July brings double-digit home sales growth in Miami, statewide

by Andrew Morrell

Buyers breathed new life into Miami’s single-family home market last month, helping sales grow by double-digit percentages in July. The metro area comprised of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach recorded 4,679 closed transactions in July, a 14.2 percent increase from July 2018. The median price on those sales — $369,850 — was 2.7 percent higher than a year ago. After a somewhat sluggish first half, single-family home sales in the Miami area are now even with where they were at this point year-to-date.

In much of the rest of Florida’s housing market, July was a strong month. Statewide home sales grew 10.4 percent from last year, while prices hit an annual growth rate of 5.1 percent, according to Florida Realtors.

“With its unique live-work-and-play lifestyle, growing economy and no state income tax, Miami real estate continues to attract home buyers from tax-burdened states,” Miami Realtors Chairman of the Board José María Serrano said. “Home buyers are taking advantage of current interest rates, which are at a three-year low.”

Miami’s condo market, on the other hand, saw sales slip 0.4 percent year-over-year. Although the area’s condo supply currently above estimated demand levels, the market’s dynamics could shift with the implementation of a new federal mortgage rule. Starting in October, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will roll out new rules designed to make it easier for condo buyers to use low down payment FHA loans. Previously, only a few condo developments were eligible for the program.

“The new guidance extends certifications from two years to three, allows for single-unit mortgage approvals, provides more flexibility with owner/occupancy ratios, and increases the allowable number of FHA loans in a single project,” according to the Miami Association of Realtors. “The changes, many of which [Miami Realtors] and NAR has championed, should yield thousands of new homeownership opportunities.”

Inventory in both single-family and condo markets continued to grow across the Miami metro in July. As demand continues rising, this is expected to fuel sales growth in the area going forward.

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