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Market Reports Show Everything Thumbs Up For South Florida

The Douglas Elliman Q1 2013 South Florida Market Reports are out, and the author of all four reports, Jonathan Miller, is here to give us the good work on what’s up with South Florida’s real estate market.

It’s a good day. Douglas Elliman just published their 1Q 2013 reports for Miami, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach housing markets that we author. The markets are generally ramping up every where with rising prices and sales, falling inventory and lower (but still high) distressed activity.

Here’s a quick and short recap of all 4 markets – there’s a lot more detail to be found in each Elliman Report.

Miami (Coastal Communities)

One of the key characteristics of the Miami market has been the falling market share of distressed real estate (short sales + foreclosures) and the rise of the high end market. Distressed sales accounted for 37.8% of the market in the first quarter, roughy the inverse seen 2 years ago when it was 62.9% of the market. The resurgence of the market is occurring without much help from lenders: 78.2% of distressed condo sales were bought with cash and 73.6% of non-distressed were bought with cash. Not much of a difference.

The luxury market (top 10% of all sales) is pushing upwards faster than the overall market is expanding. The entry-point for condos and single family sales have grown 20.7% and 18.1% over the past year.

Boca Raton

Housing prices for condos and single families saw double-digit gains from the prior year and it wasn’t simply because larger homes were selling. The average size of a condo and single family increased 0.6% and 4.2% respectively. Sales are up and inventory is down.

Fort Lauderdale

Both sales and prices were up year over year with condos showing a higher rate of growth than single families. Marketing times shorted a bit and buyers/sellers were closer together on price – with the sellers more often than not calling the shots.

Palm Beach

The single family market showed more strength than the condo market in terms of sales and price growth but some of the disparity was caused by the shift in sizes for each. The average square footage of a condo fell 11.9% to 1,556 and the average square footage of a single family house increased 11% to 4,351. It’s a very small market with a lot of volatility in the metrics but the pace continues to rise.

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