You may have read that, among other areas in the US, the South Florida residential market experienced a massive price increase, coupled with a major inventory decrease, in Q3 and Q4 last year.
Median selling prices for all single family homes increased between 13.0 and 17.8 percent each and every month from July until December, compared to the previous year. That translates into a blended 14.8 percent selling price increase for the second half of 2020 vs. 2019.
At the same time, inventory for sale practically halved, from typically 18,000 to 19,000 homes to just over 10,000 – and it's further decreasing, today to just under 9,000 homes. That is not sane, but it's a not a bubble either.
Take a deep breath: the modern home market shows even higher numbers, unfortunate from a buyer's and a Realtor's perspective: median selling prices in Q4 2020 versus Q4 2019 rose by 70.0 percent, while time on market dropped substantially.
That means: weak purchase offers vaporize into this air, and procrastinating buyers won’t even get a shot.
For the January stats, I first thought I had made a mistake in my analysis (there is no modern home data broken out in the statistics, so I run my own modern home analysis every month): the median selling price of all modern homes I tracked which sold in January was virtually identical to the asking price. I don't recall that happening any time after the 2008 housing crash.
Overall, 17% of all single-family homes across all price levels closing in January 2021 sold above list price, Miami proper and Miami-Dade County showing the highest demand.
Can you just sit it out?
Likely not the best idea, unless you have lots of time and deep pockets. The National Association of Realtors helpfully states that 2021 should be a bit saner: "Although the pace will slow from the late 2020’s frenzy, fast sales will remain the norm."
"Buyers who prepare by honing in on... home characteristics that are must-haves vs. nice-to-haves and lining up financing including a pre-approval will have an edge... as sellers will be in a good position in 2021." (Forbes, Jan 2021)
Forecasts for our region, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach MSA, predict a sales increase of 3.7%, and a median selling price increase of 7.1% (2021 NAR Housing Market Predictions and Forecast).
Translated: we are in a strong seller's market, most likely throughout all of 2021 and possibly into next year.
If you do plan to buy a Florida residence, all data indicate it is advisable to act rather sooner than later – and if you do find a home you like, don't wait but go for it.
If you are on the other side of the fence, a Florida seller considering putting your modern house on the market: please contact me so we can lay out the best options for you.
Any questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you!
Tobias Kaiser is an independent real estate consultant and licensed Realtor in Florida since 1990. He specializes in modern architecture and net leased investments.