real estate spike less evident as sales maintain solid levels
may still be king in the residential real estate market, say brokers,
but its clout may be diminishing as buyers begin bucking traditional
roller coaster effect that saw a spike in real estate sales during
the summer followed by a quiet autumn is slowly being replaced by
more consistent, year-round sales.
residential sales peaked in the summer as parents scurried to purchase
and move to new homes before the start of the school year. Once school
doors opened in September, sales dropped.
summer still remains the strongest sales period, the normally slower
months are beginning to gain ground.
is much less important in residential sales than it used to be,"
said Pat Dahne, regional president for Arvida Realty Services.
more of a flattening," said John Doherty, president of Keyes
Home Partners Mortgage and Title Co. "There's not so much of
the peaks and valleys."
Pappas, president of Keyes Co. Realtors, said sales were down slightly
in June and July but September activity was 15% above last year.
and September have come back with a vengeance," he said.
say the trend may reflect a change in today's home buyer. Once seen
as the traditional family with young children, today's buyers in South
Florida cross a wide spectrum of cultures and demographics, resulting
in less conformity to past real estate sales cycles.
Dahne said as Internet-related companies relocate to Miami, they're
bringing young professionals without families to the home buying market.
These buyers, she said, aren't affected by the school season.
it was probably school-related," Mr. Pappas said of the traditional
peak in summer sales. However, today, "South Florida has a lot
of single, first-time homebuyers."
influx of South American buyers may also be affecting the trend, since
the seasonal sales cycle might be less important to them, according
to Ms. Dahne.
Doherty said families with deep roots in the community may also be
a contributing factor. As second and third generations grow to maturity,
he said, they're often buying homes in the same community. As a result,
the school calendar isn't influencing their decision to buy.
baby-boomers with grown families and money to spend are also playing
a role. "A lot of people have kids in college they can
buy without dealing with the kid issue," Mr. Pappas said.
said many people are buying second, or vacation, homes. "The
whole beach market has seen tremendous appreciation," he said.
Pappas said he sees the overall economic prosperity as more important
to South Florida homes sales than any particular trend. The strong
stock market, combined with increased demand, is good news for the
South Florida real estate market.
not sure the trend is as important as the overall run," Mr. Pappas
said the mortgage interest rate is beginning to drop after five rate
hikes in the past year.
also said that Miami has again become a hot location after years of
negative publicity and the mass exodus that followed Hurricane Andrew
went into a tailspin after 1992 until 1996," he said. "Being
in a mature market, we're running out of land. But there's still demand."