Million-dollar condo sales drive ‘super boom’ in South Florida luxury market

by Patrick Regan

Residential buildings in Miami Beach in a sunny day, Florida, USA

South Florida condominium transactions of $1 million or more grew by 166.4% in 2021 compared to the previous year, according to the Keyes/Illustrated 2021 Luxury Market Report.

The report, covering Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties and the Treasure Coast, tallied 4,837 condo transactions of $1 million or more last year compared to 1,816 in 2020. 

“We’ve had a super boom in the luxury market due to the acceleration of buyers due to COVID,” Mike Pappas, Keyes/Illustrated CEO, told South Florida Agent magazine. 

He said sales of $10 million properties have quadrupled in the last two years, even as the number of international buyers has dropped due to travel uncertainty during the pandemic.

“South Florida has historically been an international investor market. We’ve seen a shift to wealthy buyers from California, Chicago and the Northeast,” said Pappas, who added that buyers are thinking, “If I’m gonna be locked up (due to COVID), I might as well be locked up in a space in a state with low taxes, blue skies, water and warm weather.”

Million-dollar condo transactions in Miami-Dade County more than tripled year over year, growing by 213.7%. Within Miami-Dade, Miami Beach led the way with 800 condo transactions of at least $1 million followed by Brickell (278) and Key Biscayne (228).

About 10% of condos in South Florida sold at or above their listing price in 2021, the report said.

Luxury single-family home transactions also increased, with 8,412 sales of at last $1 million last year compared to 4,759 in 2020. 

Pappas said the market has been great for real estate agents. “Everybody had a record year. The market carried everybody. Everybody doubled their volume,” but the market has gotten more competitive, too.

“It’s a dogfight of a market. It’s so fast and furious that you need to be fully engaged. You need to be working your sphere of influence … it happens so fast that if you’re not there you’re gonna miss it.”

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