Waterfront Single Family Market Watch – October 2023

Picture of Author: Rich Barnhart

Author: Rich Barnhart

Inventory Levels Are Back to Normal for Ocean Access Homes

This is an exciting time of year in the Fort Lauderdale area. The weather is starting to improve, the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show is upon us, and boaters are out shopping for single family homes with ocean access. The good news is that inventory is essentially at an equilibrium and median sales prices have leveled off. Deals are getting done across all price ranges. If you need a single family home where you can dock your boat, then you have plenty of options right now.

Northeast Broward County has the most plentiful supply of ocean access lots in all of South Florida. They don’t call this the Venice of America for nothing. The majority of our waterfront homes are located in Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach and Lighthouse Point.

Browse All Waterfront Single Family Homes

Fort Lauderdale Waterfront Homes

Northeast Broward County

We started the year with over 9 months supply of “ocean access” homes, which is the most inventory we have seen in years. However, demand has been strong throughout our busy season and we have returned to a normal 7.4 months of supply. An equilibrium in our market is 6 to 7 months, so the current market is not really favoring buyers or sellers.

The median sale price of waterfront homes over the past 6 months was $1,875,000. That is up a modest 2.75% over the same period last year. This is a another good indication that our market is returning to normal. The median list price of active homes has come down to $3,150,000, but is still quite high. Over two thirds of our available inventory is priced above the median sales price. This is still a “top-heavy” market with many overpriced homes. The good news is that homes are selling for 94% of list price on average, so there is definitely more room for negotiation.

Watefront single family homes in Fort Lauderdale
Northeast Broward County summary of the largest waterfront communities

The active inventory of waterfront homes in Northeast Broward County is still a bit overpriced. The good news is that homes are selling for 94% of list price, so there is room for negotiation.

Northeast Broward County Waterfront Market Watch Report

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale has the highest number of waterfront lots of any city in South Florida and it currently has the most available inventory with 8.6 months of supply. This is down from the 12.1 months of supply Fort Lauderdale had last January. Considering the higher percentage of luxury waterfront homes in Fort Lauderdale, this is effectively an equilibrium market.

The median sale price in Fort Lauderdale over the past 6 months was $2,433,000, down 6.4% from last year. This is definitely welcome news to many buyers in the market, but there are several things at play here. First of all median prices spiked 47% from 2021 to 2022, so a correction this year was inevitable. Also, more buyers are opting to purchase smaller, less expensive homes that need major renovations. In some cases buyers and developers are tearing down older homes to build brand new custom homes, so some of our sales are really “land value” sales. The bottom line is that Fort Lauderdale waterfront homes are not really getting cheaper, at least not yet.

Fort Lauderdale Waterfront Market Watch Report

Pompano Beach

Hillsboro Harbor Pompano Beach Waterfront Homes
Hillsboro Harbor in Pompano Beach is in a no-wake zone and very close to the Hillsboro Inlet

Pompano Beach is a much smaller waterfront market than Fort Lauderdale, but the excellent location and lower prices are very attractive to many buyers. There is currently only 5.7 months of supply, so the market is still slightly in favor of sellers. We expect inventory to hold steady in Pompano given that the price per square foot is 25% less than neighboring Fort Lauderdale.

The median sale price of single family waterfront homes in Pompano Beach is flat year-over-year at $1,300,000. Like Fort Lauderdale, Pompano had a huge price spike in 2022, so this correction was anticipated. With such low inventory we don’t expect prices to stay flat for long.

Pompano Beach Waterfront Market Watch Report

Lighthouse Point

Lighthouse Point Marina
The Lighthouse Point Marina has a fuel dock, bait shop and the Nauti-Dawg Cafe

After reaching over 8 months of supply in May of this year, Lighthouse Point now has the lowest inventory in the Fort Lauderdale area with only 5.4 months of supply. As a smaller market the inventory in Lighthouse Point tends to fluctuate more, but overall demand is very consistent.

The median sales price in Lighthouse Point was $2,300,000, which is very close to Fort Lauderdale’s median sales price. The main difference is the price per square foot in Lighthouse Point is less than Fort Lauderdale at $763 per foot. This is attractive for buyers with larger families or those who work from home who need more square footage. Also, many of the homes are very close to the Hillsboro Inlet which is important to sportsman who like quick and easy access to the ocean.

Lighthouse Point Waterfront Market Watch Report

Summary

The Fall in Fort Lauderdale is always a busy time for buyers looking to purchase ocean-access waterfront homes. The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show starts on October 25th. Our boating population swells as boaters from the northeast make their way south for the winter. Despite higher prices and higher interest rates, our waterfront market still provides good value compared to places like New York, Massachusetts and California. Median sale prices have leveled off, inventory is at an equilibrium and we expect demand to continue as prices resume normal levels of appreciation.

Buying and selling waterfront property can be tricky business these days. Please make sure you have a local waterfront specialist to assist you.

Blog Author:

Rich Barnhart

Rich is the broker and owner of By The Sea Realty and a frequent contributor to the company's real estate blog.
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