Bidding wars are erupting from Weston to Homestead, as home prices and sales take off, further reinforcing the end of a prolonged market slump.
A bank-owned, two-bedroom, two-bathroom condominium in Coral Springs sparked 64 offers within 10 days, selling for $71,000, or 34 percent over its initial $53,000 listing price.
I’ve never seen the housing market like this before. It’s a feeding frenzy, said one broker. It was a rentable building, so all the investors were out, she added.
The median sales price of single-family homes in Broward County rose 17 percent in April to $205,000, and condominiums jumped 17.4 percent to $84,300, compared to prices in April 2011.
And in Miami-Dade, home prices continued a five-month ascent, up 30 percent for condos, to $150,000, and 8.2 percent for single-family homes, to $183,000, compared to a year ago, according to figures by the Miami Association of Realtors.
Throughout South Florida, higher demand is leading to multiple bids and, in turn, increasing prices, as the real estate market keeps turning around.
There’s a very limited amount of inventory at this point and a lot less foreclosures on the market, another realtor said. Now homebuyers are finding themselves in the middle of bidding wars. We’re in a situation where for 80 percent of contracts, there are three or four offers, if not more, for the same property, he added.
Brokers say the inventory of home listings is way down. It’s decreased 34 percent in the last year in Miami-Dade, from 17,897 to 11,878, and down 4 percent since March, the Realtors’ Association said.
Also, in Broward, the inventory of residential listings has decreased 30 percent in the past year, from 15,781 to 11,086, also down 4 percent from March.
With a housing stock of 16,000 condos and homes in Weston, only 91 condos and 254 single family homes are currently for sale.
Neighboring areas of Cooper City, Davie, Pembroke Pines and Southwest Ranches are all experiencing a similar dearth of inventory.
We’re putting properties on the market and getting multiple offers in one day, a broker said.
Investors with cash, mostly foreign buyers, continue to fuel the market.
In both Broward and Miami-Dade, 64 percent of closed sales in March were all-cash sales and most of them were international buyers, the Miami Association of Realtors said.
We’re at a point in the market where builder inventories are low, and in fact, for some builders, sales are proceeding quicker than they can build, said Brad Hunter, director for Metrostudy, a housing market advisory firm based in Houston.
For those who’ve been waiting four or five or more years for home prices to stabilize and start edging back upwards, we’re essentially there, he said.
Meanwhile, distressed properties still make up a majority of sales.
Forty-seven percent of all closed residential sales in Miami-Dade in April were distressed, including REOs, bank-owned properties, and short sales, compared to 59 percent a year ago and 49 percent in March.
Thirty-eight percent of all closed residential sales in Broward were distressed in April, compared to 50 percent in April 2011 and 41 percent the month before.
Even more distressed properties are going to hit the market, which could still dampen prices, analysts say.