Contact Us

Miami Condo Market Heats Up

Since last year, median condo sales prices are up, and so are the number of sales, according to the Q1 Douglas Elliman report on the market released today. (You can find it in the non-fiction section of your local bookstore.) Douglas Elliman Florida brokerage CEO Jay Parker tells us why he thinks the momentum will last.

1) Miami condos offer value.


If you’re from a high-priced Latin American capital or that high-priced North American place called New York, Miami properties are relatively inexpensive, even considering price increases in recent years. Even at $345/SF, the current Miami average is a bargain compared to NY, where entry-level condos can start at $1,000/SF. (NY condos also require a down payment of your choice: your first born or your mother.) Even in the Miami luxury market (the top 10%), prices are lower than elsewhere. According to the report, the median luxury condo price is $1.3M, up 17.2% from last year.

2) The safe haven factor.


There always something unsettling going on in the world—today Ukraine, tomorrow somewhere else—to remind investors that the US is still a safe place to put your money. (We do have alligators, but don't tell them.) Also, there’s less risk of a local property collapse now than 10 years ago, largely because new condo sales now require high deposits. “You’re a lot less likely to walk away from a 50% deposit than a 10% deposit,” Jay says. Another fact from the report: Cash market share still dominates, though it’s down a bit. 71.4% of Miami condo deals are for cash.

3) It's South Florida, for crying out loud.


Jay says South Florida hasn’t lost its universal appeal. If anything, it’s more appealing now than in previous decades, as it’s become an international city with all the amenities—retail, cultural, culinary—that implies. Besides, this is the best place in the US to spend January and February; even hard-core New Yorkers agree with that. (Or with this year's weather in this country, November through April.) One more fact from today’s report: Q1 '14 saw the highest number of Q1 Miami residential sales in the last eight years: 5,133.