Housing sales on record pace in first three quarters of '05
By Charlotte Libov
Housing sales figures for 2005 seem on track to top the record-breaking 200,000 transactions recorded in 2004 in South Florida, according to analyst Michael Y. Cannon, managing director at Integra Realty Resources-South Florida.
Figures are still being compiled for 2005, but the first nine months show a continuation of growth with more than 152,000 sales transactions at an average price estimated at $341,000, Mr. Cannon said. That pace would slightly surpass 2004's totals.
However, he noted it is impossible to project final figures because there is usually a crush to get closings done before year's end. If that did occur, it could balloon sales far above the prior record-setting year.
"The year 2004 was a banner year. It was the third consecutive year for an increase," Mr. Cannon said, with sales 8.2% above 2003's level.
The total dollar volume of closed sales in 2004 grew to over $57 billion, with an average price approaching $257,000. That tally includes both new and old homes, condos, and townhouses - in short, all forms of residential housing, he said.
Of the 2004 figures, sales of used or resale homes and townhouses accounted for more than 50% of the total sales volume, with slightly over $33 billion, and the average price of a residence going for $301,000. For the first nine months of 2004, there were over 77,000 sales of used homes, which accounted for a $30.1 billion volume.
Regarding condominiums, in 2004 used or resale units accounted for 30% of the total housing sales volume, with $12 billion, at an average price of $195,000. Through the third quarter of 2005 there were over 46,000 sales, bringing in an estimated $12.1 billion dollar volume, and an average price of $261,000.
Mr. Cannon also noted that, although there has been a "lot of hoopla" about the amount of new condo construction, most of the sales continue to be of used or resale condominiums.
"Everybody's talking about what's being built, but the question is, when is it coming on stream? It takes so long to be approved and financing; it's a complicated process," he noted.
He said that, in the tri-county South Florida area as a whole, new condo sales accounted for only 8% of the 2004 housing transactions, and, in Miami-Dade County, this figure was only a slightly higher 11%. During the first nine months of 2005, there were slightly more than 14,000 sales transactions of new homes and townhouses, with an estimated $5.4 billion in dollar volume and an average price of $367,000. There were slightly more than 13,000 new condo sales, with an average price of $329,000 and an estimated $4.3 billion in dollar volume.
In terms of 2004 ranking sales volume by county, Mr. Cannon offered these figures:
Miami-Dade County set the pace with 36% of the market share. This was followed by Broward County with 34% and Palm Beach County held steady at 30% of the total closed real estate transactions.
The highest-priced home and townhouse averages were in Broward County, at $425,000, up 11% from the prior year. Palm Beach County ranked second with an average of over $400,000, and Miami-Dade came in with the most affordable new homes, averaging at $250,000.
On the other hand, Miami-Dade led the group with the highest-priced new condos, averaging about $308,000, dead even with 2003. Palm Beach County was second at $270,000, with Broward at $252,000, even with the previous year.
Miami-Dade County also had the highest-priced used or resale condominiums, at an average of $235,000, up 20% over the prior year. The average price in Palm Beach County was $194,000, up 36%, and the most affordable used or resale condos were found in Broward, averaging $155,000, up 26% from 2003.