South Florida’s home market keeps on sizzling.
Sales volume is as hot as the boom time of 2005, although the median prices are still far lower. More single-family homes were sold in July in Miami-Dade County than at any time since the peak of the boom. Prices, while improving, are still lagging 35 percent behind.
What’s driving the market? Supply — there isn’t much — and demand — a lot of buyers are racing against rising mortgage interest rates.
The median price of a single-family home in Miami-Dade soared 25.7 percent in July to $230,000 from $183,000 a year earlier, the Miami Association of Realtors said. Single-family home sales in Miami-Dade jumped 27.3 percent in July to 1,227 closings from 964 a year earlier. That marked the highest sales volume since 2005, when the median price was $351,200.
Miami-Dade, ground zero during the housing meltdown, has chalked up 20 consecutive months of price increases in both single-family homes and condominiums.
“A sense of urgency is coming from interest rates going up,” said Lisa Dority, a real estate agent with RE/MAX Advance Realty II in Miami. “Some folks are nervous and don’t know how high interest rates will go.” In July, Miami-Dade single-family home sales rose 4.9 percent from June, when the median price was the same: $230,000.
Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, warned Wednesday that the impetus from rising rates will only go so far. “The initial rise in interest rates provided strong incentive for closing deals. However, further rate increases will diminish the pool of eligible buyers,” Yun said in a statement.
The average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage is 4.74 percent, up more than a full percentage point from 3.61 percent in early May, according to HSH.com, a Riverdale, N.J., mortgage-information firm.
For Miami-Dade condos, the median price climbed 33.3 percent in July to $180,000 from $135,000 a year earlier, Miami Realtors said.
Miami-Dade condo sales rose 13.4 percent in July to 1,538 closings from 1,356 a year earlier, as listings rose 13.5 percent to 8,458 units from 7,451 units a year earlier. Miami-Dade had a six-month supply of condos for sale in July, up from 5.6 months a year earlier and a 5.8-month supply in June.
In Broward, the housing market similarly continued posting dramatic gains. The median price of a single-family home jumped 27.9 percent to $275,000 in July from $215,000 a year earlier, according to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors.
Sales of single-family homes in Broward rose 12.9 percent to 1,475 closings in July from 1,307 a year earlier. Single-family sales rose 8.7 percent in July from June, when 1,356 sales were closed.
The median price of a Broward condo rose 29.2 percent in July to $108,500 from $84,000 a year earlier. Broward condo sales rose 12.6 percent in July, to 1,525 closings from 1,354 a year earlier and were flat with June’s 1,355 closings.
The inventory of single-family homes for sale fell 10.3 percent in July to 4,297, while condo listings declined 7.1 percent to 5,985.
Broward had just a 3.5-month supply of single-family homes listed for sale in July, or 3.5 times the volume of transactions closed that month. That was down from a 4.3-month supply a year earlier. Broward had a 4.3-month supply of condos in July, compared with 4.8 months of supply last year.