The Needle
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All in the Neighborhood

Neighborhood Butler Index

Coral Gables: Buy
Miami Beach: Shop
Coconut Grove: Sell
Brickell Downtown: Shop

Exploring a different way to analyze absorption, last month we introduced a “Butler Index” that looks at the ratio of new properties listed each month to the sum of those sold and put under contract in the same time period. October’s issue of The Needle took a macro perspective and examined how this index speaks to the real estate market’s overall health. But what’s your neighbor selling for? Everyone wants to know. A big-picture look at the market is the starting point; within the larger understanding of context, neighborhoods matter. It’s why this month we’re going micro and taking a deep dive into several Miami-Dade neighborhoods.

With an average of 125 new listings coming onto the market each month, Coral Gables is a stable market. In June 2009, the Gables’ Index reached a high of 4.17. More new listings coming to market than pending or closed sales led to a sale of a mere 23 properties, more than 100 fewer than an average month. The Gables is a relatively flat market right now, with the ratio of listings going in and out of market each month hovering just above 1. Currently, the index is trending slightly below average, but it’s still up from 2013 when more inventory was selling than coming to market. If listing a Gables property is in your near future, you may want to consider doing it sooner than later. Buyers are buying.

Miami Beach is a large neighborhood, with an average of 508 new listings coming online each month. The Index peaked in November 2008, when sales dropped to 166, which is a third of the average sales rate. The current Index is above average. 1.54 times more new listings are coming onto the market than being absorbed in pendings and closed sales. The index is also up slightly over the average of 2016. There is still plenty of inventory from which to choose, so buyers have the leisure of shopping around.

In comparison, Coconut Grove is a smaller neighborhood market. And though it be but little, it is fierce; as the Index shows in the above graphic, the Grove is bustling. Its Index has been below 1 since 2011, showing a better absorption than most of the other markets and currently well below its neighborhood average. More homes in the Grove are consistently selling each month than those that have been added to the market. If you’ve been thinking of listing a home in the Grove, our advice is to sell.

The Brickell Downtown market has been punctuated by the arrival of a slough of new inventory. Starting in 2002, an average of 2,000 new condos have been delivered each year. Consequently, there are still some absorption issues. The Index is currently trending well above average, but it is down 10% from 2016. The discrepancy between new inventory and pending or closed sales mean buyers have the freedom to shop around and take their time. If you’re considering listing a condo in this market, competitive pricing is key.

Whether the advice is to sell, shop, or buy, putting a property in neighborhood context is the first step in determining the best price to come to market. Learn about big and small renovations that further differentiate a listing in our Level Up story on the next page. And while understanding what neighbors are up to is part of the process, our Not Your Neighbor’s Place article weighs in on three ways your home won’t sell for the same price. Learn how fair market pricing and a comprehensive real estate process took a team on an unexpected journey in Fate Will Dictate. Finally, discover how a shared vision for a community led to a deep friendship between high-rise neighbors in Twelve Years of Sky.

Jared Klein