Today we will look at a few charts showing how the South Florida residential market finished 2019. During the month of December, the average sale price of a house in the tri-county area reached $526,042. That number is a 9% increase over December of 2018. The average sale price of a condo was $328,338 in December, up a whopping 17% over the same month last year. We always say the one month does not make a trend, so we will continue to watch the charts as we move through 2020. As far as the highest average sale prices for this cycle, it looks like houses hit $557,452 in July 2019 and condos reached $335,258 in May 2018. If rates remain suppressed throughout 2020, there is a chance prices will surpass those levels.
Mortgage rates remain low
If you are happy to see the latest pop in real estate prices, the first place to look is mortgage rates. They have remained very low for a long time. We used to say if mortgage rates climbed over 5% it would wreak havoc on the real estate market. Now that hurdle has probably been lowed to 4.5%. In brief, any sharp rate increase would create serious problems for the residential real estate market. if you want a great resource for mortgage rates updated weekly, check out the Freddie Mac website.
How about real estate Inventory?
There was a decline in both single-family homes and condo inventory in December. There were a total of 45,164 residential properties available on the market. That figure was comprised of 17,177 houses and 27,987 condos. What’s still amazing is how many properties were listed for sale back in 2011 after the financial crisis. In January 2011 (9 years ago) there were 30,768 houses and 41,473 condo properties available for sale in South Florida for a total of 72,241 properties!
Residential transaction volume
The number of closed sales for the area was basically unchanged from 2018 to 2019. In 2018 there was a total of 90,870 closed sales and 2019 had 90,864. 2015 will probably remain the top dog for this cycle with 96,411 closed sales.
This next chart shows the annual residential closings, along with the monthly average since 2012.
Here is another chart which shows how bumpy the deal volume can be. You will notice that sales volume usually hits a low during the month of January, so we will wait and see if that’s the case this year.