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Hitting pause

South Florida foreclosures

Everyone has been hitting pause over the past month or so.  For instance, take a look at the drastic decline in monthly foreclosure filings across South Florida.  In march there were 848 new filings and only 141 in April.  The one bright spot in all of the chaos coming from the coronavirus.  Aside from the halt in foreclosures, there are mortgage relief programs available to distressed borrowers.  Did anyone think we would be back here so soon after the last housing bust?  The market down here was looking like it was ready to ramp up this spring, prior to COVID-19.  Let’s look at a few charts of the Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach area residential real estate markets through March:

House prices in South Florida

The average sale price of a single-family home in Miami and Palm beach climbed in March, but Broward County prices dipped slightly.

House prices in South Florida

Average sale price in the single-family home segment by County during the month of March:

  • Miami-Dade – $582,891, up from $515,206 in February
  • Broward – $502,111, down from $544,134 in February
  • Palm Beach – $611,000, up from $608,819 in February

Condo prices in South Florida

Condos took the same path in Miami-Dade and Palm beach, with Broward County diverging from the pack.

Condo prices in South Florida

Average sale price in the condo segment by County during the month of March:

  • Miami-Dade – $456,098, up from $380,764 in February
  • Broward – $235,919, down from $240,071 in February
  • Palm Beach – $355,747, up from $332,494 in February

Transaction volume – houses

Real estate deal volume in South Florida

In the single-family home segment there was a nice bounce in transaction volume across all three counties during the month of March.  This segment hasn’t been hitting pause just yet and here are the numbers:

  • Miami-Dade had 1,100 closed sales, up from 884 in February
  • Broward had 1,342 closed sales, up from 1,004 in February
  • Palm Beach had 1,554 closed sales, up from 1,233 in February

Transaction volume – condos

condo sales in South Florida

The condo segment had a similar bounce month over month:

  • Miami-Dade had 1,233 closed sales, up from 978 in February
  • Broward had 1,493 closed sales, up from 1,155 in February
  • Palm Beach had 1,282 closed sales, up from 1,015 in February

Weekly Mortgage Rates

Luckily mortgage rates are staying low and will provide some support for real estate prices for the time being.  Here is a snapshot of the 15-year and 30-year mortgage rate compared to the 10-year bond yield which typically drives them.

Mortgage rates

South Florida cities included in our charts

For people who are located out of the area and are more familiar with cities and neighborhoods, here is a brief list of those areas included in the charts of South Florida real estate activity:

Miami-Dade Aventura, Key Biscayne, Hialeah, Homestead, Miami Beach, North Miami Beach, Sunny Isles, Downtown/Brickell, Surfside, Miami Shores, Miami Gardens and many others not listed.

Broward – Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Miramar, Hallandale, lauderdale by the Sea, Plantation, Weston, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Oakland park, Wilton Manors, Coral Springs, Parkland, Lighthouse Point, Cooper City, Sunrise and many other cities not listed.

Palm Beach – West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Lake Worth, Jupiter, Wellington, Highland Beach and other nearby cities not listed.

As we move into the summer months these charts should begin to get interesting.  Obviously real estate transaction volume will be impacted, but we are not sure how much prices will suffer.  Speculators in the vacation rental market have already seen the impact hit their properties and will most likely convert to log-term rentals.  This should provide some supply and much needed rent relief to the local market.  Just like the house flippers felt the pain when the music stopped in the last housing bust, the buyers of vacation rental properties based on short-term rental income will get the wake-up call this time.  It may be awhile before occupancy climbs back to where it was just a few months ago and that may cause pain to anyone who is overleveraged.  In the interim, it looks like some hosts are looking to retool their marketing and booking strategies for their properties.