Broward County

Fort Lauderdale a magnet for affluent buyers

OATES
OATES

When thinking of luxury U.S. real estate markets a handful of cities immediately come to mind: New York, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco ... and now Fort Lauderdale. No longer just a popular tourist destination, Fort Lauderdale is rapidly emerging as a go-to destination for the world’s most affluent home buyers.

While those unfamiliar with the city may be surprised by the growth of this budding luxury market, residents and familiars see this as just another step in the evolution of “The Venice of America.” As new high-end condominium projects are completed, cutting-edge transportation advancements are being made, and the distance between Miami and Fort Lauderdale “shortens,” the city’s luxury real estate prominence strengthens.

According to a January 2015 report published by Omniture Discover, Fort Lauderdale was the fifth most-searched-for U.S. city by international consumers. Numerous factors that, in South Florida, were once thought to exist only in Miami now bring affluent, international buyers to our marketplace. More than 3,000 hours of sunshine each year, expanding international business opportunities, and more direct international flights out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport each add immeasurable value for luxury home buyers seeking to enjoy a lifestyle reserved for a select few.

Weekly stats released by The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM) reflect a national luxury composite price of $1,364,185 at the time of this writing. The Fort Lauderdale luxury market has seen more than 120 completed transactions at or above this number so far in 2015, with more than 435 qualifying properties actively on the market.

While the area’s average sales price ($2,212,182) for properties positioned in this exclusive tier is significantly higher than the ILHM’s composite price (listed above), the average days on market is only 12 days higher (155 vs 143). This bodes well for both buyers and sellers showing a confidence in value not only of real estate properties, but the area as whole.

It is commonly said that variety is the spice of life. If this pertains to luxury real estate, Fort Lauderdale may be as spicy as it gets. With a buffet of luxurious offerings from high-rise condominiums to expansive waterfront mansions, high net-worth individuals have many choices. Whether desiring to abide in the world-famous Ritz-Carlton with direct ocean views on Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard or retreat to a private, guard-gated manse in The Harborage, for example, it is almost guaranteed that buyers’ wants and needs can be satisfied here, close to some of the world’s most attractive beaches.

Perhaps the best argument supporting both buyers’ and sellers’ confidence in Fort Lauderdale’s luxury real estate market can be made by analyzing local MLS data. Using year-over-year stats from the Miami Association of Realtors’ MLS, one can ascertain buyers’ perceived value and sellers’ realization of today’s market conditions.

The number of real buyers for single-family homes positioned above the ILHM’s national luxury composite price has increased by 8 percent compared to this time last year. The luxury condominium market has experienced an impressive 10 percent growth during this same span. Although the average sales prices for both types of homes slightly decreased in 2015, original list price/sales price (OLP/SP) ratios both increased dramatically by 6 percent. These gains pushed the OLP/SP for condos from 91 percent to 97 percent and for single-family homes from 84 percent to 90 percent. These numbers are far more indicative of market strength and stability than sales prices alone because they reflect a narrowing margin of what sellers initially expect to receive for their properties and what buyers are willing to pay for the same homes.

Neal Oates, Jr. is the broker/owner of World Renowned Real Estate and has been a Florida licensed Realtor since 2007. He earned the Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS) designation by receiving instruction from The Institute of Luxury Home Marketing’s founder, Laurie Moore-Moore, and he’s working toward a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation. Oates sits on two leadership boards with the Miami Association of Realtors: The Broward County Board of Governors and the Young Professionals Network Leadership Board.

Realtors may submit columns for Broker’s View of 700 to businesseditor@MiamiHerald.com. Questions, email rclarke@MiamiHerald.com. This column is primarily for brokers of residential real estate, but from time to time, we will publish columns about commercial real estate.

Fort Lauderdale luxury real estate

CONDOMINIUMS

SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES

Jan.-May

2014

2015

2014

2015

Completed transactions

49

54

70

76

Avg. days on market

135

137

206

171

Avg. list price

$2,034,180

$1,895,528

$3,094,270

$2,607,300

Avg. sales price

$1,799,749

$1,765,187

$2,758,084

$2,333,821

*LP/SP ratio

93%

97%

92%

91%

*OLP/SP ratio

91%

97%

84%

90%

*OP: (original price): The initial home price set by the homeowner and real estate agent and listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

*LP: (list price): The last publicly stated home price that attracted a buyer to make an offer.

*SP: (sales price): The accepted home price that sold the home.

Source: Southeast Florida MLS

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