Market report and the millenial buyer

Miami’s housing market continued to benefit from rising home prices in the second quarter of 2014, according to a joint report from the Miami Association of Realtors and the local MLS.

From May to July, home prices in the city benefited from strong demand, pushing the area’s median sales price for homes up nearly nine percent year over year to $245,000. The median sales price for condominiums similarly rose 5.6 percent year over year to $190,000. Those increases represent 10 consecutive quarters of growth.

The joint report goes on to further dissect the city’s housing market, revealing that tear-over-year, the average sales price for single-family homes rose 3.5 percent and average condominium sales price increased 6.7 percent.

Sales of single-family homes increased 4.9 percent to 3,650, while condo sales decreased 5.2 percent to 8,214 year-overyear.

Realtors attending the Florida Realtors Conference & Trade Expo in Orlando earlier this month sat in on a “Hear It Direct” panel of five millennials who either just bought a home or were in the process. They were charged with talking honestly about what they did and did not like about the buying process and working with a Realtor.

While the five millennials don’t necessarily represent the entire range of buyers in their age group, they offered a few insights into millennial behavior.

Their first step; once they made a decision to start looking for a home, a few millennials started the process by typing, “How do I buy a house?” into Google.

Zillow — While most millennials used and liked Zillow, they also didn’t trust it. They found the how-to articles useful and they considered Zillow’s statistics a good overview of a neighborhood, but they found the actual home values often wrong and the for-sale listings untrustworthy. “I’m not looking to buy a house on Zillow, I’m looking at general neighborhood characteristics.” And, “Zillow for comparison shopping and good photos, but My Florida (regional) MLS for actual listings.”

Online testimonials — A few never read testimonials and those that did take them with a grain of salt.

Agent problems — A few millennials had bad experiences with a first agent. “We look kind of young and I’m not sure our first agent took us seriously.” And, “The listing agent didn’t care for us at all, so we worked with her for only a little bit.” And, “We were very prepared and I’m not sure she recognized that.”

Agent selection — Millennials said they tend to select an agent the same way older generations do; most got a referral from family or friends, or they asked someone they already knew, such as another member of a social group.

Communication — Phone calls, emails and texts are all okay. They expect a fairly quick response, though the response could be as simple as an acknowledgment that the message has been received. “For me, email and voicemail is more professional, so I expect a response within maybe 24 hours.” And, “For a professional question, I expect email.” However, one millennial offered a warning about voice messages. “If you call and leave a message expecting me to return it, you’ve just assigned me a chore. Send email. I plan time to answer email.”

Social networking — All five millennials agreed that they wouldn’t select an agent through Facebook. And all agreed that they wouldn’t “friend” an agent on Facebook after the deal closes, mainly because they see Facebook as a social connection and real estate sales as a professional connection.

Online ads — They generally agreed that they don’t read ads on Facebook, with one noting that they tend to ignore all ads anywhere because they’ve been so inundated with them.

There are many scheduled closings coming up in Pinecrest. I’ll have them posted in my next column.

June Savage is a Realtor associate in the Coral Gables office of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, 1430 S. Dixie Hwy. She may be contacted via email at or by calling 786-202- 3211.

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