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Why is buying property in Fort Lauderdale and South Florida such a good investment?

With a population growing rapidly
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As long as we've got the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulfstream,
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Ft Lauderdale Real Estate News 5/23/16

Home Prices in Fort Lauderdale Appreciate Faster Than State or County Average

Latest Statistics for East Side of Fort Lauderdale


Interesting numbers from the Florida Association of Realtors. A one-month snapshot, of course, so we wouldn't get too hung up on anything one way or the other.

Still, it's always interesting to drill down a bit into these statistics, for it usually proves something I tell my customers – that the better neighborhoods will typically outperform the statewide or county-wide numbers.

Taking a look at existing Single Family we see statewide the Median Price went up 9.2%. In South Florida (the reporting area which encompasses Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties) the Median Price increased 7.1%. With an appreciation of 7.7% Broward County beat the South Florida number, but fell short of the statewide.

But now let's focus on the prime property on the East Side of Fort Lauderdale.

In the Zip Code of 33316, which encompasses the premier waterfront neighborhoods of Harbor Beach and Rio Vista, the median price went up from $1.278 Million in 2015 to $1.675 in 2016, an increase of 23.8%.

Zip Code 33301, which includes the Las Olas Isles and Victoria Park, showed an increase in Median Price of 7.2%, from $1.3 Million in April, 2015, to $1.4 Million in April, 2016

In the Zip Code of 33308, which encompasses the upscale Northeast Fort Lauderdale neighborhood of Coral Ridge, the Median Price went from $558,000 to $650,000, an increase of 14.2%

If we add up all the Zips along the coast of Fort Lauderdale (33301, 33316, 33308, 33304 and 33305) we see an increase from $4.1 Million in April of 2015 to $4.6 Million in April, 2016, meaning the Median Price went up 8.9%.

One other item which should not be overlooked in these statistics is the differential between Listing and Selling Price. Note that the average discount off Listing Price in Single Family Homes was 4.1%, and only 5.5% in Condos and Townhomes.

Granted these are average, so some homes might've sold for a great discount. but that also means others sold for less.

In Florida, and South Florida specifically, we have a very active and highly shopped market. Property prices tend to stratify, and Sellers know they will get more offers, so very few are willing to entertain low-balls. This is especially true in prime property.

Florida’s housing market reported increased new listings, rising median prices, fewer days to a contract and fewer cash closed sales in April, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors. With inventory still constrained, statewide closed sales eased last month: Single-family home sales totaled 24,144, remaining relatively the same (down 0.6 percent) as April 2015.

“Still-low mortgage interest rates and a strong jobs outlook are positive trends for Florida’s housing market,” said 2016 Florida Realtors President Matey H. Veissi. “We’re also seeing a rising number of new listings added to the market, which is a trend that needs to continue as many areas still face a shortage of supply, particularly for single-family homes. New listings for existing single-family homes rose 3.1 percent compared to a year ago while new listings for townhouse-condo properties rose 3.7 percent.”

Meanwhile, sellers continued to get more of their original asking price at the closing table. Sellers of existing single-family homes in April received 95.9 percent (median percentage) of their original listing price, while those selling townhouse-condo properties received 94.5 percent (median percentage).

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $213,000, up 9.2 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in April was $160,000, up 4.4 percent over the year-ago figure.

In April, statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties rose year-over-year for the 53rd month in a row, Veissi noted. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in March 2016 was $224,300, up 5.8 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $209,600. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in March was $483,280; in Massachusetts, it was $329,505; in Maryland, it was $252,068; and in New York, it was $230,000.

Looking at Florida’s townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 10,738 last month, down 5.3 percent compared to April 2015. However, the closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and cash-only sales in April: Short sales for townhouse-condo properties declined 43.2 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 35.9 percent. Closed sales may occur from 30 to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

“The positive growth we’re seeing in sales for homes priced above the $150,000 mark is being offset by a continuing decline of homes for sale in the most affordable price ranges,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Brad O’Connor. “This trend is due in part to the ongoing decline in sales of distressed properties. In April, distressed sales accounted for less than 12 percent of all closed Multiple Listing Service (MLS) sales in Florida – the lowest such percentage we’ve recorded since the initial stages of the downturn last decade.”

Inventory was at a 4.5-months’ supply in April for single-family homes and at a 6.3-months’ supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.61 percent in April 2016, down from the 3.67 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.

© 2016 Florida Realtors

Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Statistics Report Sharp Increase in Home Prices

Sales volume for existing South Florida homes fell sharply in April, as fewer cash buyers were shopping in the region, according to latest Florida Realtors report.

The biggest drop in sales came in Miami-Dade County's condo market, which has seen less activity from international investors.

Sales of single-family homes declined 5.2 percent, year-over-year, to 4,199 in the tri-county area. The median sales price climbed 7.1 percent, to $300,000.

The statewide market for single-family homes performed better than in South Florida, but it still went backward. Florida single-family homes sales fell 0.6 percent, to 24,144 while the median sales price jumped 9.2 percent, to $213,000. The Tampa Bay, Jacksonville and Orlando markets all had more single-family home sales.

Sales of existing condos and townhouses in South Florida dropped 7.3 percent, to 4,165 – the fifth straight month of declines. The median sales price grew 7.8 percent, to $165,000.

Statewide, condo and townhouse sales decreased 5.3 percent, to 10,738, while the median sales price rose 4.4 percent, to $160,000.

"The positive growth we're seeing in sales for homes priced above the $150,000 mark is being offset by a continuing decline of homes for sale in the most affordable price ranges," Florida Realtors Chief Economist Brad O'Connor said. "This trend is due, in part, to the ongoing decline in listings and sales of distressed properties. In April, distressed sales accounted for less than 12 percent of all closed Multiple Listing Service sales in Florida – the lowest such percentage we've recorded since the initial stages of the downturn last decade."

In Miami-Dade County, sales of single-family homes declined 7.6 percent to 1,150. The median sales price grew 9.6 percent to $285,000, according to the Miami Association of Realtors. Active listings increased 9.2 percent, resulting in a 5.6-month supply of inventory at the current sales pace. That’s a seller’s market.

For condos/townhouses in Miami-Dade, sales dropped 12.1 percent to 1,269. The median sales price climbed 8 percent to $215,000. Active listings jumped 15.9 percent, pushing the supply of inventory to 11 months — a buyer’s market.

That doesn’t include the thousands of newly-completed and pre-construction condos on the market.

Cash sales declined in Miami-Dade as foreigner buyers were impacted by a more expensive dollar. Distressed sales also fell as there were fewer repossessed properties on the market. Total residential sales for April fell to $1.04 billion from $1.16 billion.

“Miami real estate remains at 2004 pricing levels despite more than four years of increases,” said Mark Sadek, chairman of the Miami Association of Realtors. “The growing scarcity of local distressed homes and increased properties selling in the popular price ranges is factoring in the rise of prices.”

The Miami Associated noted that sales increased for homes priced from $200,000 to $600,000 and for condos priced from $150,000 to $300,000.

In Broward County, single-family home sales inched up 0.1 percent, to 1,463, while the median sales price rose 7.7 percent, to $310,000, according to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors. Cash deals fell 25.4 percent, indicating less activity from foreign buyers and investors. The total dollar volume of transactions increased to $553 million from $524.5 million. Active listings declined by 8.3 percent, which resulted in the supply of inventory falling to 3.9 months. That’s a seller’s market. In fact, active listings have declined for 10 consecutive months, so buyers in Broward don’t have a lot to choose from.

For condos and townhouses in Broward, sales declined 4.9 percent, to 1,520, while the median sales price increased 6.3 percent, to $135,000. The drop in sales was mostly due to fewer cash deals. Total sales volume declined to $288.4 million from $308.5 million. Active listings grew 6.9 percent, causing the supply of inventory to increase to 6.7 months. That’s a balanced market.

“Broward County continues to see a steady, sustainable rise in key categories such as median sale price,” said Howard Elfman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors “This kind of growth gives us good reason to be optimistic about our housing market for the rest of 2016 and beyond.”

In Palm Beach County, single-family home sales fell 8 percent, to 1,586, while the median sales price increased 3.6 percent, to $307,125, according to the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches. Cash sales were off 20.2 percent, accounting for most of the decline. Total sales volume slipped to $799.9 million from $868.9 million. Active listings grew 6.8 percent, and the supply of inventory remained at about five months.

The condo and townhouse market in Palm Beach saw sales down 5.2 percent, to 1,376, while the median sales price rose 6.1 percent, to $154,950. Total sales volume declined to $354.8 million from $360.3 million. There were 8.5 percent more active listings, which caused the supply of inventory to increase to 5.7 months.

"Most of the year-over-year comparisons for single family homes indicated that we are still in a seller’s market,” said Judy Ramella, president of the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches. "However, a few interesting figures suggest a possible shift in demand. Even though our median price has increased to $307,125, closed sales and new pending sales have declined. Fewer sales and contracts mean fewer buyers.”

© 2016 South Florida Business Journal


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