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Miami - Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Market Report

Miami Skyline
Miami skyline at twilight

One of the most beautiful metropolitan areas in the world, the Miami – Fort Lauderdale region is home to more than 5 million people and seems to be growing larger all the time. It’s not hard to imagine why so many flock to the area – the weather is sunny and warm all year long, there are abundant businesses and large corporations that call the cities home, and outdoor recreation is around every corner. Many people come to the Miami – Fort Lauderdale area once or twice and decide to call it home for good. Because of all the great reasons to live in South Florida, the real estate market is pricey, competitive, and fast moving nearly all the time.

It is hard to pin down what industries are key to the economy of the Miami – Fort Lauderdale region simply because there are so many. As the largest city in the country that is predominantly Spanish speaking, Miami provides a crucial economic link to the vast populations of the Caribbean, Mexico, and South America. Some companies that use Miami as their headquarters for Latin American operations include Wal-Mart, Sony, Yahoo, Microsoft, Disney, Cisco, Kraft Foods, and many more. There is a strong entertainment industry presence in the area as well, with Telemundo, Univision, TeleFutura, and more making their home in Miami. Simply put, professionals in just about any industry will have no problem locating many different job opportunities in the thriving commercial centers of Miami – Fort Lauderdale.

Like any major cities, Miami and Fort Lauderdale both have a variety of neighborhoods that range in housing prices from rather affordable to incredibly expensive. In Miami, the affluent neighborhoods tend to be located to the east and south of the city, with the north and west areas being more moderately priced. For example, neighborhoods such as Wynwood-Edgewater, Coral Way, Upper East Side, Northeast Coconut Grove, and Downtown Miami all have average prices north of $500,000. By contrast, Model City, Allapattah, Little Haiti, and Flagami all have average listings below $220,000.

Up the coast in Fort Lauderdale, a similar pattern of neighborhood pricing can be seen. Super-high priced properties in the neighborhoods of Harbor Beach, Bay Colony, Las Olas Isles, Sunrise Key, and Rio Vista all average above $3 million. Inland away from the ocean, properties that average under $150,000 are found in Sunset, South Middle River, Melrose Park, Washington Park, Broward Estates, and Lake Aire.

Consistent with the reputation that it has, Miami is a multi-cultural city with a strong Latin presence. In fact, Hispanic residents make up the majority with 45% of residents being of Hispanic descent, including 35% Cubans. 33% of the population is White, and 22% Black. Although there is a portion of the population that is affluent, the median household income is quite low at just under $30,000. The demographics look very different in Fort Lauderdale, where 53% are white compared to 31% Black and 14% Hispanic. Also, the median income level is higher, coming in at around $37,000.

Mansions in Miami - Fort Lauderdale
One of the many beautiful mansions
in the Miami - Fort Lauderdale area

In both Miami and Fort Lauderdale, condo living is very popular and makes up the majority of the properties that are owned in the area. 55% of residences are condos, compared to just 30% living in single family homes. There are also a high number of renters in Miami, making up two thirds of the market. That is opposite of the market as a whole across the country, in which two thirds are owners and one third rent their living spaces. Almost half of the homes in the region have been built in the last 30 years, demonstrating the boom in population that has gone on in South Florida in recent times.

In 2013, the real estate market has been on a steady climb in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area. While the average listing price has remained level over the past year at just under $560,000, the median sales price has climbed a couple percent to $162,000. The big boom in Miami has been in the number of sales completed over the past year, an increase of 44%. That large inventory explains why the sales prices have not increased in Miami as much as they have in other cities around the country. The numbers are somewhat similar in Fort Lauderdale, where the average listing price has stayed steady at $886,000 and the number of sales has boomed as well. The difference in Fort Lauderdale is that prices are on the rise as a whole, with the median sales price up 23% to $225,000.

Miami and Fort Lauderdale figure to continue to be major population and commercial centers long into the future. Residents and visitors alike love the weather and recreational opportunities that can be found all around the region. While much of the housing is very expensive, there are also reasonably priced options if one is willing to live a little further away from the beach. Now looks like an excellent time to buy in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale markets because of the growing number of properties hitting the market. A motivated seller might be more willing to deal now than ever before considering how many homes buyers have to choose from. The dream of living in South Florida and experiencing all it has to offer is within the reach of most buyers in the 2013 market.

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