South Florida's median home price has hit an all-time high

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For the second month in a row, South Florida residential sales are beating out 2019. They're also driving up prices, bringing the median price for a single-family home in Miami-Dade and Broward counties to $425,000 — the highest ever.

The total number of home sales was up more than 12% in September 2020 over September 2019 sales in both Miami-Dade County and Broward, according to the Miami Association of Realtors. That follows a similar increase in August — welcome relief after the four-month decline in previous months.

"We are seeing tremendous influx coming in from outside of Miami, and in a way a revaluation from people in Miami. This is the first time that people have spent this much time at home," said Jessica Adams, global real estate adviser with One Sotheby's International Realty. Adams focuses on single-family homes in Coconut Grove and Coral Gables.


Total residential sales rose by 12.5%, from 2,240 in September 2019 to 2,521 in September 2020. Single-family home sales grew by 19.3%; condo sales grew by 6.3%.

The September numbers reflect an ongoing pandemic-era preference for single-family homes.

"A lot of people have looked at condos in a different way. People were reevaluating what they were paying for when all of the amenities got shut down. That showed an influx into the single-family home market," Adams said. "[Despite amenities reopening] buyers realize that in a house they don't have to interact with other human beings."

Miami-Dade's popularity is eating at inventory, which dwindled by 37.3% for single-family homes — from 6,444 in September 2019 to 4,039 in September 2020 — and by 6.6% for condos — from 15,142 to 14,148. The market has 3.8 months of supply for single-family homes and 13.8 months for condos. Industry professionals consider a balanced market to consist of six-to-nine months of inventory.

Demand is so strong that Adams keeps a running list of would-be house buyers — currently 22. One has been looking for the past six months; the others contacted her this summer.

"The main thing that is setting our market back is the lack of inventory. We are trying to sell things before they hit the market ... At this point, it's kind of about convincing sellers that this is the time to sell, especially for empty nesters that have those large estates," Adams said.

Tight inventory means higher prices. The median price for single-family homes jumped year-over-year by 15.2%, from $377,750 to $435,000 — the highest median price for the market, said Lynda Fernandez, chief of communications for the Miami Association of Realtors. The previous highest peak — $416,000 — was in August 2020. Both are well above the pre-recession high of $401,000 in May 2007.

The median condo price increased by 8.2%, from $245,000 to $265,000.

Single-family homes closed at 96.7% of the listing price, up from 95.3% in September 2019. Condos closed at 94.4% of the listing price, up from 93.7%.

Cash buyers comprised 26.9% of all closings, down from 33.9%. Still, it's above the national figure of 18%.


Total residential sales increased by 14.5%, from 2,606 in September 2019 to 2,984 in September 2020. Single-family home sales rose by 24.9%; condo sales by 5.2%.

"Schooling being done at home and parents working from home are driving families to the single-family home market," said Mark Sadek, Keyes Company district sales manager. "First-time buyers would love to buy condos if they can get an FHA loan, but the limited FHA inventory is pushing people towards townhouses and single-family homes."

The mortgage limit ranges from $373,750 for a one-bedroom home to $718,750 for a four-bedroom home for FHA loans in Broward County.

Inventory decreased by 39.3% for single-family homes — from 5,330 in September 2019 to 3,234 in September 2020, but increased by 1.7% for condos — from 7,655 to 7,784. Broward has 2.6 months of supply for single-family homes and 6.5 months for condos.

Single-family home buyers are primarily looking at Weston, Parkland, Pompano, Lighthouse Point, Oakland Park, East Plantation, and Coral Springs, Sadek said. Condo hunters are searching in Hallandale Beach, Pompano, Deerfield Beach, and Fort Lauderdale.

Prospective sellers are afraid to list, Sadek said, for fear of not finding their next home in what seems to be a competitive market. "Sellers are hesitant, because they worry that they can't find a place to go," Sadek said.

Median prices increased by 15.6% for single-family homes, from $367,500 to $425,000, and by 11.8% for condos, from $170,000 to $190,000.

Houses closed at 97.1% of the listing price, up from 96.2% in 2019. Condos closed at 95.2% of the listing price, up from 94.4%.

Cash buyers comprised 28.8% of all closings, down from 33.8% in September 2019. Still, it's above the national figure of 18%.

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