The status of the Miami Beach real estate market is somewhat convoluted and confusing thanks to a number of complicating factors making it difficult to determine the actual direction of the Miami Beach real estate market. The majority of experts seem to believe that the entirety of South Florida as well as Miami Beach in particular is ready to stage some sort of recovery or stabilization because the market seems to have bottomed out. The difficulty, however, begins when one examines the figures used to mark a so-called recovery more closely. There are a number of ways that these statistics, such as time spent on market and rate of foreclosure, can be manipulated, thereby skewing any contingent conclusions.
A July 23, 2009 article in the Miami Herald found that properties in South Florida have been selling at a much higher rate than usual, theoretically heralding a recovery of some sort. Unfortunately, this also seems to indicate a problem with Miami Beach real estate, namely that the home sale price for an average house has been dropping considerably. The article, written by Monica Hatcher, found that “Sales of existing single-family homes rose again in Miami-Dade and Broward counties in June, while values continued to sink into pre-boom price territory. Single-family home sales were up by 54 percent in Miami-Dade and 35 percent in Broward, compared to June of last year.” It continued to point out that the Florida Association of Realtors reported a 28 percent drop from last year.
According to a July 17, 2009 article in the Miami Herald, “New foreclosure filings in South Florida plunged 50 percent from May to June, but with unemployment still on the rise, the numbers could be more fluke than the hoped for green shoots of recovery.” Another article in the Miami Herald, published six days later on July 23rd, cast additional doubt on the prospect of a recovery, pointing out that banks could be artificially inflating home prices by controlling the rate of foreclosure sales. “South Florida home and condo prices appear to be bottoming out. Some say that banks are controlling the release of foreclosures - the lowest priced homes - to the market as a way to shore up prices.”