The Fort Lauderdale area experienced a small surge of condo development in recent years, nothing like Miami, but certainly enough new construction to provide condo buyers with some excellent purchase options. Most of these luxury projects are on the ocean or Intracoastal waterway and traditionally our largest groups of new condo buyers have been northeasterners, foreigners and empty nesters from our western suburbs. Developers broke ground on a variety of new condo projects several years ago in Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach, but the absorption of inventory has been slower from foreign investors causing developers to slow their spending and leaving excess inventory in the market. But that trend is beginning to change.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic started almost a year ago we have benefitted from additional domestic migration and our new condo projects have attracted buyers from all over the country. The northeast has always been a leading market for Florida migration, but new buyers are appearing from other parts of the United States, with more interest from California than ever before. Even before the pandemic South Florida was gaining national interest because of our weather and attractive tax structure. Now we face a looming shortage of new condo units with very few new projects pending in the near future. According to the South Florida Business Journal only 3.9% of recently completed units in coastal Miami/Dade and Broward counties remain unsold, and most of that inventory is expected to be sold by the end of the year.
We will likely see the larger developers announce new projects in the coming year, but with land and construction costs so high right now we can also expect much higher unit prices. Not only will buyers have to pay more for new construction, but they will have to secure their purchases with large down payments and wait for construction to be completed. The good news is that we still have available developer inventory to choose from as well as new resales from pre-construction investors who have been sitting on their units. If you are interested in purchasing a new condo at a fair price and don’t want to wait years to take possession then this is the market you’ve been waiting for.