Miami real estate keeps cooling down


The boom is over.

The volume of existing home sales fell again in Miami-Dade County in June, reflecting a real estate market that has settled down after three years of heady, unsustainable growth. But prices are still rising as buyers and sellers take time to adjust to the new dynamic. Competition remains intense for mid-range homes. And the market in Broward County, which is less dependent on foreign buyers, continues to grow.

8.6 percent annual decline in total number of Miami-Dade existing home sales in June.

In Miami-Dade, the number of single-family homes sold fell to 1,296 in June, down 6.3 percent from June 2015, according to a report released Thursday by the Miami Association of Realtors. Condo sales declined to 1,343, a 10.6 percent annual drop.

Total monthly sales in Miami-Dade have fallen consistently since August 2015. Much of the drop-off is happening at the luxury and bargain ends of the market. That’s due to a decline in foreign buyers, who are dealing with plummeting currencies in Latin America. Also to blame for fewer sales: a lack of foreclosure inventory, which has been scooped up by investors as the housing market recovers.

Foreign buyers and investors often prefer to use cash, and those transactions are falling. Cash buyers accounted for 44.8 percent of deals in June, down from 50.4 percent in June 2015.

While sales are fewer, they’re still in line with historical averages.

In the middle of the market, demand remains strong, with fewer homes available than buyers would like. Inventory for single-family homes priced below $300,000 dropped 53 percent year-over-year, leading to fierce competition among middle-class buyers. Miami is one of the nation’s least affordable housing markets because wages haven’t kept up with soaring home values.

Overall, prices are still on the rise. Experts say they lag several months behind sales. There’s evidence the luxury market has already started to adjust: Realtors interviewed in recent weeks have said sellers of multi-million properties are starting to lower sky-high expectations.

The median price for single-family homes in Miami-Dade rose to $315,000 in June, up 12.5 percent from June 2015. Condo prices increased to $220,000, up 7.3 percent annually.

Broward stays strong

Sales and prices both rose in Broward County, which is less dependent on foreign buyers.

In June, 1,805 single-family home sales were recorded in Broward, up 4.7 percent annually, according to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors. Condo sales reached 1,635, up 4.4 percent.

Prices for single-family homes in Broward hit $325,000 in June, up 7.3 percent year over year. Condo prices rose to $149,250, up 10.3 percent.

Broward’s housing market outpaced the U.S. in June, according to the National Association of Realtors. Nationally, existing home sales climbed 1.1 percent and median prices grew to $247,700, up 4.8 percent from June 2015. Those figures include both single-family homes and condos.