been seeing for a long time.”

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