The February market for houses in the Southeast Florida Tri-County area, encompassing Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach, suddenly turned extremely active. Fewer homes came on the market, and while the numbers show a very slight increase in median list prices, the number of sold homes is up drastically, with largely unchanged but rather soft selling prices. Interesting also: the very volatile inventory curve over the last six months.
Pent up demand or investors? The reasons for the sudden activity are not quite clear to me or many of my colleagues. One bird doesn't make spring though; it remains to be seen how this will develop over summer. Certainly Florida unemployment hasn't changed much, which is the biggest factor in property purchase decisions.
Houses for sale: 25,394 (10 months supply, -25.7% m-o-m)
Median list price: $281,300 (+3.6% m-o-m)
Median list price per sf: $137
Units sold last month: 2,465 (+29.2%)
Median selling price: $172,234 (+0.2% m-o-m)
Median selling price per sf: $96
(SFH data Feb 2010 to Feb 2011. Red: median list price, green: median selling price, blue: inventory in months. Data source: SEF-MLS)
THE MODERN HOME MARKET
In the meantime, in the modern market available inventory as well as prices of observed sales are further sinking, while prices per sf went up last month.
The lower end of the market – approx. under $1.5m, really bad under $800k – still looks plundered like a supermarket shelf just before a storm. Good homes generate a lot of interest from multiple buyers and go under contract fast, so it's not the time to lean back and relax if an interesting home does become available.
As always, your comments and questions are welcome!