Q2 market recap: Miami Beach cools, mainland heats up

by Andrew Morrell

South Florida’s housing market posted gains in the second quarter of 2019, reversing some of the trends that began earlier in the year, according to a report from Douglas Elliman in conjunction with Miller Samuel.

Covering the major markets of Miami-Dade County and surrounding counties within the Miami metro area, the Douglas Elliman report found evidence of more firm sales and price growth, particularly in the local condo market, where an abundance of inventory has kept a lid on prices. 

“While the market hasn’t shown a full-scale turnaround yet due to some hesitancy in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, the outlook continues to show intensified progress,” said Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel and author of the report. “We continue to see growing, tangible evidence that the market is continuing to strengthen.”

In the first quarter of the year, Douglas Elliman reported sluggish sales and price growth in several local markets, especially Miami’s coastal mainland. Things improved in Q2, with closings up 5.5 percent on the year to 4,422. The median sales price in the area also grew 4.7 percent year-over-year, to $335,000. While single-family sales in Miami’s coastal mainland have now grown in three of the last four quarters, the area’s condo market finally saw some progress as well — the report noted condo prices and sales were both trending higher after a period of stagnation. Buyers also made a considerable dent in the luxury condo market last quarter, bringing the median sales price up 10.4 percent year-over-year, to $900,000. Listing inventory in the luxury condo market also fell 2.7 percent.

After a strong first quarter, Miami Beach sales hit a snag in Q2 2019. In almost all property categories, median sales prices fell compared to the previous year. Price cuts were particularly severe in Miami Beach’s luxury market, with high-end condo prices down 24.3 percent to a median of $2.55 million. Overall, sales for the quarter were down 6 percent to 964, while the inventory of condos for sale fell for the first time since Douglas Elliman began tracking the data about seven years ago.

In the other markets covered by the report, including Boca Raton, Palm Beach and Jupiter, sales and prices were generally higher for all property types on an annual basis, putting the South Florida housing market on generally firmer ground headed into the second half of 2019.

“Although we continue to see hesitation with upward price trends and a slight dip in sales for Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale, the overall South Florida market remains stable with progress from the quarter prior,” said Jay Phillip Parker, CEO of Douglas Elliman’s Florida brokerage. “I am confident that the third quarter will reflect significant improvement as we continue to see the interest in South Florida’s favorable tax laws and mortgage rates being at a substantial low compared to last year.”

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