While both Fort Lauderdale and Miami experienced a mild slowdown in sales over January, the market outlook through 2016 remains positive. Prices continue to appreciate across the board in both condos and single family homes. Sales hold steady experiencing a significant rebound from 2010 dramatic lows.
In 2016, the median price per square foot in Miami was $270, marking a 7% increase from December’s $252. 1071 properties sold in January, which was a 12% decrease in sales compared to December. However, compared to the last five years of January sales, the numbers suggest sales volume is holding steady and no where near 2010’s low of 749 sold properties for the month. It also still significantly higher than 2013’s 995 sales. List prices continue to climb throughout Miami and the neighboring communities. The outlook for 2016 is positive. In Fort Lauderdale, January saw a median price per square foot of $306 which was up from $300 in December.
In January, sales volume fell in Miami to $243,254,407, a sharp decrease from December’s $361,537,881. However, comparatively sales volume in January of 2015 came in at $287,780,894. Historically, sales are slower at the beginning of the year and pick up with the arrival of Spring. January’s slowdown is typical, and meanwhile home prices continue to rise coupled with a healthy sales volume.
Turning to Fort Lauderdale in January 2016, sales volume came in at $100,510,506, which was down from $203,724,311 in December 2015, a significant drop off. However total sales in January 2015 was $122,887,073. Overall, Fort Lauderdale continues to have lower sales than Miami but both markets are stable. The decrease from January 2015 is most likely being driven by a decrease in the foreign buyers across South Florida. Strong domestic sales driven by Northeasterners continues to move the market forward keeping it stabilized.
The demand exists among US buyers. The factor slowing the South Florida market is the weakening economy in Latin America, which is a central driver of the region’s real estate market. It is definitely having an impact on sales across the board. However, at the same time, the demand among these same foreign buyers to own property outside the turmoil of their native countries is there. The trend that could emerge from these conditions is a shift among foreign buyers into less expensive markets that don’t require as much cash outlay.
Developers are hedging on luxury buyers market priced out of Miami turning to Fort Lauderdale, and this may just be the pattern that emerges in 2016. There will continue to be a strong surge in domestic buyers purchasing property in South Florida to escape high taxes and harsh weather in the Northeast. This trend to a certain extent will curtail the impact of the slowdown among international buyers. Overall, while the market may be off to a quieter start than it was this time last year, the projections for 2016 remain positive.
Michelle Farber Ross