MIAMI — Martin County condo sales increased year-over-year in July 2021 as pent-up demand, more U.S. individuals and companies moving to South Florida, and record-low mortgage rates continue fueling transactions, according to the MIAMI Association of Realtors (MIAMI) and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system.
Martin County total home sales decreased 3.9% year-over-year in July 2021, from 381 sales to 366. Martin single-family home transactions decreased 8.6%, from 280 to 256. Martin existing condo sales increased 8.9%, from 101 to 110.
“The Martin County condo has now posted 13 consecutive months of sales gains,” JTHS-MIAMI President Bill Mate said. “Located north of Palm Beach County, Martin County and Stuart offer homebuyers an incredible small-town atmosphere and proximity to the ocean.”
Martin County home sales are also higher overall vs. July 2019. Martin total home sales are up 24.5% in July 2021 vs. July 2019, from 294 to 366. Martin single-family home sales (29.9% increase) and condo transactions (13.4% jump) are higher than July 2019.
Demand for Martin Condos Rises; Condo Sales Increase 8.9% Year-over-Year in July 2021
With so many U.S. companies and individuals relocating to our region over the last year, many of those relocating homebuyers are acting on the condo inventory. International homebuyers, who have long preferred condos, have pent-up demand for South Florida real estate and are also returning to the No. 1 market for foreign homebuyers.
Lack of inventory in certain price points is impacting sales, particularly for single-family homes. Increased housing starts and more sellers listing properties in 2021 should help alleviate the lack of supply. More inventory is expected to come to the market later this year as potential home sellers become more comfortable listing and showing their homes. The falling number of homeowners in mortgage forbearance will also bring about more inventory.
Martin Condo Luxury Sales Increase as Domestic Buyers Relocate to South Florida
Martin single-family luxury ($1-million-and-up) transactions decreased 6.7% year-over-year to 28 sales in July 2021. Martin existing condo luxury ($1-million-and-up) sales increased 100% year-over-year to 2 transactions.
There are 2.5 months of supply in luxury single-family homes; 9.6 months of supply in luxury condos. Luxury months of supply continues to trend downward for all property types, month-over-month, and year-over-year.
Low interest rates; a robust S&P 500; the appeal of stable assets in a volatile economy; homebuyers leaving tax-burdened Northeastern states to purchase in Florida (no state income tax); and work-from-home and remote-learning policies have all combined to create a robust market for luxury single-family properties.
With global vaccinations rising and unstable political situations around the world, South Florida is seeing an increase in foreign homebuyers. Global buyers are also coming here for the vaccine and purchasing property. Global buyers purchase in South Florida because the mega region is a world-class global region with better real estate prices than other similar global cities. Foreign buyers feel at home with our incredible diversity and acceptance of all cultures.
Single-Family Home Inventory Rises Month-over-Month as More Listings Arrive to the Market
Martin County single-family homes inventory rose in July 2021 compared to June 2021, an indicator that more inventory is heading to the low-supply/high demand market.
The number of Martin single-family home active listings increased 0.3% in July 2021 compared to June 2021, from 304 to 305.
Inventory of single-family homes decreased 54.5% year-over-year in July 2021 from 670 active listings last year to 305 last month. Condominium inventory decreased 64% year-over-year to 131 from 364 listings during the same period in 2020.
Months supply of inventory for single-family homes decreased 64.7% to 1.2 months, which indicates a seller’s market. Inventory for existing condominiums decreased 73.8% to 1.1 months, which indicates a seller’s market. A balanced market between buyers and sellers offers between six- and nine-months supply.
Months supply of inventory is down since July 2019 for single-family, reflecting strong demand.
Total active listings at the end of July 2021 decreased 57.8% year-over-year, from 1,034 to 436.
New listings of Martin single-family homes decreased 8.1% to 248 from 270. New listings of condominiums decreased 21.2%, from 137 to 108.
Nationally, total housing inventory at the end of July totaled 1.32 million units, up 7.3% from June’s supply and down 12.0% from one year ago (1.50 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 2.6-month supply at the present sales pace, up slightly from the 2.5-month figure recorded in June but down from 3.1 months in July 2020.
Martin Homeowners’ Home Equity Surges as Many Pay Lower Mortgage Payments
With interest rates still at record lows, many South Florida homeowners have refinanced their home loans. So not only are many homeowners paying lower mortgage payments today; they are doing so while their wealth (home equity) has significantly increased. Home equity can be tapped for renovations, college loans and more.
Martin County single-family median prices increased 16.7% year-over-year in July 2021, increasing from $407,500 to $475,500. Existing condo median prices increased 17.8% year-over-year, from $180,000 to $212,000.
The greater share of Martin luxury sales in 2021 compared to a year ago is part of the reason for the large year-over-year increase in median prices.
Rising median prices is a trend nationwide as record-low mortgages rates and the increased availability of remote work and education has accelerated the demand for housing. Low inventory relative to high demand leads to prices rising.
Lower mortgage rates are making home purchases more affordable. According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 2.87% in July, marginally down from 2.98% in June. The average commitment rate across all of 2020 was 3.11%. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun expects the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to remain below 3.5% in 2021.
Should mortgage rates resume their upward climb, home price growth is likely to slow in response. As more sellers list properties in 2021, the increased inventory should ease the growth of median prices.
Martin County Dollar Volume Totals $203 Million, Showcasing Power of Housing
While other industries struggled over the past year, housing lifted the economy nationally and locally. For every two homes sold in the U.S., one job is created. Miami dollar volume showcases the impact housing plays in the local economy.
Single-family home dollar volume decreased 2.1% year-over-year, from $177.6 million to $173.9 million. Condo dollar volume increased 38.2% year-over-year, from $21.3 million to $29.4 million.
Lack of access to mortgage loans continues to inhibit further growth of the existing condominium market. Only 19 of the 1,929 condominium buildings in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties are approved for Federal Housing Administration loans as of Aug. 17, 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
A better condo approval process is expected to increase sales. The guidance, which went into effect in October 2019, extends certifications from two years to three, allows for single-unit mortgage approvals, provides more flexibility with owner/occupancy ratios, and increases the allowable number of FHA loans in a single project. The changes, many of which MIAMI and NAR have championed, are expected to generate increased homeownership opportunities.
Martin County Distressed Sales Keep Dropping, Reflecting Healthy Market
Only 0.5% of all closed residential sales in Martin were distressed last month, including REO (bank-owned properties) and short sales, compared to 0.5% in July 2020.
Total Martin distressed sales stayed even year-over-year in July 2021 at only 2 sales. Short sales and REOs accounted for 0.3% and 0.3% year-over-year, respectively, of total Martin sales in July 2021. Short sale transactions increased 100% year-over-year while REOs decreased 50%.
Nationally, distressed sales represented less than 1% of sales in July 2021, equal to July 2020.
National, State Housing Demand Robust as More Inventory Expected to Arrive
Nationally, total existing-home sales transactions completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, grew 2.0% from June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.99 million in July. Sales inched up year-over-year, increasing 1.5% from a year ago (5.90 million in July 2020).
Statewide, closed sales of single-family homes in July totaled 30,740, a slight decrease of 2.1% year-over-year, while existing condo-townhouse sales totaled 13,481, up 21.1% over July 2020. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.
Nationally, the median existing-home price for all housing types in July was $359,900, up 17.8% from July 2020 ($305,600), as each region saw prices climb. This marks 113 straight months of year-over-year gains.
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in July was $355,000, up 20.3% from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Last month’s statewide median price for condo-townhouse units was $253,000, up 20.5% over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.
Martin Real Estate Attracting Multiple Bids, Buyers Going Over-List Price
The median percent of original list price received for single-family homes was 100% in July 2021, up 4.9% from 95.3% last year. The median percent of original list price received for existing condominiums was 98%, up 3.4% from 94.8% last year.
The median number of days between listing and contract dates for Martin single-family home sales was 12 days, an 82.9% decrease from 70 days last year. The median time to sale for single-family homes was 55 days, a 50% decrease from 110 days last year.
The median number of days between the listing date and contract date for condos was 18 days, down 76% from 75 days. The median number of days to sale for condos was 58 days, a 50.4% decrease from 117 days.
Martin County Cash Sales 77.8% More than National Figure in July 2021
Cash sales represented 40.9% of Martin County closed sales in July 2021, compared to 33.1% in July 2020. About 23% of U.S. home sales are made in cash, according to the latest NAR statistics.
The high percentage of cash buyers reflects South Florida’s top position as the preeminent American real estate market for foreign buyers, who tend to purchase with all cash as well as some moving from more expensive U.S. markets who can buy more with their profits from real estate sales.
Cash sales accounted for 47.3% of all Martin County existing condo sales and 38.3% of single-family transactions.
To access July 2021 Martin County Statistical Reports, visit http://www.SFMarketIntel.com
Note: Statistics in this news release may vary depending on reporting dates. MIAMI reports exact statistics directly from its MLS system.
About the MIAMI Association of Realtors
The MIAMI Association of Realtors was chartered by the National Association of Realtors in 1920 and is celebrating 101 years of service to Realtors, the buying and selling public, and the communities in South Florida. Comprised of six organizations, the Residential Association, the Realtors Commercial Alliance, the Broward-MIAMI Association of Realtors, the Jupiter Tequesta Hobe Sound (JTHS-MIAMI) Council, the Young Professionals Network (YPN) Council and the award-winning International Council, it represents 52,000 total real estate professionals in all aspects of real estate sales, marketing, and brokerage. It is the largest local Realtor association in the U.S. and has official partnerships with 223 international organizations worldwide. MIAMI’s official website is www.miamirealtors.com