Real estate industry predictions for 2023

by Timothy Inklebarger

Featuring the perspectives of:

Jeremy Collett, Executive Director of Capital Markets, Guaranteed Rate

Edgardo Defortuna, President, CEO and Founder, Fortune International Group

Derek Fertig, Senior Vice President, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation

Craig Garcia, President, Capital Partners Mortgage

Julian Johnston, Broker Associate, The Corcoran Group

Seth Kaufman, Chief Sales Officer, ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Nancy Klock Corey, Regional Vice President, Southeast Florida, Coldwell Banker Realty

Rei Mesa, President and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty

Mike Pappas, President and CEO, The Keyes Company

Jay Phillip Parker, CEO, Douglas Elliman, Florida

Ingrid Sanchez, Regional Director of Operations and Managing Director of Greater Miami, Brown Harris Stevens Miami

Minette Schwartz, Principal, Senior Director of Luxury Sales, Compass

Mark Wilson, President and CEO, London Bay, developer of The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Estero Bay

What do you expect for the overall housing market in 2023?

Jeremy Collett, Guaranteed Rate: We can forecast, but nothing is certain. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) believes that housing prices will likely level off, but the higher-rate environment will mean that fewer homes will sell or refinance in 2023. By buying low in a cooled market, once prices heat up again, the steady build in home equity offers many advantages: dropping PMI (if applicable), taking out a HELOC to invest in home improvements or refinancing with more favorable terms. No matter what, I think we will see a return to seasonality, with a focus on home sales in spring and summer when people are more inclined to move.

Edgardo Defortuna, Fortune International Group: I am incredibly optimistic about the current housing market in South Florida. Over the past few years, the market has seen unprecedented activity and consistently remained strong. It is challenging to maintain that level of speed and absorption, but the demand continues to exceed the supply for existing inventory and the pace of new construction. The desire for high-luxury properties and oceanfront residences remains a trend, so South Florida remains one of the top living destinations attracting people from all over the world. Realistically, it is improbable the market will continue at the same level as 2022, but we are still confident in South Florida.

Derek Fertig, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation: All the data that has been shared with us and that we have access to indicates that there is still a shortage in inventory, which translates to values staying supported. With interest rates rising so fast, there has been some pause with buyers who are battling affordability, but industry experts call for rates to stabilize and reduce near the end of 2022 or beginning of 2023. Overall, the forecast seems to indicate strength and stability.

Julian Johnston, The Corcoran Group: South Florida remains an in-demand location for both domestic and international buyers due to our unparalleled lifestyle and business-friendly climate.  For that reason, I do expect inventory to remain low. However, I do expect prices to slightly soften overall if interest rates continue to rise. 

Seth Kaufman, ONE Sotheby’s International Realty: More stability. There is still steady demand from domestic buyers relocating to Florida. Power going into next year is moving from seller to buyer. Buyers are going to take a little bit more time to hone in on their wants and needs. It’s not like it was six months to a year ago when buyers felt the pressure. They are going to be more picky. 

Nancy Klock Corey, Coldwell Banker Realty: The market continues to be fluid. Buyers generally dictate market, so as they get used to interest rates, they will let sellers know their tolerance for the price and terms sellers are requesting. A market like this always reminds me of a “dance” between the buyers and sellers. Two steps forward, a step back, one to the side and then they manage to come together. Historically, after election cycles buyers tend to be more comfortable and activity increases. The market took a major shift upward in 2021, and both buyers and sellers need to adjust and figure out where they’d like to make a move. 

Rei Mesa, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty: A continuation of the current market conditions with tight supplies in the entry level and move-up price points. More increase selection in the luxury and second-home segment with the biggest headwind related to increasing interest rates and stagnant income. I don’t believe we will see much of a discount in average sales price but more of a flattening of current price appreciation. This will apply to both single-family and condos. We could potentially see some relief in the inventory as investors consider selling some of their rental portfolio. 

Mike Pappas, The Keyes Company: A slower start to the new year — then as interest rates stabilize or begin to decline, we will see a solid rest of the year. Overall, 2023 could end up 10% less in properties sold and 5% less in volume from our strong 2022 numbers. A more normalized market. 

Jay Phillip Parker, Douglas Elliman, Florida: The second half of the year in Florida started off with a return to a seasonal market. Accordingly, where most of the residents in Florida (both buyers and sellers) were traveling over the summer months, there was concern that the market was perhaps retreating. However, as we sailed into the fourth quarter, there has been a noticeable return to a robust market with days on market being remarkably short, inventory slowly coming to market and buyer and sellers engaging in transactions. I expect 2023 to be a strong market in Florida, particularly in relation to normal strong market activity we have seen in 2020 and 2019.

Minette Schwartz, Compass: The Miami market is stronger now than ever thanks to corporate relocations, low tax environment, and quality of life. In Miami, prices should stabilize in 2023 assuming inflation is tamed and there is more slack in the labor market. The areas I work (Miami Beach, Bal Harbor, and Coconut Grove) are geographically restricted. These sought-after areas with geographic restrictions will continue to have pricing strength. I do not see prices going down unless there is an exogenous event that can’t be modeled. 

Mark Wilson, London Bay: What is certain already is that the national climate is not indicative of the ongoing demand to buy luxury real estate in South Florida. While an unfortunate circumstance, Hurricane Ian’s destruction has paved the way for new investment opportunities that will stimulate the local economy, totaling in the billions. The storm did not and will not stop the Florida migration; rather, it initiated a new era for vertical development incorporating today’s building codes, which withstood the test and is promoting greater interest in condominium projects with a safer “lock and leave” mentality. Interest rate increases and construction costs will be important conversations in the market, but I expect a stabilization and believe in the long-term value and prosperity of coastal communities, where the quality of life is as good as the real estate product.

Do you think any segments of the residential market will be better in 2023? (new construction, rural, luxury, etc.) 

Johnston: Luxury properties will remain in particularly high demand due to the lack of prime inventory and buyers who are willing to pay all cash. The high-net-worth buyer is less-impacted by the current interest rate fluctuations.

Parker: The luxury sector will likely outperform the middle market as the luxury buyers are less sensitive to interest rates or the stock market. Similarly, the new construction market has offerings that are of unique quality caliber and dimension. Due to the cash contract and delayed closings, this sector of the market is also less sensitive to interest rates. Luxury single-family homes remain the most desirable residential asset class.

Schwartz: The corporate relocation buyer is a luxury buyer, and this group will continue to drive the market. Pricing is always the best gauge. New construction and renovated houses in prime areas such as Miami Beach or Coconut Grove will continue to strengthen. On the condo front, new luxury condos and luxury waterfront condos will continue to do well.

Kaufman: The luxury market will still do well. We might see a bit of a pullback on domestic but an increase on international. South Florida is a hot spot in the US and International buyers are always going to be attracted to us — whether it be for the climate, nightlight, entertainment, safety, etc. 

Luxury new construction is flying off the shelves, especially in Palm Beach County. All those projects that were announced in 2019/2020 are finally rolling out, and we can expect to see a flood of buyers jumping on those properties. 

Klock Corey: New construction is a prime area, as the millennials are a very large demographic (larger than baby boomers) and it is anticipated that demand will outstrip supply. Also, the slowdown of construction due to the pandemic, supply chain issues and low unemployment actually created a big pause in the new construction market here in Southeast Florida. That allowed for absorption of existing new construction and will provide a good opportunity in the market sector in the years ahead.

Collett: It’s hard to predict, and it may vary by market. Remote workplaces have allowed many homebuyers to explore non-urban communities, including smaller towns and even more remote areas. Rising housing demand in Montana and Wyoming is proof of that. Both new and luxury construction will likely remain strong in areas with recession-proof industries. As supply increases and demand wanes, we could see many cities enter buyer’s markets.

The affordable housing market will see some growth with the recent pricing changes instituted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. With home equity so high after the home price increases of the last two-plus years, HELOCs and home equity loans should be popular. Looking at the top end, jumbo and non-qualifying loans, particularly those for real estate investors like debt service coverage ratio programs, will likely continue to grow.

Fertig: If rates do what experts are predicting/forecasting, then it’s possible that we could see a little “boom” with the mid-priced homes in the 500 to 700k range as the loan limits will go up (again) and buyers will be able to do minimum down payment options for homes in this price range to keep up with rising values.

Craig Garcia, President, Capital Partners Mortgage: Not particularly – from a lending standpoint at least – I think the pendulum that swings back and forth in terms of loosening credit standards and tightening credit standards would be that credit standards have more tightening ahead of it before swinging the other way. With the FED actions intent on dampening demand and inflation at the expense of the economy, this is likely to lead to a deterioration of the economy and increased risks to lenders.

Mesa: I believe new construction will be challenged as public home builders try to satisfy investor margin requirements versus consumers’ ability to afford the new home prices. We are already witnessing home builders increasing their incentives on their current inventory and “to be built” in order to maintain the same average sales price. 

Pappas: As 5 million millennials are turning 34 — the average age of first-time homebuyer — we will see the first-time homebuyer market increase. Condominiums will improve, as they will have better financing options and are more affordable than single family homes. New construction will continue to offer strong incentives — buy downs, closing cost participation to entice buyers to buy their increasing inventory. 

What growth, if any, do you expect for your company next year? Do you expect your business to thrive, decline or remain stable? Why? 

Defortuna: The South Florida housing market is at the top of everyone’s wish list, so our business continues to thrive. We are in the planning stages for two major projects, The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Pompano Beach, and The St. Regis Residences, Sunny Isles Beach, which are contributing to our company’s sustained growth throughout the next year. We have seen an influx of residents relocating from Latin America, specifically from countries such as Colombia, Chile and Peru, as the political climate shifts in these locations. People are looking for smaller units that can be rented out on a short-term basis through services like Airbnb to generate income, and we predict this trend will continue through 2023.

Sanchez: Growth is essential for residential brokerages to meet the ongoing demands of both their diverse Realtor base and the surge of consumer demands. We have the distinct advantage of being a New York-based brokerage with offices in the most high-demand metropolitan markets, including Miami. Brown Harris Stevens encourages cross-market engagement and, through these networks, our Realtors have the opportunity to collaborate, share and engage in direct agent-to-agent business to further reach their sales potential. Additionally, we understand the need to provide the highest level of connectivity through email, digital, print and online resources. Our Realtors are empowered with complimentary email platforms, digital marketing campaigns, unparalleled online syndication, a phenomenal intranet site and, most recently, a complimentary CRM program to allow them to communicate effectively and seamlessly through all outlets. With these resources, we expect considerable growth for our Realtors.

Garcia: We expect to remain stable. We have traditionally focused on the purchase market and have not relied historically on refinances which are in very short supply.

Johnston: In the near term, I believe my team will increase our presence in the luxury rental space due to the lack of inventory in sales. There are new condo buildings being constructed that will help mitigate this issue to an extent, but they are slated for occupancy in 2025/2026. 

Collett: The housing market, much like the economy, is cyclical. It never heads in one direction for too long before adjusting. When things slow, opportunities arise to prepare for the next comeback. That way, when the tide does turn — and it will — we are fully prepared to ride the next wave instead of reacting to it in the moment. That’s why we continue to invest in technology to provide the best customer experience possible. We have a strong business plan in place for 2023, which is focused on fully supporting our loan officers. We offer a unique environment to set them up for success, including:

  • The CEO Mindset™: When markets cool, winners with the right mindset emerge. The GR philosophy allows loan officers to be the CEO of their business. They have a team they can delegate marketing and administrative tasks to so they can focus on growth.
  • FastTrack: While banks can take weeks and months to close, our FastTrack program can get customers a CTC (clear to close) as fast as 24 hours and to the closing table as fast as 10 days.
  • PowerBid Approval: This helps customers compete with all-cash offers. This fully underwritten credit approval shows sellers that the buyer is a qualified loan candidate and can close at the same speed as an all-cash offer.
  • Pricing flexibility to win: Guaranteed Rate’s loan officers control their pricing and offer the best array of products to customers, such as Lock ‘N’ Roll, which lets buyers lock in today’s mortgage rate for 90 days while they house shop with no commitment to buy.
  • Dynamic Marketing. We have the best-practice model to constantly stay in front of your potential customer network.

Pappas: We believe a slower market will encourage consolidation. Therefore, we are actively negotiating with and talking to many firms — and demonstrating one plus one equals three. Agents will be looking for security and strength, which bodes well for us as we will be celebrating our 97th year as a South Florida locally owned real estate company. 

Wilson: London Bay is growing and hiring for various positions, and we expect this to continue through 2023. Our company has been in the market for more than 30 years and has witnessed many economic cycles. What remains true today will be the case in the past and future; quality product is highly valued in coastal Florida. We know how to strategically maneuver through evolving conditions to continue to provide what buyers seek in the marketplace.

Parker: As compared to the pandemic period, I plan for overall neutrality. We hope to achieve growth through market expansion and agent growth. Comparing the 2021 pandemic residential market to any normal period is simply not reasonable.  

Kaufman: We are going to grow. The best part of our company is the agents, and we will grow organically by agents continuing to join our brand. The culture, marketing, networking and access at ONE Sotheby’s International Realty is incomparable to every other brokerage in the area. 

Klock Corey: We focus on helping our associates outperform the market. There are opportunities in every market, and highly skilled, knowledgeable agents tend to have an edge in these types of markets. All our training, resources and support are focused on helping agents “grow” their business. We try not to distract the agents from areas that “maintain” their business versus getting an edge and winning more business. Our company has growth-oriented products for the associates — Listing Concierge helps them win more business and gain more traction on their identity and their brand. Moxie Engage helps them grow their existing business and attract new business. Our social media programs help them gain awareness in the market for both themselves and their products. Our Global Luxury program permeates all their marketing and helps them reach a client base through Wealth Engine, at their fingertips. RealVitalize solves the issue of a seller having to invest in repairs or upgrades, prior to a closing, to get top dollar for the property. 

Our business partners, Sunbelt Title, Clear Title and Guaranteed Rate, bring programs to meet the needs of any of our buyers and sellers, whether it is financing, title or any other challenge or impediment stopping a wanted or needed sale. Our programs with Guaranteed Rate help both sellers and buyers. We have marketing support in our offices and in the region for hands-on support as needed for our sales associates or even remote assistance if they desire that. We also support charities, including St. Jude, in which we raised over $110,000 in less than a day at our global event, Gen Blue, that just concluded in Phoenix, Arizona. We intend to thrive, as we have all the confidence in the abilities of our agents, our support staff and our leadership. We are a seamless organization locally, statewide, nationally and internationally. 

Schwartz: We have weathered many economic cycles and our business will continue to thrive. Our focus on relationships and clients has built trust and the Schwartz Team is sought after.

What will be the biggest challenges for agents in 2023? 

Johnston: Quite simply, the lack of inventory.

Parker: Patience and perseverance.  Many agents entered the Florida market during the frenzied pandemic period where less effort, experience and work was required to be successful. In 2023, I expect the agents and brokerages that offer the highest level of service and experience will achieve the greatest success.

Schwartz: Normalization of the real estate market. Many realtors haven’t experienced a normal market. A normal market where you have to go after listings, you have to be the best to get the business and you have to create and work on relationships daily.

Klock Corey: There may be quite a few, but most can be overcome. For example, a seller may be reluctant to leave a lower mortgage interest rate on their current property to move to another one. An agent can overcome that objection by focusing on why the customer wants to move and depending on the motivation, the seller may choose to move forward.  It’s more about marrying the house, and buyers are just dating the current rate with the possibility of refinancing later.

Agents are still recovering from the dramatic changes with the pandemic. Some of them still think they can effectively conduct their business and not leave home. Whether their customer base adapts to that may be a challenge or a continued opportunity.

Other challenges will be to help educate sellers on pricing since the information a seller may be relying upon might not be relevant for 2022 or 2023. Making sure sellers and buyers are keenly aware of the rapid changes in the market, as they occur, is a challenge, but once again, an opportunity for a well-informed real estate professional.

All markets, products and industries fluctuate. Ours is no different and since we have seen many, each one has taught us how to navigate fluctuations more effectively.

Mesa: The sales professionals will need to focus on improving their skills and providing an enhanced consumer experience by having more expertise in their local markets.  Utilizing the one-stop shop concept of referring reliable home services such as mortgage, title, insurance, home warranty, etc.

Pappas: South Florida is a highly competitive real estate market. With fewer properties being sold — an agent has to increase their connections to close the same number. Mortgage expertise, market knowledge and good communication will be key for agent success in ’23. 

Kaufman: There will always be transactions in real estate. The biggest challenge is the swing in mindset and staying positive with all the inevitable ups and downs. Getting out there and meeting people will be more important than ever before. While there might not be a major rush like last year, the east coast of Florida will still flourish.  

What can agents do to succeed in 2023? 

Pappas: 1) Have a clear vision and goal of what they want to accomplish. 2) Execute their plan of connecting with clients daily. 3) Have a positive mindset. 4) Know their market.

Klock Corey: LIST! Agents have a unique opportunity right now with most areas in Southeast Florida having less than a four months’ supply of inventory. That means a newly listed property, priced and positioned correctly, will sell quickly in the current market. Anything under a six-month inventory supply still favors the seller. Additionally, buyers and their agents are always looking for fresh sale-able inventory. Agents need to be up-to-speed on buyer wants and stage or suggest minor refreshes of a home, such as using our RealVitalize program where a consumer can use money interest-free and pay it back at the closing. A freshly painted home or a change in a counter in a kitchen can create a price jump for a seller as it makes the home more attractive to buyers.

Parker: Back to basics. Listings, relationships, innovative marketing and leveraging of professionalism and powerful brokerages with relevant connectivity.  

Sanchez: The most important skillsets a Realtor needs in 2023 to succeed are to remain engaged, accessible, connected and market-educated. Many consumers are apprehensively approaching this market. They must rely on an experienced and professional Realtor that has the expertise, professionalism and market knowledge to guide them through a turbulent market. Today’s consumer is much more market savvy and needs to be assured that their Realtor remains at the forefront of the latest market trends, advertising tools and be accessible 24/7 to meet their needs.

Kaufman: Think outside of the box. Agents need to become true experts. Success is found in the details — know your numbers, inventory, the market and business in general.

Schwartz: Get back to basics and put in the work.

Is the work-from-home trend still changing the way people are shopping for homes? 

Parker: While more and more businesses are bringing people back to the office, there is still an element of buyer searches that require work from home optionality.  

Klock Corey: Work-from-home arrangements are still impacting how people are making home buying decisions. As the workforce adapts to workers’ changing needs, the home office will most likely remain a staple. Workers may choose more part-time work. Some need flex time, and that may require some assets at home during the time they are not in a physical office. With many people choosing Florida for remote work from areas around the country that experience cold weather, winter storms, fires, earthquakes and possible economic instability, the flood of workers coming into Florida the last few years will continue the need for work-from-home areas. 

Also remember that consumers have always found creative ways to use space in their homes. Some have entertainment areas, others have fitness equipment, children’s play areas, or a workshop. I remember years ago my mother took a full bedroom and turned it into a very user-friendly walk-in closet.  Endless possibilities exist with an extra bonus room in a home.

Pappas: Virtual and 3D tours of properties will see an increase in the marketing of homes as properties stay on the market longer.

Johnston: The rise of remote work has absolutely caused a shift in buyers’ priorities. People want space for a home office, a large kitchen, yard, and pool since they are spending most of their days at home. Larger properties with all the “bells and whistles” have never been more popular.

Kaufman: Yes, that is a shift that is here to stay. People will always like the idea of having a space inside their home that offers the flexibility for remote work. An office or private space for solitude is an amenity that is here to stay. A lot of people found happiness without commuting daily and will not want to give that up. 

What does the landscape of your company look like post-COVID? (Are agents coming back to the office? Do you have more tech? etc.)

Sanchez: During the pandemic, we experienced record-demand for Miami real estate and, although physical offices were temporarily closed, our Realtors thrived. Given the resources available to them, they were able to efficiently and seamlessly communicate through email, virtual tours, digital marketing, videoconferencing and handle documents through DotLoop, our transaction management portal. These resources proved essential and continue to be an integral part of their business. Today, we not only continue to use these resources, but added enhancements such as a newly launched CRM platform and an intuitive and ultra-resourceful intranet website to allow them to connect anywhere and at anytime.

Although technology allowed our Realtors to efficiently conduct business during the pandemic, they continued to long for the agent to agent interaction. Since offices have reopened, they are much more engaged and we’ve allowed them to continue to forge these connections through events like: an exclusive BHS & The Wolfsonian Art Basel sponsorship, BHS New York networkers, quarterly BHS podcasts, monthly meetings, weekly development presentations and ongoing social engagements. At the end of the day, this is still a relationship business.

Johnston: We have had staff work from home during the pandemic and realized that they are just as productive and sometimes even more proactive. Now we are allowing a few to be remote or hybrid. Additionally, with the high gas prices, employees do appreciate their days working remotely. However, it doesn’t work for every position or every employee. We still like to maintain the synergy that is felt in the office.  There’s nothing like collaborating face-to-face. 

Kaufman: Agents are already starting to come to the office more, but the reality is, it’s not like they used to. Agents like the idea of having the option to come in for the collaboration, the culture, the support and of course the amenities like video conferencing and green screen, etc. 

Nearly all our business in real estate can be handled from your phone. ONE Sotheby’s International Realty has amazing technology and tools that can be handled and accessed from anywhere. The future of our company is our agents, and we will continue to act as higher-level coaches to ensure all their needs are met. 

Klock Corey: We are finding the agents are enjoying coming back to the office. We currently are running our second session of The Closer Club, which is an eight-week, in-office-only event where agents are learning from each other, learning from a network of over 1,000 agents grouped “live” in offices and getting an opportunity to interact with their peers for new inventory, buyer intel, motivation and what is selling. No one sells a home from an office. Helping the agents move from the COVID environment out to the market is important. While the conveniences of online interaction are great, our business is still face-to-face with the consumer and with each other.

Pappas: COVID allowed us to accelerate our virtual platform. e-signature contracts, 3-D marketing of the homes, email listing presentations and CMAs, social media library, CRM AI interacting with our clients, online training. However, tech will never replace personal touch and interaction. With the market adjusting — we are having more in person events to strengthen our sales force. 

Schwartz: We are fully operational. Compass has the best-in-class tech — we are fortunate to be here. Tech helps our clients find the property they are looking for.

Will agents be more important to your business in 2023?

Defortuna: Coming from a broker background myself, I know that agents are the most important part of the equation from both the sales and design aspects. Growing up on the agent side, it is clear to me they understand the market inside and out as well as the demands of the consumer. We need to listen to the brokers to fully comprehend the needs of the customer and market the project accordingly. The importance of agent presence cannot be overstated. 

Wilson: I have a great respect for real estate agents and value long-standing relationships in the community. Our local agents continue to be highly valued for trusting us and our residential offerings. We are expanding our network of agents in 2023 to place emphasis on national and international markets migrating to Southwest Florida. Broadening this audience will deepen knowledge on the value proposition the region delivers to buyers and our destination properties underway, The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Estero Bay and Saltleaf. If I can say one thing to agents, it would be, “Thank you for your role.”

Do you expect the damage from Hurricane Ian to have any lasting effect on the South Florida Gulf Coast housing market into 2023? Why or why not? 

Mesa: Net migration to Southwest Florida will slow but not stop. Southwest Florida has ranked as one of the top destinations for net migration in the U.S. with over 20,000 residents moving into the region in the last four years. Just as Hurricane Andrew in Miami fueled growth for Broward County and the western suburbs of Miami, I expect to see strong demands for homes in Southwest Florida over the next decade.

Pappas: There will be a real estate boom in the Southwest Florida market due to Hurricane Ian. Many individuals will sell rather than rebuild. After rebuilding, the Southwest Florida market will be more vibrant and attractive in the long run. 

Klock Corey: Big, impactful hurricanes always do. The effect is multi-faceted. Hurricane Andrew, for example, that hit Southeast Florida was devastating. As a community, we were remarkably resilient. Building code changes were made and our homes are safer as a result. Landscaping is more native and therefore reacts better to storms, such as how palm trees bend. More homes have been renovated adding impact windows and stronger roofing systems. The end-result is all areas in Florida are learning how to effectively live with Mother Nature and how to handle wind, rising water and the other major storm impacts.

Weather events in various forms exist all over the country and we all have to adapt. Buildings are made to handle earthquakes. Properties are built with protection from tornadoes. Major snowstorms happen every year and we have learned how to protect ourselves and our properties. Everything changes after a major weather event. The good news is that Florida is a remarkably resilient, adaptive state and we change and learn from everything that happens, good or bad, in our state.

Which South Florida neighborhoods or towns are on the rise and have the brightest housing outlook in 2023? 

Parker: I love Coconut Grove, Edgewater, the Miami Beach revival are all super-hot. West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale are also continuing to become their best selves. In essence, with demand as stable as it is and available inventory still at historical lows, it’s hard to find any part of the south whether the east or the west coast that doesn’t show promise for the future of Florida.

Johnston: Prime areas are always going to be in demand. Miami Beach, Bal Harbour, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Sunny Isles and Aventura are the locations at the top of many buyers’ wish lists. However, the neighborhoods adjacent to those areas have seen an uptick and will continue to gain interest. 

Pappas: There is a northern shift from Miami to Port St. Lucie driven by more affordability. The international market will return to strengthen the Miami market. All second- and third-tier markets will see a lift as individuals will be looking for more bang for their buck. 

Kaufman: Downtown Miami still has not reached its peak growth, Fort Lauderdale is still in its infancy and Delray is growing like wildfire. Everywhere you look there is a new project popping up.  

Klock Corey: Walkability seems to be a major factor. As more people are adding fitness equipment into their homes and people relocate from other states through our enormous migration that occurred during the pandemic from around the U.S., they really appreciate our year-round active lifestyle. Being close to shopping, restaurants and entertainment fits in with the dream of living in our tropical paradise. Waterfront property will always be in-demand. Any properties with a fabulous view, whether it is a single-family home near the water, a golf course or a condo with a spectacular city or water view, will always be in demand. Everywhere else is, quite frankly, a short distance to all that so the attractiveness of our area is pretty comprehensive, meaning just to get to live here is a privilege, in all areas.

Schwartz: Bay Harbor Islands in Miami Beach. Bay Heights in Coconut Grove.

Do you expect to continue to see more international buyers returning to the Miami housing market now that most COVID-related limits on travel have ended? 

Mesa: As international travel becomes more normalized, I do expect to see more international buyers returning to Florida (not just Miami), as there is still great desire and demand from international buyers to acquire real estate in Florida in addition to Miami, places like Orlando, Sarasota, Tampa, Palm Beach and Broward County.

Pappas: During COVID we lost the international market, but the Northeast, Chicago and California buyers supplemented that loss. We will see a slowdown of the U.S. buyers and an increase in the international buyers. 

Kaufman: It’s already starting to happen. International buyers are going to be driven back to South Florida as currency fluctuates, political climates change and the lifestyle incentives remain attractive. Now that restrictions are lifted, people are finally returning to their second homes. We are seeing a lot more South American and Canadian buyers coming down and that should continue, especially going into colder months.

Klock Corey: Yes. While there were some areas, like Mexico, Peru and some South American countries that were somewhat steady during the pandemic, there is a huge number of international buyers that need to know that the COVID protocol in their countries is stable. Canada would be one and the European countries are another. The factors that attract buyers to our country have not changed, which is the economic and political stability of homeownership, so as the countries have sustained protocol, we certainly see that there should be a surge in the international interest in Florida, especially South Florida. We have been and always will be the most interesting “gateway” to the world.

Parker: The maturation of the Florida market from every perspective, combined with its organic appeal globally is sure to result in an influx of international buyers.  

Schwartz: Yes. The international buyer has always been a hallmark of the Miami real estate market. Right now, the Miami market is incredibly strong thanks to the local buyer. When you have both a strong international and strong local buyer shows how resilient the Miami real estate market will continue to be.

Johnston: I do expect the market to see a rise in interest from global buyers, but it truly depends on the economic and political situations in certain countries. That being said, Miami has always been — and will continue to be — a key destination for international clientele. It’s their opportunity to own a piece of paradise.

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