The Miami Herald
May 22, 2013
South Florida’s Existing Home Prices Jump
By Double Digits From Year Ago
By Martha Brannigan
South Florida’s housing market continued its impressive rebound in April.
The median resale price for a single-family home in Miami-Dade jumped 23.7 percent to $225,000 in April from a year earlier, the Miami Association of Realtors said.
The median price for an existing Miami-Dade condo climbed 17.1 percent year over year to $175,000.
April sales of single-family homes leaped 15.2 percent to 1,094 units in Miami-Dade year over year. The increase came despite the 6.9 percent drop in the number of single-family homes listed for sale in April.
Sales of existing condos in Miami-Dade rose 18.7 percent from a year earlier. The number of condo listings inched up 1.1 percent in April from a year earlier, the Miami Realtors said. Still, with greater demand and more sales flowing through the pipeline, the months of supply of existing condos on the market in Miami-Dade dropped to 5.7 months in April from 6.1 months a year earlier.
Real estate agents are surprised that the volume of sales has continued to increase year over year despite the lack of inventory available to sell. “After two record sales years coupled with very tight supply, it seemed sales would not exceed last year’s activity. Yet Miami real estate sales appear to be surging again,” Natascha Tello, chairman of Miami Realtors said in a statement.
Broward County’s home market continued to post similar strong results.
The median price of an existing single-family home in Broward jumped 22 percent to $250,000 in April from a year earlier, according to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors.
The median price for Broward condominiums and townhouses climbed 24 percent to $105,000 year over year for the same month, the Realtors’ group said.
April sales of single-family homes in Broward jumped 11.1 percent from a year earlier to 1,316 closings, despite a 23.2 percent plunge in for-sale listings. Condo and townhouse sales increased 5.8 percent in April to 1,664 closed transactions from a year earlier.
“As median home prices continue to increase, existing homeowners are feeling more comfortable about listing their homes and receiving at or near asking price,’’ Charles Bonfiglio, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors, said in a statement.
Those selling existing single-family homes in Broward got 94.8 percent of the asking price in April, up from 91.6 percent a year earlier. Owners of townhouses and condominiums got 94.4 percent of the asking price in April, up from 91.6 percent a year ago, the Realtors group said.
Agents say many properties are getting snapped up soon as they are listed, often at asking price or above. In Miami-Dade, the median days to sell a home declined 12.5 percent to 42 days from 48 days in April 2012. The median days on the market for Miami-Dade condos fell to 43 from 52 days a year earlier, Miami Realtors said.
In Broward, single-family homes sold at a median of 34 days, down from 45 days a year earlier, and condos rushed to closing in 36 days, down from 44 days in April 2012.
“There are bidding wars. People are paying above what the appraisal is coming back at,’’ said Fernando Martinez, president of the Miami Association of Realtors and a Realtor with FM Realty in Homestead. “It’s very strong.’’
Martinez, who also is a new home developer and owner of Caribe Homes, said when people question whether the fast-spiraling market is heading for another fall, he points to the market’s solid underpinnings. That includes, he said, a large share of cash transactions and cautious mortgage lenders requiring substantial equity in financed deals.
Jeannett Slesnick, a broker-owner at Slesnick & Jochem LLP in Coral Gables, said the top challenge in the current market is the dearth of inventory amid rising demand. “It’s red hot. Red, red hot,’’ she said.
Slesnick recently listed a 3/2 old Spanish in north Coral Gables that needed extensive work for $390,000 and got multiple offers on it almost immediately. It sold for over asking price. “It needs a new roof, plumbing, electricity. It needs the floor refinished. It needs new windows. The garage needs updating,’’ said Slesnick. “It’s basically a shell.’’
Across Florida, the housing recovery continued to gain momentum in April with double-digit gains in median prices and sales. According to the Florida Realtors, the median price of a single-family home in Florida rose 14.2 percent to $165,000 in April from a year earlier, while the median price of a condo was up 16.4 percent to $128,000 year over year. Condo sales rose 13.6 percent statewide and single-family home closing were up 17.4 percent year over year.