23 January 2015

South Florida Home Sales, 4th Quarter 2014

Fourth quarter home sales are always hampered by the Holiday season, stretching from the Thanksgiving week to the first week of the new year.

Noticeable last year however that November was rather lame, while December after Hanukkah, but especially the period called "Between The Years" in German – the week between Christmas and New Year – stepped on the gas again, clearly with closing before year's end in mind.

So my September prediction of a "limp market for SFH for the rest of the year, with a lot of hesitation on the buyers’ side" wasn't quite correct. Well, I sort of was, for two months of the last three in 2014.

The last quarter shaped up like this:

Listing prices: little increase in Palm Beach county (median $437,000), no changes in Broward and Miami-Dade counties (median $350,000 and 359,000 resp.)

Selling prices: a decrease of one percent in Palm Beach county was erased by a hefty six percent increase in Broward and four percent in Miami-Dade, for a Three-County median selling price of $273,230 or $140 per square foot under air ($1,555/square metre).

Inventory: closing the year with 19,268 single family homes for sale, inventory (in months) in all three counties had been down in October, increased in November and dropped again in December due to the strong sales at the end of the month, to 4.8 months. That is a little tight and under the approx. six months considered healthy.

SE Florida SFH sales data, Jan 2012-Dec 2014. Source: Kaiser Assoc. via SEF-MLS

On a side note, I am personally always baffled when statistics are "seasonally adjusted" – what does that mean and how does one adjust them? By temperature, snowfall or lack of snow, black ice, people nesting? It seems there is an awful lot of subjectivity in seasonal adjustments – why not leave the numbers alone and let the readers get their own picture?

Year over year, Southeast Florida thus saw a selling price increase for SFH of 4.5 percent absolute, or 6.2 percent per sf under air.

Modern architecture, my passion and expertise, is traded at considerably higher prices; the median selling price per sf under air last quarter reached $328.

That is partially due to the very limited number of modernist architecture for sale – less than 2 percent of all SFH – but also due to the overall value – tangible and intangible – that current and future owners attach to this type of architecture.
I invite you to contact me anytime if you are would like advice on selling, keeping or buying a modernist home.

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