Archive for October, 2011

Home Construction on the Slow Road to Recovery

posted on October 24th, 2011 filed under: Real Estate Market Data

It told you there was a boom, it warned you of the bust, and now it’s telling you that this is one slooooow recovery.

Housing Starts -- Chart -- Jan 1990 to Sept 2011

The little uptick in the data for September 2011 is as much dark cloud as silver lining.  All of the gain came from construction of multifamily (5 or more units) buildings.  Nevertheless, the data set overall appears to show a durable bottom in place.

Another positive note is that the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (commonly known as the homebuilder sentiment index) jumped to 18 from 14.  Like housing starts data, HMI told you there was a boom and warned you of the bust.  A reading of 18 is still quite negative (below 50 is considered pessimistic), but it’s a significant step back from the edge.  The low back in spring 2009 was in the single digits.

Slowly better is better than worse.

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Miami Has Seasons Too

posted on October 23rd, 2011 filed under: Miami and Coral Gables Living

The seasons are subtler variations in Miami than up north, but they are real.  Seems like someone flipped a switch and officially ended summer on October 15.  In the first 15 days of October, there were only 2 days below 85 F.  Since the 15th, we haven’t seen that mark again.  Nighttime lows in the cool 60s underlined the point.  But after two rainy weekends, the sunny skies and tepid temps were like a blank canvas for the art of outdoor fun.

All of which set the mood for events that seemed in tune with the approach of winter — otherwise known as high season — when snowbirds migrate just to remain in shirt sleeves and only the vacationers think of wearing a bathing suit at the beach.  Miami and Coral Gables assume an air of sporty sophistication rather than summer sultriness.

The weekend’s opening of the Coral Gables Museum was celebrated by those who helped make it possible.  And the Wynwood art fair celebrated those who make just about anything.

Miami Real Estate Photos -- Wynwood Art Fair 2011 -- Pic 1

Attendees were encouraged to make their mark.

Miami Real Estate Photos -- Wynwood Art Fair 2011 -- Pic 2

Other harbingers of winter include the DWNTWN Miami concert series, which kicked off October 14.

Miami Real Estate Photos -- DWNTWN Concert Series -- 2011 to 2012

Dates for the rest of the DWNTWN series: November 11, December 9, January 13, February 10 and April 13.  Performers TBA.

High season and high culture are synonomous, and the events become increasingly haute as the temperature becomes increasingly bas.  Miami Beach brings another installment of Sleepless Night on November 5, followed by Art Basel on December 1-4.  If you haven’t got your day cravats out of storage by then, you’ll never amount to anything.

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Almost Back to Normal Months’ Supply of Homes for Sale in Coral Gables

posted on October 16th, 2011 filed under: Financial Responsibility, Real Estate Market Data

The vast oversupply of homes for sale in Coral Gables has almost been worked off, even in the luxury segment of the market.  340 homes are currently for sale, and 40 sold last month, which works out to 8.5 months of supply.  This is a fundamental barometer for the real estate market.  Six to eight months’ supply is generally regarded as indicating a roughly equal balance of power between buyers and sellers.

Months Supply of Homes for Sale -- Coral Gables Real Estate -- Oct 2011 (Table)

Sales of luxury homes in Coral Gables continue to shows signs of life.  It’s normal for higher-priced homes to sell more slowly, but for a while, they were hardly selling at all.

Months Supply of Homes for Sale -- Coral Gables -- Oct 2011 (Chart, Graph)

Real estate in Miami and Coral Gables remains vulnerable to further price declines on several measures: historical valuations, the price-to-income ratio, and the cost of owning versus renting.  But those measures are decreasingly troublesome, and combined with the normalization of the months’ supply measure, suggest dissipating risk for buyers.

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Friday Fountain Photo

posted on October 8th, 2011 filed under: Fountains

Fountain at pool deck of Jade condo, 1331 Brickell Bay Drive, Miami, Florida.

Miami Real Estate Photos -- Fountain at Jade Condo Pool Deck -- 1331 Brickell Bay Dr

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