More South Florida home-buyers took the plunge in September, buoying sales of single-family homes and condominiums.
Low mortgage interest rates and improving job prospects are bringing more traditional home-buyers to the table, real estate agents say, even as many investors have pulled back amid higher prices.
Sales of existing single-family homes in Miami-Dade County rose 5 percent in September from a year earlier, with 1,166 closings; existing condo sales also increased 5 percent year over year, totaling 1,425 closings, according to Miami Association of Realtors.
“Strong demand for Miami real estate is fueling healthy market activity for both single-family homes and condominiums,” Liza Mendez, chairman of the Miami Association of Realtors, said in a statement.
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The median price of a single-family home in Miami-Dade rose 11 percent to $250,000 in September from a year earlier. For condos, the median rose 7 percent to $195,000 from a year earlier.
Compared with August, the median price for a single-family home was flat in September while the condo median rose 7 percent month to month.
In Broward, sales volume of both single-family homes and condos rose by 8 percent in September from a year earlier. During September, 1,306 single-family home sales and 1,353 condo sales were completed, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors said.
The median price of a single-family home in Broward County was $270,000 in September, flat with a year earlier, but the median for condos jumped 26 percent to $132,000, the Realtors said.
“Summer production was good,” said Jaime V. Rodriguez, a loan originator with Universal Mortgage and Finance in Miami Lakes. Some lenders, he said, are providing more mortgage options that make home-buying more accessible.
The pick-up in South Florida home and condo sales in September mirrors stronger sales across Florida and the nation.
The Florida Association of Realtors reported single-family home sales rose 14 percent in September from a year earlier, and condo sales inched up 2 percent year over year.
The National Association of Realtors said all major regions of the country except the Midwest posted month-to-month sales gains in September, boosting sales to their highest pace of the year, albeit still down 1.7 percent from last September.
In South Florida, properties are sitting on the market a bit longer than they did a year ago: In September, Broward condos sold in a median period of 50 days, up from 36 days; single-family homes sold in a median period of 38 days, up from 28 days. Miami-Dade residences also took longer to find a buyer.
“For Sale” signs are becoming more plentiful across the region. On the heels of three years of strong price increases for both single-family homes and condos, more homeowners have equity in their properties and are opting to list them for sale.
In September, Miami-Dade’s inventory of single-family homes rose 20 percent to 6,347 units while the inventory of existing condos swelled 24 percent to 11,133.
For existing Miami-Dade condominiums, that amounted to 8.1 months of supply — tipping the market in favor of buyers. Experts consider a six-month supply to be a balanced market between buyers and sellers, with more than that favoring buyers and a tighter supply favoring sellers.
In Broward, the inventory of single-family homes listed for sale in September rose 35 percent to 6,391 units, while the inventory of condos increased 27 percent to 8,157 units. That amounted to a six-month supply of condos and a 5.1-month supply of single-family homes.