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All South Florida Condo Markets Heat Up

Douglas Elliman’s latest quarterly numbers, which were released today, show more of the same for South Florida condos: more sales growth and higher prices, that is. But Miami isn’t the only beneficiary of condo expansion: Broward and Palm counties are getting their share of good times, too. (No pushing, folks, there’s enough condos for everyone.) Douglas Elliman Florida prez Vanessa Grout tells us Miami’s dramatic recovery, influx of foreign buyers, and the shiny new developments in the heart of the metro area have gotten most of the attention. (Unfortunately, Pitbull never writes songs about Fort Lauderdale.) But condo buyers have rediscovered markets like Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton, and they too are now experiencing a surge of interest. The recovery took longer than in Miami, but it’s happening now. In Fort Lauderdale, Douglas Elliman reported that the median sales price for condos was up 12.1% in Q1 compared with last year, and the number of sales increased 17.1%. In Boca, the median condo price jumped 17.3% over the same period, and the number of sales rose 12.8%. As for Miami-Dade, Vanessa says if things continue as they are, the percentage of residential distressed sales will be in single digits by the end of this year. That’s an astonishing turnaround from only a few years ago, when the vast majority of residential sales were distressed. According to the Douglas Elliman report, Q1 saw the lowest distressed-sale market share in three years, at 37.8%. And condo market fundamentals showed continuing strength: The median sales price was up 20.4% compared with a year ago, and the number of sales increased 3.3%. The median sales price for the luxury end of the condo market (top 10%) was up 16.8% compared with last year. One of the drivers of condo markets such as Boca is the return of New Yorkers as major buyers in the market, Douglas Elliman director Senada Adzem tells us. “New Yorkers are returning to Boca Raton and all of South Florida for the same reasons other affluent buyers are,” she says, namely to snap up properties before prices go up any further. (And also so they can go to Mets and Yankees games against the Marlins without springing for a hotel.) “What’s more, it’s a resurgent destination that delivers a lifestyle they seek—with the added bonus of very comforting tax incentives.”

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