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17 years of inventory in Miami

Miami has historically had a volatile housing market because of its position as a second-home destination and because of its dependency on Latin American buyers. There is perhaps no other housing market in the US with the same kind of overall reliance on capital from abroad. This recent article by Candace Taylor in the WSJ is yet another reminder that we are once again in one of those cycles. Below are two excerpts that I found interesting. Note the stats, particularly the last bit in bold. It is also a reminder that when housing supply exceeds demand, usually something happens: prices come down.

At the same time, new condos launched just as the owners of older units looked to cash out. There were 691 condo sales in Miami Beach in the first quarter of 2019, down 24 percent from 909 in the first quarter of 2015. During the same period, single family homes sales dropped to 81 from 117. The threat of climate change has had some impact on Miami home buyers’ decisions. A 2018 study showed that the value of single-family homes near sea level in Miami-Dade County rose more slowly than that of homes at higher elevations. But agents said a greater threat to the high-end market is inventory buildup.

Meanwhile, a strong dollar incentivizes international buyers to sell the units they already own, even at below-market prices. The result is a glut of condos for sale, both new and resale. In December 2018, there were 3,663 condo listings for sale in the greater downtown Miami area—more than double the 1,591 for sale in December of 2013, according to an Integra Realty Resources report. Sunny Isles, where new buildings include the 53-story Jade Signature, the Porsche Design Tower and the Turnberry Ocean Club, is estimated to have about 17 years of inventory of condos priced at $5 million and up.

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