South Florida Housing Report for May 2021

The Lamacchia Realty South Florida Housing Report presents overall home sale statistics and highlights the average sale prices for single families, condominiums/townhomes in Broward County, Miami-Dade County, and Palm Beach County for May 2021 compared to May 2020. It also looks at other metrics like New Listings and New Pending Sales as they are often the best indicators for predicting future trends in the market. 

Due to the lingering effects of COVID and the massive amount of home sellers that didn’t list last year, 2019 will be discussed to compare this month to a market not impacted by a pandemic. In addition, we have to be aware of the fact that COVID-19 really got going and shutdowns were put in place in the middle of March last year, so it impacted homes listed, and home pending in April 2020, which then negatively impacted closed sales in May 2020.  That is part of the reason that we go back to 2019, so that we can get a better comparison.

The dip in May 2020 sales, new listings, and pending sales reflected the log jam that the real estate industry experienced during the shutdown. Many sellers paused on their plans to list as the stay-at-home mandate would have made it very difficult for buyers to tour the homes.  Prices didn’t see any sort of decrease as the year progressed, but we did look at average prices and median prices this year. The median price is the price where half the number of homes sold for more and the other half sold for less. The average price is all the sale prices added up and divided by the number of sales, which could be thrown off by a few outlying very highly-priced luxury home sales, which is common in South Florida.

These factors that caused the artificial reduction in activity last year apply to Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties.

Broward County

Broward County increased in every single category in May 2021 over May 2020 including the number of sales, average and median prices, as well as the number of homes listed and placed under agreement.

Closed single-family sales increased by 100.7%, now at 1,634 compared to 814.  When compared to 2019, however, sales decreased by 1.6%, so that giant increase compared to 2020 was due to the artificial reduction last year due to COVID.  Condos behaved saw a major increase year over year with closed sales rising 189.7% to 2,071 sales over 2020 which had 715 sales.  The difference is that 2021 also outperformed 2019 by 20.8%, which had 1,715 sales.  This depicts the currently very high demand for condos in South Florida as single-family listings are hard to come by and compete for. The artificial reduction in condo demand in last year due to COVID making buyers want to avoid shared living, caused a drop in condo sales in May 2020. That drop, along with buyers now seeking condos in full force, is what caused this significant increase this year.

Average prices increased for singles and condos with almost equal jumps from 2019 to 2021, and from 2020 to 2021.  Singles increased by 41.5% from 2019 to 2021 and by 40.1% from 2020 to 2021.  Single-family prices are now at $660,338 over $468,646 in 2020.  Condo prices in 2021 increased by 29.8% when compared to 2019, and increased by 23% when compared to 2020.  Condo prices are now at $296,156 from $240,808 last May.

Median prices mirrored that same behavior and exhibited similar increases from 2019 to 2021 and then from 2020 to 2021.  Median prices are lower than average prices as average prices take into account those high-priced sales, whereas median prices fall in the middle of the scale of all the sold prices for May.  The median price for singles in May 2021 was $463,750 and was $210,000 for condos.

Single-family listings increased by 15%, now at 2,018 new active homes on the market over 1,755 last year.  2021 is down from 2019, however, by 3% as 2019 saw 2,081 new single-family active listings.  This isn’t surprising- single family inventory has been down for a while now as owners have hesitated to list. Townhome listings increased by 10.7% when compared to May 2020 and increased by 4.5% over 2019 which is a good sign for buyers in that market.  More listings means more selection usually, but how quickly they are being sold can influence that.

Pending sales increased for single families only by 6% year over year.  There were 1,745 single families placed under agreement compared to 1,647 last year.  2019 saw 1,820 single-family listings placed under agreement, 4.1% more than 2021.  Rising prices for singles, along with a lack of a selection is likely culpable for this behavior.   Conversely, condo/townhomes rose by 93.5%, now at 2,364 new pending sales; a big increase from 1,222 pending sales in 2020.  May 2021 is also up over 2019 for condo pending sales by 29.6%.  With 2,105 new condo listings and 2,364 pending sales in May 2021, condos are getting consumed faster than they are being listed right now. 


Miami-Dade & Palm Beach Counties

In May of 2021, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties performed similarly to Broward County. Sales, average and median prices, and listings were up year over year for both single families and condos.  Miami-Dade also saw increases in pending sales, but Palm-Beach County exhibited decreases in pending sales for both singles and condos.  Climbing prices in these counties have pushed buyers towards the outskirts of these areas into bordering towns that haven’t seen such price increases which explains a portion of the decrease in pending sales. Though listings are up, they aren’t up by much- so buyers are also looking further out to have more to choose from.


What’s Ahead?

It’s likely that we will continue to see the market increase over last year for the next few months due to the shutdown in 2020.  This year is all about sellers finally listing their homes after waiting all this time, and buyers staying strong and not giving up until they find the right property for them.  Sellers should be reasonable with their list price and buyers should stay pre-approved and ready to strike.  Remote workers and international travelers are starting to set their eyes on the Florida climate and beat out local buyers for what’s on the market.

*Data provided by Florida REALTORS® SunStats