Latest Thoughts And Observations

My latest observations on what I've encountered over the first quarter of 2019

About forty five days have passed since the beginning of what’s already shaping up to be a very adventurous real estate year. I only had to blink once or twice until I made the realization that we’re already at March’s grasp. Many events have changed since the last time I reported observations. This particular edition is important, partly because of how much I’ve experienced in the market over the past few months.

Here are my latest observations:

Foreign Buyers Remain A Strong Presence

Despite the recent articles in the press regarding the new wave of domestic buyers coming from out of state to benefit from Florida’s tax laws, the vast majority of buyers looking at my listings and buying them continue to be foreign rather than domestic. Case in point, four of my last six transactions since October 1st, 2018, were all condo sales and every single sale was sold to a buyer from a different country.

All five sales that involved a foreign buyer were cash transactions and two of them were sight unseen transactions. In addition, two of the buyers reached out to me directly and thus enabled me to represent both sides of the transaction. As always, being able to do this is certainly a lot more work to take care of but also a huge honor to serve as the only agent involved in the sale.

888 Biscayne Blvd #2103, located in Downtown Miami’s Marinablue development, was one of my latest listings that sold to a buyer from another country. Click here for a closer look at the unit

The Buyers For My Listings Are Coming From Farther Away

Over the past few years, I’ve become accustomed and have had the privilege to work with a wide variety of buyers, including local buyers, domestic buyers, and international buyers. On the international sector, the main source of buyers have often been the same top players described in most publications and have mostly come from places such as Latin America, Canada, and some European countries such as France and Italy to a certain extent within some of the neighborhoods I specialize in.

Last year was different.

Since last year, a lot of the buyers I’ve dealt with come from much more distant locations. Over the past 6 months, I’m dealing with individuals based out of places such as London, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Karachi, Istanbul, Helsinki, Manila, and Tehran.

A fundamental marketing standpoint I’ve focused on since this quarter began, in hopes of adding greater exposure to my listings, has been to:

  • Ensure that all listings on most major websites can be easily translated to more languages
  • Include my Whatsapp contact information on international websites as a portal to speak directly with prospects.
  • Include the listings on major international websites such as Youku (China), Walla (Israel), Weibo (China), Baidu (China), and Yahoo Taiwan.
  • Wake up earlier to make myself available to potential customers living abroad inquiring about a property

The Phone Continues To Ring, But The Listings Are Still Taking Longer To Sell

Despite the movement I’m seeing across most of my listings, the oversupply of inventory still looms, particularly in South Beach and Downtown Miami, two of my major areas of work. One perfect example at this time is the current absorption in Brickell. Based on the chart below, approximately 36 months of inventory (2531 active listings vs 69 sales) loom in Brickell’s three zip codes.

For a lot of sellers at this time, the oversupply has led to:

  • longer days on the market
  • A need for more competitive pricing
  • much more proactive marketing on my side of the picture.

Nevertheless, The Phone Is Ringing And The Listings Are Selling (When Priced Right)

Many of my listings throughout both sides of bridge are often averaging up to 3-5 showings on a weekly basis, sometimes more. As always, I’m also still doing all of my showings, just because I still think it’s important.

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