The overall cost of buying a home in South Florida continues to climb, according to a report released Thursday reflecting sales prices in the first quarter of 2017. But prices vary significantly by neighborhood.
In mainland Miami-Dade, the median sales price for all condos and single-family homes rose 12.5 percent over the first quarter in 2016. But in Miami Beach, median prices dropped 5.8 percent over the same time period.
Those top line numbers tell only part of the story, according to data from the 1Q 2017 Elliman Report, an analysis of real estate trends prepared by Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers and Consultants.
In Miami Beach, for instance, the median price of a single-family luxury home skyrocketed by a whopping 56.5 percent, while the overall median price of a single-family home in the Beach dropped by 25 percent. (The report defines luxury as the top 10 percent of sales.)
Single family prices dropped slightly in Surfside and significantly in Key Biscayne, while rising by 56.3 percent in the Miami Beach islands.
“The metrics are a little bit all over the place,” said Jay Parker, CEO of Douglas Elliman Real Estate Florida Brokerage. “But the region is seeing better results than in 2016. I've heard so many people talk about an impending bloodbath or meltdown or implosion. That's not what we're seeing, and it's validated by statistics.”
Overall, said Miller, the report indicates that South Florida residential real estate prices are stabilizing, said Jonathan J. Miller, who prepared the analysis.
“Throughout 2016, there was a reset. Now we appear to be entering a period of stabilization in 2017, which is good for the market,” Miller said.
“The euphoria of the last couple of years caused many sellers to overprice — aspirational pricing that had nothing to do with the market. I gauge the health of the market by sales activity more than price.”
Prices for single-family homes in mainland Miami continued to grow, driven by high demand and low supply. The active inventory of listed homes on the market was 3,035, down from 3,647. Median sales price climbed 12.4 percent to $345,450 from $307,250 in 2016.
“This is a common issue across the country: We have affordability challenges because supply is tighter,” said Miller. “The single-family market is contracting, so it pushes prices up. The meaning of affordable housing has changed. It used to infer government but now it's the middle class.”
The problem is exacerbated in Miami, where the gap between incomes and home prices (driven up by out-of-town buyers) is so large. The city has become one of the least affordable in the world.
According to the Douglas Elliman report, the priciest neighborhood for single-family homes on the mainland was Coconut Grove, with a median sales price of $1,727,500 (up 25.6 percent). On Miami Beach, it was the islands, with a median sales price of $3,791,000 (up 56.3 percent).
Despite the boom in luxury condos, downtown Miami was the city’s most affordable neighborhood, with a median sales price of $189,375 for condos and $325,000 for single-family homes. On Miami Beach, the least expensive condos were in North Beach, with a median sales price of $240,000, a 6.9 percent drop over 2016.
The median sales price of single-family homes in Fort Lauderdale was higher than Miami at $300,000, a 5.3 percent increase year-over-year. Condo median sales prices remained flat at $263,000 from $261,500.
▪ Overall median sales price: $385,000, down 5.8 percent over first quarter 2016.
▪ Condos: While overall median prices dropped by 8.1 percent, the median price of luxury condos grew by 14.2 percent to $3,025,000 ($1,328 per square foot) from $2,650,000 (or $1,211 per square foot) in the first quarter of 2016.
▪ Single-family homes: The median sales price rose by 12.4 percent overall to $345,450. But prices in the luxury sector dropped by 12.8 percent over the same period in 2016 to $1,200,000.
Results varied by neighborhood. Single-family median home prices rose in Coconut Grove (25.6 percent) downtown (14 percent), South Miami (26.6 percent) and Palmetto Bay (1.3 percent). But they dropped in Coral Gables (13.7 percent) and Pinecrest (19.5 percent.)
Prices in Pinecrest and Coral Gables has the sharpest price drops, to $845,359 (19.5 percent) and $820,000 (13.7 percent) respectively.
▪ Condos: Overall median condo prices grew 3.5 percent over the first quarter of 2016 to $227,750.
In the luxury sector, median prices dropped 27.5 percent. to $785,000, or $419 per square foot in the first quarter of 2017, down from $1,082,500, or $605 per square foot, in the first quarter of 2016. The mainland includes the condo-filled areas of Brickell, downtown and Edgewater.
In Broward, prices also rose, though not as aggressively as in Miami-Dade. The median sales price of single-family homes in Fort Lauderdale was up 5.3 percent over 2016 prices for the first quarter, rising to $300,000. Condo median sales prices essential stayed flat, rising to $263,000 from $261,500.