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22nd January 2016

Single-family home prices soar in Broward County

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22nd January 2016
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By Nicholas Nehamas
January 22nd, 2016

Broward County’s existing housing market had a mixed month in December as single-family homes sold well while condos struggled.

The single-family resales market in Broward showed high levels of interest with 1,476 sales in December, up 6.6 percent year-over-year. The median price for a single-family home hit $305,000, up 7 percent from a year ago.

Those numbers come from the latest monthly report by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors.

One worrying sign: There are only four months worth of supply of single-family homes available in Broward, the report found. A healthy market usually has between six and nine months of supply. Tight inventory will continue to drive up prices.

That’s bad news for first-time home-buyers, said Mike Nunziata of developer Central Communities.

“After years of renting, young professionals are finally coming off the sidelines thanks to a stronger rebounding economy,” Nunziata wrote in an email. “Yet as demand grows and supply dwindles, prices will continue to rise — widening the gap of affordability for first-time homeowners that savvy developers will look to fill.”

The story was less pretty for condos.

Condo sales slumped to 1,409 in December, down 4.1 percent from December 2014. That’s the first time sales have fallen year-over-year since May. Median sales prices also dipped slightly to $131,000 in December, a $500 year-over-year drop. Developers are starting to build more new condos in Fort Lauderdale and the pre-construction market could be taking a bite out of resales.

The struggles of foreign buyers could also be hurting condo sales in Broward.

While the county is less dependent on foreign buyers than Miami-Dade, foreigners still accounted for 25 percent of closed residential sales in Broward in 2015, according to a report from the Miami Association of Realtors. Their purchases had a whopping value of $1.1 billion.

The top countries with buyers purchasing homes in Broward were Canada, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, India and Russia, the report found. All have seen their currencies plummet against a strong dollar in recent years, curtailing their purchasing power.

Home sales and price numbers for Miami-Dade will be released Monday.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/real-estate-news/article56091840.html

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