After months in the doldrums, the Miami-Dade real estate market showed signs of renewed life in March. But observers warned it could be short-lived.
Broward County also saw an increase in the number of sales and prices.
According to the latest monthly report by the Miami Association of Realtors, sales for single-family homes in Miami-Dade set a new record in March, jumping to 1,276 from 1,168, or 9.2 percent, over March 2016.
The number tops the previous record for March of 1,242 homes sold in 2015.
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The number of townhouse and condo sales also went up, climbing 2.3 percent year-to-year to 1,327.
Median prices for single-family homes in Miami-Dade County rose for the 64th consecutive month, growing by 15 percent over March 2016, from $280,000 to $322,000. Condo median prices climbed 7.4 percent to $225,000.
“The market slowed down last year because of a combination of things, including the strength of the dollar and the tumultuous election,” said Jeff Morr, chair of the Miami Master Brokers Forum. “But although our president isn’t behaving like we’d want him to, he’s starting to quiet down a little and people are more confident than they were just a couple of months ago.”
Also contributing to the market’s rebound are concerns over the recent rise of federal interest rates, which are leading buyers to be more aggressive.
“Because interest rates have gone up and are predicted to go up more, buyers are locking in the rates before they go higher,” Morr said. “The market is very strong and things are moving quickly, especially in the lower to mid-range.”
The number of condos available for sale grew 27.8 percent year-to-year, with a nearly 14-month supply of units on the market.
Luxury condos over $1 million showed the biggest year-to-year gain, growing 48.4 percent with 92 closed sales. The $250,000-$300,000 bracket also did well, growing 37.7 percent with 146 sales.
But some observers say the gains in Miami’s condo market may only be temporary.
“If these statistics are true, chances are it’s an anomaly more so than a trend,” said Peter Zalewski of Cranespotters.com. “Miami-Dade County bills itself as the gateway to Latin America, so when buyers from those countries come to South Florida, Miami-Dade is the biggest benefactor. But with the anti-immigration vibe being put forth by the Trump administration, foreign investors are feeling skittish. I would be shocked if this trend were to continue going forward.”
In Broward, single family sales grew by 3.8 percent. The median sales price was $331,000 up almost 11 percent from March 2016.
Condo sales grew by 2.8 percent to 1,673. The median price was $148,000, up 7.6 percent from March 2016.