The South Florida housing market got its first glimpse of what Hurricane Irma did to residential sales volume in September and the results can hardly be a surprise: closings for existing, single-family homes in the tri-county area fell by 31 percent, according to figures released by local Realtor boards.
The reports they compiled showed the combined closings in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties declined to 2,735 compared with 3,964 deals completed in September 2016.
There is no doubt that Hurricane Irma impacted real estate activity throughout the month of September. In addition to most businesses losing up to five working days, no closings could take place until FEMA lifted our disaster area status.
It should also be noted that federal-backed lenders required new appraisals on properties under contract due to the hurricane and many buyers and sellers experienced delays in acquiring the services of crews, inspectors and appraisers last month.
Along with the missed days due to the hurricane, September also had a shortened work week with the Labor Day holiday.
Area real estate experts expect a bump in closings in the forthcoming months once homes on the sales block are re-inspected and South Floridians finalize their stalled sales.
The storm did nothing to erode prices, as the medians trended upward. The median price in Broward last month was $357,600, up 10 percent from a year ago, according to the Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale. Palm Beach County’s median price increased almost 3 percent, to $325,000.
Miami-Dade experienced an increase 6.5 percent, from $314,500 in September 2016 to 335,000 last month, according to the Miami Association of Realtors, which also noted that single-family home prices have now risen for 70 consecutive months.
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $239,900, up 7.6 percent from the previous year.
Similarly, townhouse and condo closing sales also declined about 22 percent throughout the tri-county area, with last month’s 2,738 sales compared to September 2016’s 3,543 sales.
Median prices for townhouses and condos rose in all three counties, reaching $156,000 in Broward, $172,000 in Palm Beach County and $234,000 in Miami-Dade.
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