Residences sit longer on sale block
Written by John Charles Robbins on December 30, 2014
Residential properties – both single-family homes and condominiums – are staying on the sale market longer, according to the Miami Association of Realtors.
The median time on the market of single-family home listings during the third quarter was 45 days compared to 37 during the same period of 2013, up 21.6%. Similarly, the median days on the market for condominium listings were 57 days compared to 46 in 2013, up 23.9%.
The numbers reflect a shift from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market.
Charlette Seidel, branch manager of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Coral Gables, says the numbers reflect a balance between buyers and sellers.
“It is a more balanced market currently, and I expect it to continue,” Ms. Seidel said.
There are plenty of buyers in the Miami-Dade market, but they aren’t rushing to judgment, she said.
“Buyers are taking their time to make their decision. It is a price-sensitive market,” said Ms. Seidel. “Buyers are resisting homes listed above their market value.”
Buyers also prefer updated homes in good condition, she said.
“Sellers should price their homes at their market value to sell quickly and not linger on the market,” Ms. Seidel advised.
Jeannett Slesnick, broker with Slesnick and Jochem LLP in Coral Gables, agrees.
“If properties are priced close to fair market value and are shown in clean, somewhat groomed and updated condition, we still are selling quickly,” she said. “Our condos are the same way, despite the huge amount of new construction.”
Ms. Slesnick said she specializes in Coral Gables, and “I find that the amount of time it is taking to sell listings does seem to be getting a bit longer and taking a few weeks now instead of just a weekend.
“We are spoiled and expect our listings to sell at list price or higher and within a week, since we tend to price properties right where they should be,” she said.
Ms. Slesnick said there are about 270 active listings in Coral Gables and that number has remained about the same for three years, ranging from 250 to 290 listings at any one time but always below 300.
“In 2009, there were 650 listings in the Gables and it took three years of selling to get that number down into the 300s,” she said.
The trend of longer shelf life evidenced in the first three quarters of 2014 continued in the fourth.
The median time on the market for single-family homes sold in October was 43 days, an increase of 7.5% from October 2013.
The median time on the market for condominiums sold in October was 58 days, 31.8% longer than in the same period in 2013, according to the Miami Association of Realtors.
“We expect more inventory on the market the first quarter of 2015, which is typical,” Ms. Seidel said.
After three years of record sales activity that resulted in an inventory shortage, seller confidence continues to result in more properties being listed for sale in Miami, according to the association. However, new listings are now increasing by narrower margins.
“Seller confidence is resulting in greater inventory becoming available in the Miami real estate market,” said association Residential President Francisco Angulo.
“But strong home sales in Miami continue to yield rapid inventory absorption, resulting in rising prices even if at a more moderate pace,” he said.
Active listings at the end of October increased 19.5% from October 2013 – from 14,893 to 17,801 – but remained 60% below levels of 2008, when sales bottomed, said Mr. Angulo.
Inventory of single-family homes rose 15.6% from 5,571 in October 2013 to 6,439 in October 2014. Condominium inventory increased 21.9% to 11,362 from 9,322 active listings during the same period in 2013.
At the current sales pace, there is a 5.8-month supply of single-family homes, up 10.4% from 5.2 months in October 2013, and an 8.2-month supply of condominiums, up from 6.5 months in October 2013, an increase of 26%.
Mr. Angulo talks of a balanced market too.
“A balanced market between buyers and sellers offers between six and nine months supply of inventory,” he said.
New listings of single-family homes increased 6.8%, up to 2,316 in October 2014 from 2,169 during the same period in 2013. New condominium listings increased 3% from 2,915 in October 2013 to 3,003 in October 2014.
At the end of the October, total housing inventory nationally declined 2.6% to 2.22 million existing homes available for sale compared to the previous month, which represents a 5.1-month supply at the current sales pace. Unsold inventory nationally is 5.2% higher than a year ago.