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Miami/Fort Lauderdale new condo sales bounced back in Q1

Taken from bizjournals.com

After a terribly slow end to 2015, new condo sales in coastal Miami and Fort Lauderdale bounced back in the first quarter, according to a report by brokerage ISG World.

There was a net increase of 560 new condos sold in the first quarter, compared to 302 in the fourth quarter. However, developers still have a long way to go. With 4,354 new units on the market still unsold, that’s just over 23 months of inventory at the current sales pace.

Developers added 809 units to the sales market in the first quarter as they announced new projects. Largely because of that, the amount of new inventory that was sold or under contract remained at 76 percent.

ISG World surveyed all major condos in pre-sales status in the eastern part of Miami-Dade County, plus Hollywood, Hallandale Beach and Fort Lauderdale. It included all projects that started construction since the building boom resumed in 2011 and those that are currently taking pre-sales even if they have yet to break ground. The survey counts units as having hard contracts on them as sold even before they close.

ISG Principal Craig Studnicky said sales picked up in the first quarter, and the second quarter is off to an even better start, largely because the U.S. dollar has devalued about 20 percent against foreign currencies since the start of the year. Sales to South American buyers slowed in late 2015 largely because the U.S. dollar gained in value against foreign currencies.

“We are seeing the beginnings of the return of Colombians, Venezuelans and Brazilians to the market,” Studnicky said.

He said most buyers were gravitating to condos that were recently completed or scheduled to open in 2016, as opposed to signing contracts for pre-construction.

“The dollar is devaluating but it is still pretty expensive and asking them to put 50 percent down before closing is expensive for something they can’t use now,” Studnicky said. “They would rather buy and close and use it right away.”

Most condo projects need to hit a certain threshold of pre-sales before they have collected enough deposits to break ground. Projects that can’t reach their sales goals might get canceled or put on hold.

In the first quarter, ISG World said the Fort Lauderdale projects BellaVita Las Olas with 16 units and 1800 Las Olas with four units withdrew from the sales market.

According to ISG World’s first quarter report, the projects with below 50 percent pre-sales are:

  • Visita in Bay Harbor – 11 units at 9 percent sold, recently launched sales.
  • Boulevard 57 in Miami – 105 units at 11 percent sold, recently launched sales.
  • Auberge Residences Fort Lauderdale South Tower with 114 units at 15 percent sold, up from 10 percent
  • Four Season Private Residences Fort Lauderdale – 42 units at 11 percent sold, no change.
  • One River Point West in Miami – 200 units at 15 percent sold, recently launched sales.
  • 32One in Fort Lauderdale – 23 units at 17 percent sold, no change.
  • One River Point East in Miami – 200 units at 20 percent sold, recently launched sales.
  • Aurora in Sunny Isles Beach – 61 units at 20 percent sold, no change.
  • 87 Park in Miami Beach – 70 units at 20 percent sold, recently launched sales.
  • Auberge Miami Residences – 290 units at 24 percent sold, recently launched sales.
  • Bay Harbor One – 36 units at 25 percent, recently launched sales.
  • Turnberry Ocean Club in Sunny Isles Beach – 154 units at 30 percent sold, no change.
  • Estates at Acqualina in Sunny Isles Beach – 264 units at 30 percent sold, no change.
  • One Park Grove in Coconut Grove – 50 units at 30 percent sold, recently launched sales.
  • Elysee in Miami – 100 units and 32 percent sold, up from 25 percent.
  • Wave in Fort Lauderdale – 18 units at 33 percent sold, recently launched sales.
  • Brickell Flatiron – 448 units at 45 percent, no change.
  • Paramount Miami Worldcenter – 500 units at 45 percent sold, up from 35 percent.

In addition to Paramount Miami Worldcenter, other projects that had impressive sales gains in the first quarter were the 131-unit Aventura Park Square going from 46 percent to 56 percent sold and the 35-unit AquaBlu Fort Lauderdale going from 54 percent to 69 percent sold.

Studnicky said he doesn’t expect many more groundbreakings this year, but some developers will build sales centers and launch sales with the hope of breaking ground in 2017.

Looking at condo sales by neighborhood, the level of new condo inventory sold was 82 percent in Brickell, 73 percent in the Biscayne Corridor, 65 percent in Downtown Miami, 74 percent in the Beaches (Miami Beach to Hollywood Beach), 71 percent in Aventura, 86 percent in Coconut Grove/North Miami Beach/Key Biscayne and 54 percent in Fort Lauderdale.