Second Quarter Reports Show Home Resale Inventory Low
By Marilyn Bowden
Statistics for the year’s second quarter show the inventory of homes for resale in Miami-Dade at a long-time low, upholding a strong seller’s market. The luxury segment of the market continues to explode.
Realtors around the county say business for the first half of 2000 is booming.
Arvida Realty Services reports a 25% increase in sales from January-June in Miami-Dade in 2000 compared with 1999.
With sales of more than $650 million reported over the first six months, Wimbish-Riteway Realtors is well on its way to meeting its year-end goal of $1 billion.
"Countywide, the inventory is down 25% from a year ago," says Ron Shuffield, president of Esslinger Wooten Maxwell Realtors. "Sales are up 11%."
The discrepancy between the two indicates fewer people are putting their homes on the market, he says.
According to Facts & Trends, a monthly report on the county’s resale market prepared by Esslinger Wooten Maxwell from multiple listing services, 5,828 homes were on the market at the end of June 2000. During the second quarter, an average of 1,097 home were selling each month.
"That leaves five months of inventory unsold," Mr. Shuffield says. "Realtors look at six to nine months as a good deal for both buyers and sellers. This is definitely a seller’s market."
Facts & Trends shows 28% of homes for sale in Miami-Dade carry price tags of $200,000 or more, with 7% topping $500,000.
"It’s getting more and more expensive to buy a single-family home in Miami," Mr. Shuffield says.
While 72% of single-family homes for sale across the county are listed below $200,000, he says, in Coral Gables that category has been entirely cleaned out.
"One thing we’re finding," he says, "is homes that are remodeled are selling faster than those needing work. People would rather move in now than take the time to have it done.
"Remodeling is a lot more expensive than it was a year ago because with so much construction going on, the demand on contractors is so much higher."
At the top end of the market homes priced at more than $1 million sales have nearly doubled, according to Facts & Trends, rising from an average of 15 sales a month at mid-year 1999 to 26 a month at mid-year 2000.
"That’s not a lot of units, but it’s almost one a day," Mr. Shuffield says. The more than $1 million category accounts for about 2.5% of the single-family home market, he says.
The countywide inventory of condos and townhomes on the resale market has dropped dramatically, Mr. Shuffield says, from a 15- to 16-month supply about three years ago, based on average numbers sold each month, to a six-month supply today.
The average number of condo sales is up 14% over mid-year 1999, he says. During the same period single-family home sales increased 8%.
"That doesn’t mean condos are going at a higher rate," he says, "but that fewer homes are on the market. Sales will begin to level off. We will not have the kind of increases we have had in the past."
Sales of luxury condos those selling for more than $1 million have tripled from second quarter 1999 to second quarter 2000, according to Facts & Trends. The resale inventory in this category has gone up from 137 to 175 units.
"That’s due to units in new buildings," Mr. Shuffield says, "bought as investments and immediately entering the resale market."
As usual, condo activity is particularly high on Miami Beach, he says, with the number of second-quarter sales of units exceeding $1 million rising from three in 1999 to 16 in 2000.
"Pinecrest is still very hot," Mr. Shuffield says. "The price range for acre lots is in the $400,000 price range."
There’s a continued demand for waterfront properties, he says. "They’re in such short supply that they sell as fast as they come on the market."
Gated communities continue to increase in demand, he says, because security is a first priority for many newcomers to the county.
"Being in a gated community," he says, "probably adds about 10% to the value of a home."