Miami-Real Deal author Sean Stewart-Muniz reports 2015 was a record-setting year for Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach County residential home sales. (See South Florida home sales hit 10-year high in 2015).
According to data released from real estate information company RealtyTrac, the tri-county area set a 10-year record for home/condo sales, with 114,002 single-family homes and condos sold in 2015. This placed South Florida as 2015’s second hottest market, trailing only Chicago’s 122,378 single-family home and condo sales.
Nonetheless, the report describes a slowdown in the last few months in South Florida’s housing market, due to an unsustainable pace in 2013-2015 and a strong U.S. dollar discouraging foreign cash buyers. Mr. Stewart-Muniz previously reported South Florida construction had a significant decrease in the final months of 2015, although developers are still spending more in South Florida than anywhere in the U.S. Nicholas Nehamas of the Miami Herald wrote last week the strong U.S. dollar and struggling foreign economies are softening Florida’s real estate market, and that Miami-Dade’s unemployment rate is standing firm at 6% after plummeting from a height of 12% during the recession. The downturn in the South Florida’s economy is highlighted by only a 1.7% increase in employee compensation in 2015, the lowest of any metro-area besides Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Washington, D.C. (See South Florida workers saw slower growth in compensation in 2015, by Nina Lincoff of the South Florida Business Journal).