FYI Miami: July 29, 2021
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
CONDO SALES STRONG: As concerns rose about sales of Miami-Dade condominiums immediately after the collapse of the Champlain Tower South in Surfside, so did the sales of those condo units. In the two weeks after the collapse, from June 23 to July 7, existing condo sales countywide increased 159.4% year over year, from 397 sales in that two-week period in 2020 to 1,030 transactions in that period this year, according to the Miami Association of Realtors. In the same time period, pending existing condo sales in the county jumped 77.7% year over year, from 927 pending sales last year to 1,647 this year. Pending sales in the same time period were 856 in 2019 and 870 in 2018, the association said. The association’s report did not include any prices of those sales.
TRANSIT GAIN TRANSITORY: Transit ridership in Miami-Dade made strong gains in May compared with May 2020 but lagged far behind May ridership in pre-covid years, a county report shows. May 2021 ridership was well more than double the prior year, with close to 5 million total passenger trips compared with fewer than 2.3 million in May 2020. All fares were free in both years because of covid. But May total trips in both 2019 and 2018 were more than 6.7 million, when fares were being charged, and in May 2017 the system carried more than 7.8 million passengers on its bus, Metrorail and Metromover systems combined, meaning that the system has over the past four months of May lost more than a third of its ridership in that month. The slide is long term, as passenger traffic has been dropping sharply over the past decade.
METRORAIL REBOUND TOPS: While all modes of Miami-Dade County transit showed strong gains in May compared with May 2020 during the height of the pandemic, the standout among the three major modes was Metrorail, which jumped nearly 163% in ridership, rising from 337,696 passengers last May to 887,111 this year, though even that gain left ridership this year at less than a half the level of May 2017. Metrobus traffic rose 112% May over May, to reach nearly 3.7 million rides. Metromover traffic over the same period doubled, reaching 292,922 trips, barely a third of the passengers in May 2017.
AND DO THEY LAUGH: Although many people fear hyenas for their speed and nocturnal hunting, they can be sweet as well. “Oh, our hyenas are my favorite,” Director of Zoo Miami William Elgar said. There are two types of hyenas – striped and spotted. The Zoo Miami has a spotted couple who are apparently very cute, according to Mr. Elgar. “I’d been in the Georgia Aquarium for ten years and was back in the zoo. I saw the couple and just fell in love.”