Home sales plummeted to the lowest levels in at least a year in South Florida, as buyers and sellers grew wary of the housing market, new data shows.
Completed home sales fell over 30% in the tri-county area due to skyrocketing mortgage rates and higher home prices over the past year, according to the latest numbers from the Broward Palm Beaches and St. Lucie Realtors.
“We had a major slowdown in the fourth quarter of 2022, and when you look at the median days to contract it was about 40 days. So the slowdown put us with those closings now taking place in January,” said Chris Krzemien, president of the Broward Palm Beaches and St. Lucie Realtors.
Here is the latest on South Florida’s housing market in terms of sales, prices, and rents:
Single-family home sales plummet
In Palm Beach County, closed sales dropped 33% in January when compared to the year prior, while closed sales for single-family homes in Broward County dropped about 39% compared to last year.
And for Miami-Dade County, closed sales for single-family homes dropped by about 41%.
All three counties saw the lowest level of closed sales in the past year.
In Palm Beach County, there were 794 closed sales in January, the latest available numbers. It was a decrease from the month before, when in December 2022 there were 999 closed sales.
And in January of the previous year, there were a total of 1,188 sales.
“It was quieter in December. I think that both buyers and sellers were tired, and it’s likely that [fewer] properties went under contract in December than in a previous couple of months, and that bled into January,” said Patty Da Silva, broker with Green Realty Properties in Cooper City.
For Broward County, closed sales dropped to 677 in January, as compared to 1,113 closed sales that took place in January of the previous year.
Miami-Dade had even fewer closed sales: There were 593 closed sales for single-family homes this January, compared to the 1,008 sales for single-family homes in January 2022.
A slowdown in rising prices
The sales price for single-family homes is still high, though the growth of the prices is starting to ease.
For Palm Beach County, the median sale price of a home is $582,500 in 2022, a 10% increase from the prior year. For the same time period in 2021, the median sale price had grown about 24% from the prior year.
Essential South Florida
“The sellers are becoming more reasonable in their pricing,” noted Bonnie Heatzig, executive director of luxury sales at Douglas Elliman in Boca Raton. “Coming off of 2021, it was such an incredible high for sellers, it was hard for them to reverse their thought to realize that they no longer have that price escalation.”
Growth has also been slower in the other parts of South Florida. In Broward County, the median sale price for homes grew about 8% to $540,000, compared to the median sale price increasing about 19% the year prior.
In Miami-Dade County, the median sale price rose 4.8% to $545,000. A year prior, the median sale price increased about 15.4%
“I think buyers are realizing that we aren’t going to have a major correction in pricing,” Heatzig added. “It doesn’t mean prices won’t slip, but a pricing correction seems very unlikely because inventory is still low.”
Rents decline month to month
South Florida rents declined month to month in January by 0.12%, according to the latest Waller, Weeks and Johnson Rental Index, produced by researchers at Florida Atlantic University, The University of Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast University.
It’s another sign that rents could be on their way to moderating.
Currently, the typical rent for a unit in South Florida is $2,759.36, about 9.61% higher than the year prior.