The Miami Association of Realtors is reporting this week that Broward County (the greater Ft. Lauderdale area) total home sales and prices increased year-over-year in 1Q 2020.

Broward total home sales increased 3.4% year-over-year, from 6,797 to 7,025. Broward single-family home sales rose 4.6%, from 3,175 to 3,322. Broward existing condo sales increased 2.2%, from 3,622 to 3,703.

“The robust fundamentals of the South Florida housing market in the first quarter are already minimizing the impact of COVID-19 on sales activity and demand,” Broward MIAMI President Sharon R. Lindblade said. “We are seeing sales, pending contracts and listings again trend upwards and expect there will be pent-up demand later in the year. Demand and insufficient supply, particularly in certain price ranges and neighborhoods, will continue to generate price appreciation.”

Total Broward Sales Volume Jump in 1Q 2020

Broward single-family home dollar volume rose 19.3%, from $1.4 billion to $1.7 billion. Broward condo dollar volume increased 9.9%, from $805.3 million to $885 million.

Non-distressed sales comprised about 96.2% of all closed residential sales in 1Q 2020 vs. 95.4% in 1Q 2019. Only 3.8% of all closed residential sales in Broward were distressed in 1Q 2020, including REO (bank-owned properties) and short sales, compared to 4.6% in 1Q 2019.

Short sales and REOs accounted for 1.1 and 2.8%, respectively, of total Broward sales in 1Q 2020. Short sale transactions increased 1.4% year-over-year while REOs fell 19.2%.

Mid-Market and Luxury Sales Fuel 1Q Transaction Growth

Broward single-family homes priced between $400K to $600K increased 18.9% year-over-year to 912 transactions in 1Q 2020. Broward condo sales priced between $300K to $400K rose 27.1% year-over-year to 371 transactions in 1Q 2020.

Broward single-family home luxury ($1 million and up) transactions increased 26.7% to 204sales in 1Q 2020. Broward condo luxury transactions decreased 1.6% to 61 sales in 1Q 2020.

Lower mortgage rates made home purchases more affordable in both 2019 and in the first quarter of 2020. The 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.57% in the first quarter of 2020, down from 4.62% one year ago. The average monthly mortgage payment on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a 20% down payment was $995, down from $1,048 a year ago. This is equivalent to 15% of the median family income of $79,662, down from 16.1% one year ago. (Housing expenses are considered a cost burden if the cost is more than 30% of income.)

Nationwide, median single-family home prices increased year-over-year in 96% of measured markets in the first quarter, with 174 of 181 metropolitan statistical areas1 showing sales price gains. That is an increase from the 94% share seen in the fourth quarter of 2019. The national median existing single-family home price in the first quarter of 2020 was $274,600, up 7.7% from the first quarter of 2019 ($254,900).

Cash sales accounted for 53.8% of all Broward existing condo sales and 20.1% of single-family transactions.

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