Real Estate

West Broward market is hot (and Miami homebuyers fuel the flames)

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The housing market in western Broward County is scorching hot, with demand far exceeding supply. New homes are popping up almost everywhere you turn — from Cooper City and Davie to Plantation and cities to the north. Even though Fort Lauderdale and Weston are the cities that have historically represented the Broward market, the overflow demand has pushed many buyers and developers to look at secondary west Broward cities. Buyers are coming from every corner of the country and the world, as is usual in South Florida.

And a surprisingly large number are coming from Miami.

For a lot of these Miami buyers, the appeal of Broward is obvious. For one, they can get around. That’s what has made western Broward so popular in the last few years. Highways such as I-595 and I-75 have made a great difference in the county. Even though a portion of I-75 is still under construction as it adds additional express lanes in each direction, the expansions and improvements of these highways have helped keep up with traffic demands and avoid gridlock conditions. People can get to work, shop and eat without spending an hour or two in the car every day.

Additionally, retail has come right along with the residential — and I’m not just referring to new and proposed mixed-use developments. This includes the recent expansion of Sawgrass Mills as well, which grew its high-end storefronts along The Colonnade to more than 60 luxury brands. The mall, which also offers dining and entertainment options, is planning a new wing of full-price shops and fine dining for fall 2018. Plantation’s Fashion Mall is also set to be replaced by an open-air shopping center that includes luxury apartments and offices, creating a downtown-like atmosphere in the area. These retail options make west Broward very enticing as homeowners and newcomers can have quick and easy access to everything they want and need.

 

The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is busy and growing, and so is Port Everglades. Tourism has continued to boom. According to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, in 2015, Fort Lauderdale welcomed 15.4 million visitors who added more than $14.2 billion to Broward's economy. The airport continues to expand its flights and expects to pass 29 million passengers this year, according to media reports. Also, the tech, education and public sectors have been bringing hundreds of good-paying jobs to the area. Nova Southeastern University, Broward College and the FBI, with its new location in Miramar, are some examples.

For parents, west Broward County Public Schools are an excellent education option, with many “A”-rated schools. This is also true for local charter and private schools. And the area offers plenty of family-friendly places to visit, eat, relax and play.

Most important, many of these incoming Miami buyers are seeking new construction. Up and down the western corridor, the area has been a hotbed of new development in recent years. Homes are popping up in a variety of price ranges. Throughout every city in western Broward County, buyers have plenty of choices.

Land is still at a premium in Broward, but there’s still enough going on for buyers to have plenty of options.

What’s nice is that a lot of the new homes are coming in areas of 10 or 15 homes, or 20 or 25 homes, at a time. It’s not big corporate sprawl; it’s more the boutique builders doing a few homes at a time. They’re nice communities and the homes are beautiful.

And that’s what people want. They want new with all the nice modern amenities and space that come with it.

For all of these reasons, Broward is the best market in the state of Florida right now. The county is seeing price points it has never seen before. (See chart.)

According to Coldwell Banker’s Florida Market Viewpoint, the average sales price in Broward in August 2016 was $297,127, up 6.4 percent from $279,212 in August 2015 and down 1.5 percent from $301,751 last month. August 2016 ASP was at the highest level compared to August of 2015 and 2014.

The report shows that Broward’s August 2016 selling price per square foot of $162 was down 1.5 percent from $164 last month in June 2016 and up 4.6 percent from $155 in August 2015. In comparison, the August 2016 selling price per square foot for Miami-Dade was $233.*

West Broward is becoming more than just an ideal location. It is developing into a true epicenter with its own identity, and Miami buyers are not missing out.

Duff Rubin is regional senior vice president, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Southeast Florida. He can be reached at duff.rubin@floridamoves.com. Visit ColdwellBankerHomes.com.

*Based on sales and listing data in Broward County for properties listed or sold in all price ranges as reported by MarketQuest on Sept. 9 and Sept. 13, 2016. Source data are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

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