Home prices up but slowdown looms for South Florida real estate

Posted on 24 Jun 2015 in Miami What's New | 0 comments

for-sale-signAfter several years of overheated gains, South Florida real estate may be in for a slowdown.

Prices have grown too high and the buyer pool is shrinking, say local brokers who are on the industry’s front lines. And it’s not just the usual summer doldrums.

There are too many properties out there that are over-priced,” said Jeff Morr, an agent at Douglas Elliman and chairman of the Miami Master Brokers Forum, a local network of top real estate professionals. “The biggest thing that holds a property from selling is the price.”

The latest numbers from South Florida’s realtor associations confirm that resale prices are rising.

In Miami-Dade County, the median resale price for a single-family home hit $282,000 in May 2015, up from $250,000 in May 2014, according to a report released Tuesday by the Miami Association of Realtors. The price for a condo was $207,250, up from $186,500 a year ago.

At the luxury end of the market, new condos are going for $618 per square foot in Brickell and $869 in Miami Beach, with the highest-end projects selling for more than $1,000 per square foot. Single-family homes in exclusive Coconut Grove, Coral Gables and Miami Beach neighborhoods can also trade for more than $1,000 per square foot.

Prices are getting too high,” agreed Cyril Bijaoui, a broker at Westside Estate Agency, a Los Angeles firm that recently opened a Coral Gables office. “Sellers’ expectations about what they can get have gone way up and people smell opportunities. But it’s creating buyer frustration and a definite slowdown.”

Broward County is seeing a similar price trend, especially for units in multifamily projects, according to a report from the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors.

The median resale price for condos and town homes in Broward grew to $135,000 in May 2015, up from $124,000 in May 2014. Single-family homes saw a smaller jump, rising to $297,000 from $295,000 the previous year.

Sales are still strong for single-family homes in both counties, rising 5 percent in Miami-Dade and .8 percent in Broward year-over-year.

But the condo market, where inventory is higher, has weakened: sales were down 2.6 percent in Miami-Dade and 9.4 percent in Broward.

Another factor holding the local market back: stagnant wages.

More at www.miamiherald.com.

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