Local realtors are confident that opportunities await buyers and sellers alike in South Florida’s 2013 residential real-estate market. The doldrums of the 2006-2010 recession may finally be in the rear-view mirror. Although prices are trending upward and inventory is shrinking, determined buyers still should be able to find property they want and can afford, while sellers can expect to be satisfied with what they receive.
“Recovery is underway,” declares Michael Light of Miami Condo Investments. He specializes in condominiums in downtown Miami and Brickell, which he calls “the two most happening areas in the Miami market.” Over the past two years, he says, prices there have increased by 30 percent. “It’s hard to find units for people. Right now everybody wants to buy in Miami. What we were able to find two years ago as opposed to today is a night-and-day difference. Inventory levels are down—almost non-existent.”
Light defines anything less than 12 months of inventory as a seller’s market. He says the condo inventory is about six months for units priced under $500,000, nine months in the $500,000 to $1 million range, and less than six months above $1 million.
In the past five years, he says that 24,000 condos became available in downtown Miami and Brickell. “Fewer than 1,000 are now available. In Brickell, there are three new projects—MyBrickell, BrickellHouse, and Millecento—with a total of 948 condos. As of mid-August 2012, fewer than 10 units remained for sale between the three buildings. MyBrickell has broken ground, but the other two haven’t yet done so.”
Throughout the region, the story is much the same. “In the under $300,000 market, there is less than three months of inventory between Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Supply has been very limited since the robo-signing scandal in October of 2010,” says Natascha Tello, a broker and operating partner at Keller Williams Realty Partners SW in Pembroke Pines and 2013 Miami Association of Realtors board chairman.