FYI Miami: August 5, 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.
OVER THE TOP: Are prices of residences spiraling out of control at the top end? A report this week by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices/EWM Realty puts it in perspective: while a total of five single-family homes in Miami-Dade County sold above $10 million in the second quarter of 2019 and the same number in the second quarter of 2020, in the second quarter of this year “there were 51 sales, a 920% increase over the same period in 2019 and 2020.” In the second quarter of 2019 three condos sold at $10 million and up, then four in the second quarter last year – and 28 this year, up 833% from 2019 and 600% from 2020. Buyers of those ultra-high-end residences? “We have seen individuals in the financial sector from the Northeast as a chief consumer of these opulent estates and penthouse residences, along with celebrities and other high-net-worth individuals.”
HOSPITALITY CONSTRAINTS: Greater Miami had 116,000 workers in hospitality in June, compared to 144,100 in June 2019, before the pandemic, representing a loss of 19.5% of the workforce. However, compared with June 2020, with 96,600 hospitality workers, the county showed a 19.7% increase. Although employment numbers might have risen over the course of one year, that still leaves a gap of at least 28,000 jobs in the industry. On the other side of the coin, the national STR report from the first week of June shows Miami had the largest increase in occupancy in the nation, reaching 77.1% while the US averaged 61.9%. Occupancy levels continued to rise in July and for the week ending July 17, one in every five hotels in the US filled more than 90% of available rooms. While people continue to travel during summer, the hospitality industry may be facing difficulties as employment numbers still trail pre-pandemic levels.
UNEMPLOYMENT RISES: Unemployment rose to 7.1% of Miami-Dade’s workforce in June, up from 6.7% in May, new figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal. The number of unemployed persons in the county rose from 88,800 in May to 93,200 in June, while the total civilian labor force declined by 2,000 persons in the period. For Florida as a whole, unemployment inched up from 4.9% to 5% in the one-month span. The largest job decline by percentage in Miami-Dade in June was in construction, which lost 900 jobs in the county during the month, a 6.3% decline. The biggest job gain percentage by far was in leisure and hospitality, which added 2,300 jobs in the month, a 19.7% gain, as the sector continued to recover from the covid plunge.
GAS PRICE DIPS: Miami gas prices fell eight-tenths of a cent per gallon last week to average $2.98, according to GasBuddy’s price tracking.