This Week in Miami Real Estate: Q1 sales, remote notary and more

by Andrew Morrell

First quarter condo sales grow in Miami

Condo sales that closed during the first quarter of the year within Miami-Dade County were up incrementally on an annual basis, according to the latest market data from the Miami Association of Realtors. Total condo closings in the first three months of the year came in just shy of 3,000 in Miami-Dade County, a 0.8 percent increase from Q1 2018. However, overall closed sales were down 1.9 percent on the year, pulled lower by a 4.9 percent drop in single-family sales. Total sales volume in the area still grew marginally, finishing the quarter at $2.7 billion. Median prices for both property types also rose by around 4 percent each. 

Across the U.S., total home sales (including single-family homes and condo units) were down 5.4 percent from a year earlier, but 1.2 percent above levels seen in Q4 2018.

Top ONE SIR team joins Compass

The Alex & Joe Team, formerly part of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, announced their move to Compass Florida’s Miami Beach office in a May 13 press release. Comprised of 14 agents and led by Alex Miranda and Joe Padula, The Alex & Joe Team were the No. 1 top-producing team of ONE SIR in 2017 and ranked No. 2 in 2018. They join Compass with another recently relocated ONE SIR team: The Cherry Group, led by Sylvia Cherry and Gary Hecht, who are now based out of Compass’s Coconut Grove office.

Coldwell Banker names new field marketing manager

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate named Lauren Johnson the new field marketing manager of its southeast Florida region, according to a May 15 press release. Johnson joins the brokerage with 19 years of marketing experience, most recently at her own corporate communications firm where she specialized in working with clients including Fortune 500 builders and real estate developers. Johnson will provide CBRRE’s 19 offices in the southeast Florida region (totaling some 2,000 agents) with marketing assistance.

Florida may become latest state to legalize remote notary

The Florida legislature passed a measure this week that would make the state the latest to legalize electronic notarizations for transactions including real estate sales. If Governor Ron DeSantis signs the bill into law, it would allow residential and commercial real estate transactions to be closed via an online notary system, rather than require an in-person closing to be attended by a notary public. Proponents of the bill say it could encourage further investment in Florida real estate, particularly from foreign buyers. Virginia was the first state to legalize digital notary services in 2011, however it wasn’t until 2017 that a residential mortgage closing was performed via remote notary, for a home in Illinois.

Two Realtor groups merge in Broward

Two existing Realtor associations based in Broward County have agreed to merge, according to a May 14 press release. The Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale (RAPB + GFLR) agreed to join forces with the South Broward Board of Realtors (SBBOR). The combined association will include an estimated 33,000 Realtors and an MLS of 57,000 active listings as of May 14.

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