South Florida prime property sales hit a new high in 2018 with a record number of sales at the top end completed.
There was a record 45 sales in south Florida prime property above US$10 million last year across Miami-Dade County according to the new South Florida Insight report from international property firm Knight Frank.
Overseas property investors and buyers from New York, Connecticut and New Jersey were a key source of demand for South Florida prime property over the year.
The price of prime property in the area has fallen by over 45 per cent in peak to trough terms during the financial crisis but have since strengthened and now stand 55 per cent above their low of 2011.
Overall in 2018 South Florida prime property prices increased by 3.3 per cent, although growth across Miami-Dade County was mixed. Areas such as Coconut Grove continue to register price growth whilst more peripheral markets have seen prices soften.
According to the Knight Frank report, the key indicator that changed in 2018 was the time on the market which started to creep up.
Stacey Watson, head of Knight Frank’s US desk, said: ‘Sellers adopted optimistic asking prices in 2018 but this only prolonged the time taken to sell, leading some buyers to make lower offers thinking the property was struggling to find a buyer.’
She explained: ‘The appeal of owning a US dollar asset, South Florida’s easy accessibility, the state’s comparatively low property costs and its buoyant tourism industry have underpinned investor and second home interest.’
She continued: ‘US and European retirees have long favoured South Florida’s temperate winters whilst its proximity and safe haven status has attracted Latin American buyers seeking to shelter capital from turbulent markets back home.’
The high speed Brightline train, soon to be rebranded Virgin Trains USA, has put Miami within a 30-minute train ride of Fort Lauderdale and an hour of West Palm Beach, expanding the city’s commuter belt significantly and boosting the popularity of South Florida prime property. A new line to Orlando is expected by 2020.