Flocking South: The Miami Housing Market

Exploring Miami’s recent real estate boom

Miami skyline with palm tree in foreground

Miami is having to make way for a new group of real estate buyers excited to call South Florida home. According to the International Sales Group’s (ISG) World Miami Report, about 1,000 people are moving to Florida daily, trading high-tax, high-density areas for a paradisiacal lifestyle. 

“People realized they preferred to ride out the pandemic in a location with space, sunshine, an incredible lifestyle, and substantial tax benefits,” says Karen Reiter, senior global real estate advisor with ONE Sotheby’s International Realty. “The demand is extraordinary. Inventory is historically low, and this has led to a spike in prices, bidding wars with residences selling above asking price, and agents scouring for off-market deals. Properties are being sold so quickly that often by the time they are listed, they are already under contract.” 

Developments like E11EVEN Hotel & Residences is one of the fastest-selling projects in Miami
E11EVEN Hotel & Residences is one of the fastest-selling projects in Miami.

As a result, Miami sellers are getting top dollar for their properties. ONE Sotheby’s April market report revealed the average price of single-family homes increased to more than $1 million in March. Condo sellers are also capitalizing as offers get hotter: The average condo sale prices in Miami increased by more than 15 percent; closed transactions in waterfront areas such as Fisher Island shot up by 200 percent, Key Biscayne by 171 percent, and Sunny Isles Beach by 147 percent. Real estate experts say that with more outsiders moving in, Coral Gables, Pinecrest, Ponce-Davis, and other neighborhoods renowned for their schools have also seen a surge in buyer demand. 

E11EVEN Hotel & Residences living room
E11EVEN Hotel & Residences living room

New construction developments, such as downtown’s E11EVEN Hotel & Residences and the Waldorf Astoria Residences—soon to be Miami’s tallest tower—show strong sales prior to completion. “From the resort-like health amenities by Deepak Chopra to the branded entertainment venues with world-class food and beverage partners, the self-curated lifestyle of the development has been a major draw for buyers seeking unique social and wellness experiences post-COVID,” shares Kevin Maloney, managing partner of PMG. 

But it is not only sellers, developers, and realtors who are benefiting, says Angel Nicolas of the Nicolas Group at Compass: Miami as a whole—including the economy—will gain from the pandemic-related housing trends and influx of migration. “Big name finance and tech businesses from New York and California are opening offices here and that has completely changed the way people see Miami,” he notes. “With that influx of business comes job opportunities in sectors that never existed in Miami before.”

Waldorf Astoria Residences is one of the fastest-selling projects in Miami
Waldorf Astoria Residences

One question remains: When the pandemic subsides, will the market return to a more level playing field? Nicolas says the current outlook is an indicator of what could happen in years to come: “Miami was undervalued for a long time, and I think people are finally recognizing the value in it—everything from the lifestyle to the culture and affordability compared to other major metropolitan cities. I believe that the lack of inventory will keep the Miami market on an upward trend for a decent amount of time. This market could be the new normal for Miami.” 

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