The ability to work from anywhere, low mortgage rates, and tight inventory levels fueled the Pandemic Housing Boom—investors were in a frenzy and demand surged.
Fast-forward and that boom has turned into a correction as the Federal Reserve aggressively raised interest rates over the last year. Mortgage rates spiked, demand fell, prices slumped, and several boomtowns like Phoenix and Las Vegas saw an investor exodus—all of which has triggered a dramatic correction in their housing markets.
However, Miami continues to be a market that’s proving to be an exception to the recent twists and turns of the housing market. According to the Zillow Home Value Index, Miami home values in January remain at their all-time high. Meanwhile, major markets like San Francisco (down 9.2% from its 2022 peak), Boise (-8%), Austin (-7.9%), Boston (-2.6%), and Atlanta (-1.9%) have all fallen a bit from their all-time highs.
So, is the home price correction simply delayed in Miami? Or is Miami set to miss it entirely?
In a recent paper put forward by Goldman Sachs, researchers say we should expect double-digit 2023 home price declines in major markets like Austin and San Francisco while home prices rise 0.8% in Miami. They also expect Miami to post another positive 2.8% home price uptick in 2024.
Simply put: Goldman Sachs expects Miami to avoid a home price correction.
As of last month, Miami’s median home sale price was $510,000, according to Redfin—that’s an increase of 8.5% from the previous year.
Miami’s real estate resilience began with the pandemic as it created an enormous demand within the region’s housing market. Companies, their employees, and people in general were flocking to Miami, and several reasons are behind that intense migration: people looking to escape drastic COVID policies; the city's enticing weather and culture; and it being considered “investor-friendly.”
“Over the last couple of years, everybody left and moved to Miami,” broker and owner of his own real estate firm, Howard Chase, told Fortune. “Because of that we had an enormous increase in demand, and the supply couldn't keep up. As a result, we had enormous increases in prices.”
Chase called it a “paradigm shift” in Miami’s housing market—although it has tapered off and leveled out given the current economic climate and the lifting of some pandemic protocols.
“Since then, obviously, our market has cooled off a bit, but we have a unique market demand; we’re not like the rest of the country,” Chase said. “And the reason is, we have buyers from so many corners of the world buying in Miami, so we’re a bit impervious to interest rate hikes.”
Those foreign buyers, Chase said, are mostly cash buyers who don’t have interest in financing. Chase gave the example of Argentina, which has higher taxes and extremely high inflation, so clients will use Miami as a sort of safe haven for their money. That's one reason Miami continues to attract a large pool of buyers from South and Central America.
But of course there’s more to it.
For one, major companies—like Citadel—are moving to Florida to save on taxes and reduce costs for their employees. Therefore even if mortgage rates rise, people are still saving money by moving to Miami, says Dolly Lenz, founder of Dolly Lenz Real Estate.
Higher interest rates affect everyone, Lenz said, because people are having to budget twice as much. But if you’re an American relocating to Miami, chances are you’re relocating from somewhere more expensive. For example, for buyers moving from Manhattan to Miami, the run-up in Miami home value is less daunting.
Ines Hegedus-Garcia, Avanti Way Realty’s executive vice president and the 2023 chairman of the Miami Association of Realtors, emphasized that Miami’s real estate market has remained resilient largely due to its cash-driven purchases, coupled with its lower taxes, its cultural offerings, and the warm climate.
Simply put, buyer demand has remained steady in Miami, while it has proven transitory in so-called Zoom towns like Boise.
Learn how to navigate and strengthen trust in your business with The Trust Factor, a weekly newsletter examining what leaders need to succeed. Sign up here.