Buyers can only lose so many bids before “stop trying for now” starts to sound good. Moderating prices result, in part, from buyers deciding to wait.

MIAMI – It would seem the sky’s the limit when it comes to pricing for South Florida’s high-rise living with sales prices reaching new heights in January. House hunters, however, are catching some relief – as prices steadied or dipped for the first time in months.

Condo sales

Median sales prices increased for condos for the fifth month in a row in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, according to new housing data from the Miami Association of Realtors. In Miami-Dade, prices grew to $360,000 in January, up from $355,000 in December. Prices rose in Broward to $240,000 in January, slightly higher than $236,000 the month before.

The month-to-month growth mirrors a year-over-year jump in condo sales prices. Miami-Dade experienced a 27% rise in condo prices to $360,000 in January 2022 from $280,000 in January 2021. Prices rose by 15% in Broward, to $240,000 in January from $209,000 a year ago.

The price bumps follow a 2021 trend of rising home prices, further increasing the difficulty for area residents to afford homes.

Single-family sales

Single-family home price growth cooled in January compared to the previous month. In Miami-Dade, sales prices fell for the first time since September, dropping to $520,000 from $525,000. Meanwhile, in Broward, they remained the same for two months in a row at $500,000. The sales prices are higher compared to a year ago when median sales prices for a house reached $469,500 in Miami-Dade and $420,000 in Broward.

Buyers continue to flock to Miami and pay for a home because they trust in the growing economy, said Nancy Klock Corey, regional vice president of Coldwell Banker Realty’s Southeast Florida region.

“This real estate market is built on a strong economy; there isn’t something negative that’s driving this. People want to live here from all over the country,” she said. “You add the demographics, the unemployment is low. It gives confidence to the buyers. If they feel they can have a job and hold a job, they feel like they can pay more for a home.”

Interest rates rose to 4.05% for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the week ending Feb. 11, the highest level since 2019. But an uptick in interest rates will do little to detour prospective buyers at least for the remainder of the quarter, said Corey.

“That’s not high in the large scheme of things,” said Corey, who considers anything below 9% interest rate low. “Buyers know they have more buying power.”

A decision to wait

Some prospective buyers prefer to wait on the sidelines for activity to cool, including BoardroomPR Founder and CEO Julie Talenfeld. She’s been looking to co-sign on a condo unit for four months with her son Jonathan Zobel, a recent graduate from Nova Southeastern University. Zobel, who works on a private yacht, wants to move out of his parents’ house in Plantation and into a unit of his own in downtown Miami, Edgewater or Miami Beach.

The search dragged on for four months and Talenfeld and Zobel got outbid three times. “I’m not going to play this game,” Talenfeld said. “When I play, I win. There’s no winning here.”

Talenfeld and other buyers are competing in a market with slim pickings. Miami-Dade has 1.8 months of supply of single-family homes and 2.9 months of condos. Broward has a 1.1 months’ supply of houses and 1.6 months of condos.

Sales activity exceeded even Sergio Pino’s expectations last year. Pino, the founder and president of the Coral Gables-based Century Homebuilders Group, said his firm aimed to sell about 210 residences during 2021, after selling just under 200 in 2020. His team ended the year selling 552 single-family homes and townhouses.

“I don’t have enough supply for the demand that we have in Miami,” said Pino. “I see demand remaining the same for years to come.”

Cash remains king in Miami and popular among buyers coming from the Northeast, said Pino. The firm sells hundreds of its own houses and townhouses across 25 different communities under construction or recently completed in Miami, Cutler Bay, Palmetto Bay, Florida City and Homestead. At least 20 New Yorkers paid in cash to live in one of Pino’s communities.

Like Pino, nearly half of sellers received cash offers in South Florida. Data from the Miami Association of Realtors shows that 40% of deals closed in cash in Miami-Dade and 41% in Broward in January 2022, higher than the 27% national average.

© 2022 Miami Herald. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Author: kerrys