The Miami condo market has had a colorful past few years, but I’m hopeful that we might finally be seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. While we’ve seen the residential market level off in the past year or so, the condo market has been a little slower to turn around, but it seems that it too is making progress. At the end of 2009, we had a 16 month supply of condos on the market in Miami-Dade County. By the end of 2010, we were down to a 12-month supply, as a result of a 21% increase in the number of sales and a 7% decrease in inventory. At the end of 2009, we had an average of 1,000 condo sales a month, and by the end of 2010 we were up to an average of 1,213 per month.
It is important to note though that the condo market turn-around is very neighborhood and building specific as the “health” of a building is largely determined by its residents. One of the most interesting buildings to analyze is The Jade, located on Brickell. Once considered one of the worst places to buy a condo because of all of the fraudulent transactions turned foreclosures, it has actually become one of the first buildings to see a turnaround in our market. Way back in the beginning, there was a ton of interest around this building. It was going to be one of the nicest buildings in Miami, and people were really excited about it. Before the building was finished in 2004, some of the units had already been sold, flipped and resold, at prices as high as $700/sq ft in mid-2006! However, many of these were fraudulent and it became impossible to use the Jade’s sales as comparables because you never knew which were real. But just as dramatically as the prices went up, they dropped to the floor in 2008. Units were selling as low as $200/sq ft!
Because of the instability of the building and the number of distressed sales, banks were very strict on lending to buyers there. So today it has become a building of owners that bought with cash, bringing it back to a much better place. People are living there again, paying their maintenance fees and taking care of their property. Today, there are 30 units on the market in the building, ranging from $317,000 to $2.89 million, and hopefully this building is the pioneer of the condo market turn-around in Miami.