Time to Buy in Miami: February 2016 Market Update

Troy Martin, data scientist at online real estate titan Redfin, released a market update on February 18, 2016.  (See 2016 is Staged for More Competition as Supply of Homes Dwindles).  Based on Redfin’s data collection, Mr. Martin concludes the U.S. housing market will be increasingly competitive in 2016.

Compared to January 2015, U.S. home sales are up 6.7%, median sale price climbed 7.7%, and total inventory fell by 5.6%.  Homes are also selling faster nationally.  About half of home sales went under contract in less than 46-days, 8-days less than last year at this time.  16.6% of homes sold above asking price – 1.4% higher than January 2015.

However, Redfin’s data demonstrates South Florida has not followed the national trend of faster sales at higher prices.  Miami and West Palm Beach saw the largest decline in sales, falling 10.7% and 7.8% relative to January 2015.  In the Miami metropolitan area, housing inventory increased by 48.6% and homes sold decreased by 6.7% relative to January 2015.  There has been an 82.2% increase in new listings in Miami, and a 77.2% increase in new listings in Ft. Lauderdale.

Indeed, January’s Zillow Real Estate Market Reports identified Miami in its “Top 10 Buyers’ Markets” due to increasing inventory and slow sales.  According to Zillow, houses are staying on market for 105 days on average and selling for 15.5% under list price.

The Miami Association of Realtors concurred with Redfin and Zillow.  In a report released on February 24, 2016 (see Miami Residential Prices Continue to Climb in January; Prices Still at 2004 Levels), the Miami Association of Realtors noted Miami-Dade County single-family home transactions were 14.4% lower year-over year (963 to 824) and condominium sales dropped 10% (1,080 to 972).  This report further found median days on market in Miami increased “41.2% to 72 days in January 2016 from 51 days in January 2015.”  Miami-Dade County also continues to experience substantial decreases in distressed home sales.  Short sales and REOs accounting for 4.4% and 15.6% of total home sales in January 2016.  This is a 50.6% reduction in short sales and 42.2% reduction in REOs year-over-year.

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