The Big Story

Where can home prices go from here?

Quick Take:

Note: You can find the charts/graphs for the Big Story at the end of this section.


Highs (price) and lows (inventory) in the housing market

Income is one of the largest predictors of home price growth, second only to available supply. Consumers have more money to spend, which in turn drives up prices. But the increases in income haven’t kept up with the rise in home prices, especially in the last two years. In 2020, home prices increased 10% according to the Case-Schiller 20-City Composite Index, while median income decreased by 3%.

The disconnect between income and home prices is happening for two reasons. First, the ability to take on debt means that income doesn’t necessarily need to increase at a 1:1 ratio with home prices. Second, the pandemic changed buyer preferences, increasing the demand for homes and dropping inventory to previously unseen lows. 

Because home price increases outpaced income growth, homebuyers needed to take on more debt to buy a home than they would have a few years ago. But due to the drop in interest rates, the monthly payment, even on a higher-priced home, becomes more affordable. For every 1% decrease in a 30-year mortgage rate, the price of the home can increase 13% without a change in monthly payment (and vice versa). For example, the monthly payment on a $500,000 mortgage at 4% is almost identical to the monthly payment for a $565,000 mortgage at 3%, a $65,000 difference. 

The pandemic also changed buyer preferences. Rather than spending roughly half of our time at home, which is the norm, we were faced with endless time in our living spaces. (You remember — you were there.) As of September 2021, the United States has 59% fewer homes on the market, and 53% of that happened in the last two years. We were happy to see more homes on the market in the second quarter of 2021 because the increased supply helped satiate the high buyer demand, but we are already seeing the seasonal shift to fewer homes coming to market. Inventory will likely remain super low in the coming fall and winter months. 

The market remains competitive for buyers, but conditions are making it an exceptional time for homeowners to sell. Low inventory means sellers will receive multiple offers with fewer concessions. With so many moving parts in real estate transactions, working with an experienced real estate agent is essential in smoothly navigating the entire buying and selling process.


Big Story Data

The Local Lowdown

The market is cooling but it’s still not a buyers’ market

Quick Take:

Note: You can find the charts/graphs for the Local Lowdown at the end of this section.


Home prices moved like stocks in 2021

The growth rates in 2021 are highly unusual and unsustainable in Florida; for example, home prices would more than double every five years at a 15% growth rate (every four years at 20%). After huge single-family home and condo price appreciation in the first half of the year, it made sense that the prices pulled back from July–October. Broward County condo prices were the one exception, returning to an all-time high in October. We expect the rapid appreciation to slow in the winter months — the seasonal norm.

More supply, no problem

Single-family home and condo inventory continued to decline in 2021, bringing inventory to historic lows. August and September are typically the months with the highest inventory every year. In 2021, total inventory didn’t come close to last year’s level and was even further away from pre-pandemic levels. Even though we’re seeing some price correction after the first half of the year, the sustained low inventory will lift prices. Sales have been incredibly high, again highlighting demand in the area.

Homes are selling fast — really fast

Homes are selling extremely fast in Florida. The Days on Market reflects the high demand for homes in the area. 

Months of Supply Inventory (MSI) quantifies the supply/demand relationship by measuring how many months it would take for all current homes for sale on the market to sell at the current rate of sales. The average MSI is four to five months in Florida, which indicates a balanced market. An MSI lower than that indicates that there are more buyers than sellers on the market (meaning it’s a sellers’ market), while a higher MSI indicates there are more sellers than buyers (meaning it’s a buyers’ market). Currently, single-family home and condo MSIs are historically low, indicating a sellers’ market, with the exception of the Miami-Dade condo market, which is more balanced.


Local Lowdown Data

Welcome to our October newsletter, where we’ll explore residential real estate trends in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Orange Counties in Florida, and across the nation. This month, we examine the state of the U.S. housing market now that much-needed supply has come to the market. We also explore why the worker shortage may not be as detrimental to the economy as was originally expected because of the renewed growth of entrepreneurship.  

With the increase in supply, we’ll probably see the beginning of some market cooling — but in the context of the hottest housing market in history. Housing inventory in the United States continued to rise in August, up 30% from the record low in April 2021. We’re happy to see more homes on the market because they will help satiate the high buyer demand. Although this increase in housing inventory is meaningful, there are still 74% fewer homes on the market than a year ago. The housing market will likely start to see some price corrections as it returns to a steadier state of growth. 

While we, at first, worried that the worker shortage could hurt the economy, it looks like the rise in entrepreneurship is helping to boost production and improve the economy. We often look at jobs to gauge the health of the economy: more employed workers usually means more production and more wealth, which, in turn, means appreciating asset prices. For many months, unemployment stood at around 10 million workers; however, we have started to meaningfully close the unemployment gap, and unemployment has been reduced to 8 million workers. As risks from the delta variant wane, we’ll likely see more unemployed workers reentering the workforce. 

Despite the high rate of unemployment and record number of job openings, U.S. production is climbing rapidly. In terms of GDP, which is the broadest measure of goods and services produced, our economic recovery could reach where we would likely be if the pandemic had never happened within the next year. It cannot be overstated how rare it would be to return to pre-recession GDP, but we might just get there. A potential factor in the rise of both production and job openings is the resurgence of entrepreneurship, which is often associated with higher production. 

We remain committed to providing you with the most current market information so you feel supported and informed in your buying and selling decisions. In order to better explore how the above national trends in the economy and housing market are affecting selected Florida counties, this month’s newsletter will cover the following:


Key Topics and Trends in October

In the long term, employment and GDP reveal much about the economic climate and typically trend with housing prices. GDP, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, gained 1.6% quarter-over-quarter in 2nd Quarter (2Q) 2021, which is about 1% higher than the long-term quarterly growth rate of 0.6%. To get back to pre-pandemic GDP levels, we need to continue to outpace the long-term growth rate. The substantial infusion of cash into the economy has boosted GDP, and we are on pace to fully recover. 

Another large government-sponsored infusion of cash into the economy is very unlikely to happen. We may, however, have another source of economic stimulus: the massive growth in entrepreneurship over the last 16 months. From 2004 to 2019, the United States averaged 2.8 million new business applications per year. In 2020, there were 4.36 million, and in 2021, there have been 3.68 million as of August. This means that over the past 20 months, the United States has seen 8 million new business applications.

The competitive nature of our economy incentivizes new business owners to produce, creating jobs and stimulating growth. While new businesses are not as stable as more mature companies, they are often more nimble than larger companies and can produce with fewer hurdles.


Single-Family Home Inventory

Inventory has declined steadily over the last two years. In 2021, more new listings have come to market, but these are quickly offset by the high number of sales. To fully understand the current inventory, we must look at it in the context of last year. In 2020, fewer people wanted to leave Florida and more people wanted to move to the area, increasing the population and driving inventory down to record low levels. New listings, therefore, improve the current market conditions. However, new inventory has not been able to meet demand, causing inventory to decline further. In September 2021, the selected counties had far fewer homes for sale than the year before. The sustained low inventory will likely cause prices to appreciate throughout 2021.

Condo Inventory

Condo inventory has been experiencing a gentler trend down over the last two years. We are seeing more condos come to market, which are immediately offset by sales. The demand is there, but not to the extent of single-family homes.


In summary, the high demand and low supply in the selected Florida counties have driven home prices up over the last year, but the huge price appreciation is slowing. Inventory will likely remain historically low this year with the sustained high demand in the area. Overall, the housing market has shown its value through the pandemic and remains one of the most valuable asset classes. The data show that housing has remained consistently strong throughout this period. 

We expect the number of new listings to slow in the coming months. However, the current market conditions can withstand a high number of new listings, and more sellers may choose to enter the market to capitalize on the high buyer demand. We expect the high demand to continue, and new houses on the market to sell quickly.

As always, we remain committed to helping our clients achieve their current and future real estate goals. Our team of experienced professionals are happy to discuss the information we’ve shared in this newsletter. We welcome you to contact us with any questions about the current market or to request an evaluation of your home or condo.

Top producer Lucas Boccheciampe partnered with Side to found a boutique luxury brand that champions the Miami dream.

What does luxury mean to you? Is it spending a quiet morning on your paddleboard, or the Ferrari you drove to the beach? The wind in your hair when you’re on the ocean with your family, or the size of your boat?

For top-producing Miami agent Lucas Boccheciampe, the answer is simple: Luxury is a lifestyle, not a price tag. The right house can provide you with the sumptuous joys that make life worth living — and that matters a lot more than how much it costs.

Boccheciampe was so committed to the idea of luxury as a lifestyle, he built his entire career around it.

“I have my pilot’s license, and I love the ability to fly any time I feel like it,” explains Boccheciampe. “That’s luxury to me. I may not be flying the latest Cessna, but it feels as if I were. That’s what I’m trying to promote in my real estate business: In spite of your means, you can still have an incredible experience.”

Building an authentic business

Instead of targeting high-cost homes for the sake of the commission, Boccheciampe concentrates on neighborhoods that deliver on the luxurious, outdoorsy way of life he loves. Specifically, he focuses on Key Biscayne: the lush, sun-soaked hamlet just south of Miami.

Key Biscayne has Boccheciampe’s heart: It’s where he lives, where his children go to school, where he spends weekends cycling and swimming and out on his boat. It’s not the biggest market, and prices range between a reasonable (for Miami) $2 million to $25 million, but it’s Boccheciampe’s primary focus because of how perfectly it aligns with his values. And to Boccheciampe, authenticity matters above all else. 

“I like to work with people who like island living, who like flying airplanes or playing sports,” says Boccheciampe. “People who understand that luxury doesn’t have to be a 135-foot-long yacht.”

The right partner supports your values, not just your growth

His strategy has worked: Since getting his start in 2014, Boccheciampe grew his Key Biscayne business to a referral-driven machine averaging $13-18 million per year in volume. But he soon realized that in order to hit new milestones, he would need more support — especially if he wanted to stay true to his vision. 

That’s when he decided to partner with Side: a tech-backed brokerage that works behind the scenes to empower top-producing agents to grow their market share. Together, Boccheciampe and Side designed and launched Vantage Luxury Real Estate, a boutique brand that exudes his unique style of “back-to-nature” opulence. “I put everything I am into this brand,” he says.

Armed with Side’s tech stack, marketing resources, and dedicated business management, Boccheciampe now gets to focus on putting systems in place for predictable growth.

“I’ve worked at different brokerages during my career,” says Boccheciampe. “At Side, I feel completely supported. Having all these experts focusing on your business is incredible.”

Now that he has the support he needs, Boccheciampe will be able to grow his business without having to expand his definition of luxury. In fact, he’s on track to double his volume in 2021 and is gearing up for a major marketing push. 

No matter how much growth he achieves, Boccheciampe’s core business philosophy will never change.

He doesn’t sell real estate — he sells a lifestyle. #thevantagelifestyle

Welcome to our September newsletter, where we’ll explore residential real estate trends in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Orange Counties in Florida, and across the nation. This month, we’ll examine the state of the U.S. housing market now that more supply has come to the market and explore the impact of iBuyers and fin-tech companies’ influences on the housing market. 

From 2012 through 2019, the seasonality of the housing market was incredibly stable. For seven years, we consistently saw fewer sales in the winter months and higher sales in the spring and summer months. In 2020, however, we saw a shift. The usual seasonality gave way to super-high demand that remained consistent throughout the year, even after the initial pandemic shock from April to June 2020 faded. Then, in winter 2020 and early spring 2021, inventory decreased to historically low levels. Now we’re far enough into summer to comfortably see pre-2020 seasonal trends return. 

Demand for homes has remained quite high, which increased the use of all-cash offers that often serve as differentiators for sellers who receive multiple offers. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that cash sales rose from 16% to 23% year-over-year in July. The increase in cash offers often pushes out first-time homebuyers who don’t have hundreds of thousands (or millions) of dollars on hand. At the same time, we are seeing fin-tech iBuyers (algorithmic instant cash buyers), which is still in its infancy, targeting first-time buyers as a means to stay competitive by making them all-cash buyers. This dynamic could drive demand even higher if fewer buyers are priced out of the market.

As we navigate this period of high buyer demand and low supply, we remain committed to providing you with the most current market information so you feel supported and informed in your buying and selling decisions. In this month’s newsletter, we cover the following:


Key Topics and Trends in September

Housing inventory started falling steadily in April 2020 in response to the pandemic, and the steady seasonal norms in supply vanished completely. As you can see from the chart below, we are starting to see a hint of seasonality return with the inventory increase over the summer months, albeit at a much lower level. As inventory crossed below the 600,000 level, sales began to slow; there simply weren’t enough homes to meet buyer demand, which created a hyper-competitive market for buyers. We are pleased to see inventory increase to alleviate some of the extreme demand.

The chart below, which illustrates sales over the last 12 months, reveals that sales often trend with inventory, but with a one-month lag. In other words, more sales are recorded when more inventory comes online during the previous month. For most of 2021, even though we were on pace to have a record number of home sales, the rate of sales was slowing. That deceleration, however, has reversed as more homes have come to the market.

The last year has taught us that uncertainty around the pandemic has positively correlated to home sales. People are spending more time at home, and the Federal Reserve is expected to keep mortgage rates low. As shown in the chart below, we’re currently hovering at historically low mortgage rates, which will likely remain for the rest of the year. Low-rate financing incentivizes buying, which has been one reason for the high demand over the last 18 months.

The housing market’s competitiveness has increased the number of all-cash purchases to the highest level we’ve seen in the last 10 years. In July 2021, NAR reported that 23% of home sales were cash purchases, which marks a 7% increase from 2020. The competitive nature of the current market has priced out many first-time homebuyers, but we could see that shift with the emergence of iBuyers, who can quickly purchase a home in cash. The speed with which buyers need to secure financing is often part of the problem for first-time buyers. iBuyers can offer the speed and financing necessary for a competitive offer. 

With such low supply and high demand for homes, we could see the market become even more competitive if fewer buyers are priced out of the market. Currently, a low percentage of sales involve iBuyers; however, if iBuyers become more common, supply could trend even lower than it already is.

While the market remains competitive for buyers, conditions are making it an exceptional time for homeowners to sell. Lower inventory means sellers will receive multiple offers with fewer concessions. Because sellers are often selling one home and buying another, it’s essential that sellers work with the right agent to ensure that the transition goes smoothly.


Single-Family Home Inventory

After a two-year decline in inventory, more new listings are coming to market, which is common for the summer season. To fully understand the current inventory, we must look at it in the context of last year. In 2020, fewer people wanted to leave Florida and more people wanted to move to the area, increasing the population and driving inventory down to record low levels. New listings, therefore, improve the current market conditions. However, new inventory has not been able to meet demand, causing inventory to decline further. In August 2021, the selected counties had far fewer homes for sale than the year before. The sustained low inventory will likely cause prices to appreciate throughout 2021.

Condo Inventory

Condo inventory has been experiencing a gentler trend down over the last two years. We are seeing more condos come to market, which are immediately offset by sales. The demand is there, but not to the extent of single-family homes.

Single-family homes spent less time on the market in August 2021 than they did last year. As we will see, the pace of sales has contributed to the low Months of Supply Inventory (MSI) over the past several months.


In summary, the high demand and low supply in the selected Florida counties have driven home prices up over the last year, but the huge price appreciation is slowing. Inventory will likely remain historically low this year with the sustained high demand in the area. Overall, the housing market has shown its value through the pandemic and remains one of the most valuable asset classes. The data show that housing has remained consistently strong throughout this period. 

We expect the number of new listings will continue to increase in the remaining summer months. The current market conditions, however, can withstand a high number of new listings, and more sellers may also enter the market to capitalize on the high buyer demand. As we navigate the summer season, we expect the high demand to continue, and new houses on the market to sell quickly.

As always, we remain committed to helping our clients achieve their current and future real estate goals. Our team of experienced professionals are happy to discuss the information we’ve shared in this newsletter. We welcome you to contact us with any questions about the current market or to request an evaluation of your home or condo.

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