Big Unwind Begins in San Francisco, Miami, New York, Houston: Rents in “Primary Markets” Sunk by Apartment & Condo Glut

Friday, August 12, 2016
By Paul Martin

Soaring rents have hit the wall of reality.

by Wolf Richter
WolfStreet.com
August 11, 2016

This is how it is happening in Miami: A heroic building boom in Greater Downtown has created a phenomenal condo glut just when federal regulators decided earlier this year to track down money laundering in the real estate sector. It coincided with Brazil and Venezuela – Miami’s largest feeder markets – falling into political turmoil and economic chaos respectively. The “strong” dollar doesn’t help. And buyers from abroad have become scarce.

No one was prepared for this. The slowdown started a year ago when the resale inventory began to balloon. According to a new report by Integra Realty Resources for the Miami Downtown Development Authority, in May listings soared 58% from two years ago, to about 3,000 units, while monthly sales plunged 43%.

And new supply keeps on coming: In the second quarter, nearly 7,500 condos were under construction, with another 1,550 being marketed for sale.

So resale prices for condos built after 2001 have fallen for the first time in five years, down 4% over the first six months of the year, according to the report. Older buildings experienced steeper haircuts.

Many of these condos were bought by investors who’re trying to rent them out, thus pushing them into the rental market.

Alas, an additional 5,500 rental units are under construction in Greater Downtown. To top it off, with condos in trouble, larger projects are now switching to a “rental format” that will add even more supply to the rental market. Now everyone is praying for a throng of buy-phobic Millennials with big paychecks to come along and rent these units.

The impact of this glut ois already visible. After surging 10% a year ago, rents have “leveled off,” according to the report, still rising a smidgen for efficiencies and one-bedrooms, but stable or falling for other unit types. And this is just the beginning.

“The current direction of rents suggests that the rental market is going to favor the tenant for the balance of 2017,” the report said, while trying to keep an optimistic tone.

The Rest…HERE

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