South Beach Condos— A Surprising Performer through COVID-19

Housing Market

2020 was an incredibly challenging year for every player in the real estate space. Traditional open houses were put on pause indefinitely; uncertainty dissuaded home buyers from shopping and negatively affected home prices. While the media led us to believe that San Francisco would suffer long term, we observed several key metrics that suggest otherwise.

Vaccination rollout, stimulus measures, and a decrease in mortgage interest rates have encouraged buyers to flood the market and drive demand far above the already limited supply of homes.

Snapshot of South Beach

South Beach is known for its high-rise condominium buildings, views of the Bay Bridge, and commutability to most office buildings. That said, one would have assumed that condominium prices would have taken a hit as people began working from home and moving out to more residential areas. While there is a steady decline in comparable neighborhoods such as Mission Bay and Dogpatch, South Beach does not follow that trend. South Beach condominiums prices remained stable through COVID (with seasonal variances) and are on an upward trend into Q2 2021.

This is demonstrated in the median sale price per square foot (PPSF) graph below. PPSF is the preferred metric in evaluating price trends as it takes variables such as size, location, condition, views into consideration.

South Beach 2021

Buyers hoping to purchase a home in 2020 were primarily looking at single-family houses and condos with ample private outdoor space. However, the uncertainty around COVID kept many on the sidelines.

Most condos were overlooked, especially in densely populated areas such as South Beach. During lockdowns, residents were restricted from using any common amenities. This included gyms, parks, decks, and any other common spaces typically provided by HOA’s in a condo building. Residents were still paying the same HOA fees.

Condo prices in South Beach have historically been on the higher end. Buyers who already valued the neighborhood’s convenient location were able to purchase condos at a more reasonable price during COVID. However, as companies are beginning to open offices and encouraging employees to work in the office into 2021, South Beach prices are back on the rise, as shown in the chart below.

Inventory Affects Pricing

As San Francisco continues to move into less restrictive tiers and vaccination rollout is rapidly increasing, we expect to see an increase in demand and an increase in price per square foot. The caveat is that inventory (condos available for sale) will dictate valuation.

In the charts below, we are comparing PPSF and condos sold. We can see that PPSF has an inverse relationship with condos sold. This means that buyers have more options to choose from when there are more condos on the market. When there are fewer condos available, sellers are able to have more buyers compete for their properties.

Conclusion

We initially assumed that South Beach would be one of the hardest-hit neighborhoods by the pandemic. Larger condominium buildings tend to have higher HOA fees and when most common amenities were shut down, condos with high HOA fees became less desirable to buyers.

Newer construction condos command a price premium. During the pandemic, condo owners in South Beach did not discount their listings, and instead let them sit in the market for long periods. Now that the pandemic is wrapping up, their persistence will pay off as South Beach condos have started to sell quickly.

Who We Are

At Atlasa, our mission is to bring real estate fund level analysis and insights to individual home buyers and sellers and assist them in maximizing their wealth. We scrutinize the market to help our clients shape the right strategy, whether they are interested in buying or selling.

Please feel free to reach out to us at team@atlasa.com or deniz@atlasa.com so that we may share more insights with you.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Deniz Kahramaner

Deniz Kahramaner

Founder and CEO at Atlasa. Big Data Realtor. Email: deniz@atlasa.com Website: www.deniz.io LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/kahramaner/ Company: www.atlasa.com