Home Sales Up in South Florida

Home sales have increased as prices continue to rise in South Florida according to local Realtor boards. Broward County had seen 1,658 sales of single families in August which was a 9% increase over last year according to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors. This improvement comes after a slight decline earlier in the summer in July.

Meanwhile, Palm Beach County had an increase of 12% over last year and Miami-Dade County sales were up by 9% which was in fact the county’s best August on record.

“Homes that are presented well and fixed up are still selling very quickly,” said Howard Elfman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors. “If you don’t jump on it, somebody else will.”

Along with sales volume, median prices also increased in the tri-county region. Broward County saw a median price escalate by 6% while Palm Beach County’s rose by 7%. Miami-Dade followed with a 15% increase.

Despite a small increase in listings, the market remains competitive, said Judy Ramella, president of the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches. She said some buyers are losing two or three homes to higher offers before they realize how the game is played.

“There are still so many more buyers out there than inventory,” she said.

Palm Beach County had 6,808 listings in August which was up 6% from last year. The county had a 4.6 month supply of inventory, meaning it would take that long to sell all the homes if no additional properties were listed for sale. A balanced market has six months of inventory, most real estate agents say.

By comparison, Broward listings are more scarce. Inventory had dropped 11% in August yielding a 3.7 month supply of housing stock at 5,395 homes. Listings south of $500,000 are especially harder to come by. Properties in the higher end segment of the market provide more of a selection for buyers.

Condominium sales had inched up 7% in August in Broward County coupled with a 9% increase in median price as the summer market had come to an end.