Million-dollar-and-up Gables homes sell well
The residential market in Coral Gables is so strong that, if priced correctly, single-family homes are selling in less than a week.
That’s what Coral Gables Commissioner Jeannett Slesnick has been seeing in her business as a broker with Slesnick & Jochem LLP. She said the rates continue to go up and have appreciated, overall, about 10% from this time last year.
The properties under $1 million (about 40% of the residential inventory in the Gables) are selling the fastest, Ms. Slesnick said, while those $1 million and higher are being snatched up not quite so rapidly but also changing hands relatively quickly.
“Ginger Jochem, my business partner, and I are working non-stop these days trying to keep up with contracts being submitted on our listings as well as finding homes for our buyers,” she said. “We have been contacting our friends to see if they want to sell their homes to our buyers, and two of our last five sales have been on properties that were not on the market.”
According to Trendgraphix Inc., an online market system for real estate professionals and associations, the number of homes for sale in Coral Gables priced $1 million and above went from 190 in June 2014 to 202 in June 2015, and 209 in July and August. Twenty-one sold in July and 14 were pending; 14 sold in August and 18 were pending. In August 2014, 11 of the 173 homes sold (a 27.3% increase, year over year) and 25 were pending (a 28% decrease from the same time period).
August 2015 was a buyer’s market, the Trendgraphix report states, defined as more than six months of inventory based on closed sales. A seller’s market is defined as less than three months of inventory based on closed sales. Neutral is between three and six months of inventory based on closed sales.
The August average sold price per square foot for homes $1 million and above is declining. Trendgraphix reports it was $478 in June 2014 and $491 in June 2015; $576 in July 2014 and $584 in July 2015; and $456 in August 2014 and $449 in August 2015 (down 23.1% compared to the previous month and down 1.4% compared to the last year).
The average days on the market trend is falling. Homes $1 million and over were on the market 66 days in August 2014 and 75 in August 2015, down 24% compared with 99 in July but up 13.6% year over year. The selling price in comparison with asking price is 93% in August 2015, up 3.3% compared with the previous month and up 3.3% year over year.
Ms. Slesnick attributes the increase in sales prices and falling number of days properties are on the market to the popularity of Coral Gables. It’s a very desirable community, she said, with its abundant trees, choices for shopping and dining, and accessibility to the airport.
The Gables has always been a sought-after neighborhood. However, Ms. Slesnick recalled slow years in 2009-2009, with what she describes as “the backlash from the zero percent down days,” and it became “impossible to borrow money without a substantial down payment.”
In 2009, Ms. Slesnick said 650 homes were on the market each month, the highest number she’s seen in her decades as a broker.
Between 2010 and 2013, Ms. Slesnick said, inventory fell and prices rose. The number of houses on the market each month was 250 in 2013 and 2014 and about 300 currently.
“The inventory has gone up and still climbing in price,” she said. However, Ms. Slesnick said, the potential pool of buyers is declining.
“Local homeowners are moving themselves without having to compete with international buyers as much.”
While it’s extremely busy now, Ms. Slesnick predicts activity in the Coral Gables residential market will slow as the holidays approach and then pick up again in January.