Supply of Townhomes in Fort Lauderdale

Townhouse in Fort Lauderdale

First time home buyers are quickly becoming priced out of Southeast Fort Lauderdale.  Let me illustrate the point with some data.  At the time of this posting there were 186 townhomes listed on the MLS in an area that uses 595 as the southern border, Commercial Boulevard as the northern border, and 95 as the western edge.  Those 186 listings break out into pricing brackets as follows:

  • $1 million and over = 19 units actively listed for sale
  • $750,000 to $999,000 = 17 units actively listed for sale
  • $500,000 to $749,000 = 58 units actively listed for sale
  • $300,000 to $499,000 = 57 units actively listed for sale
  • Below $299,000 = 35 units actively listed for sale

This post is going to turn into a call to my builders and developers. I fully understand that the way to turn a large profit is to build on the higher end. That being said, those sales are slowing. There's an enormous void that can be filled with moderately priced townhomes. Further, they sell overnight.  If I graph out the same area that I used to get the active sales data, then switch to closed sales of townhomes since January 1, 2014 I come out with 70 sales. Those sales by price bracket look like:

  • $1 million and over = 7
  • $750,000 to $999,000 = 3
  • $500,000 to $749,000 = 10
  • $300,000 to $499,000 = 30
  • Below $299,000 = 20

Here's where the purchase math makes sense for those currently renting in Downtown Fort Lauderdale.  Let's say you wanted to rent a two or three bedroom in Nu River, Waverly, Symphony, or one of the new rental complex's going up. Your rental payment is likely going to be anywhere from $2,300 a month to $3,500 a month. If you could move into a townhome that's double the size of your rental unit, pay almost the same amount, and own it, why wouldn't you? This is what's happening in Fort Lauderdale right now. People are realizing it makes more sense to look at a townhouse up to $5000,000 rather than pay to rent in the nicer complex's of Downtown Fort Lauderdale. Buyers beware, as rates rise your purchasing power will quickly diminish, this isn't a window that will be open forever.

Let me give a call to action to my builders and developers.  I'm not suggesting that you hunt down an enormous piece of land where you can build a 300 unit townhome complex.  However, there are some great pieces of land available close to the Downtown Fort Lauderdale core area (some with amazingly liberal zoning) that you can move on today.  If you're looking at a cost to build of $150 per square foot (I'm not suggesting a high end build here), and land at $75 psf or below, you've got a healthy profit margin waiting for you.  Another idea that's really popular and inexpensive to construct, loft spaces!  They sell quickly, generate a ton of interest, and are in almost non existent supply in Fort Lauderdale.

So let's tie this all together.  If you're currently renting in Downtown Fort Lauderdale and are spending $2300 a month or more, we need to talk.  It's very likely we can move you into a home, or townhouse, and you'll pay less than you currently are for rent.  I need to stress, the math won't work this well forever.  If rates shoot up it will once again be cheaper to rent than to buy.  Take advantage of the opportunity now!  Developers, if you act while supply of lower priced townhouses is depressed, you won't have a large risk of unsold units.

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I work as a Realtor in Southeast Fort Lauderdale. If you’re interested in buying or selling a home, condominium, or townhouse (townhome) in: Rio Vista, Victoria Park, Downtown Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale Beach, Sailboat Bend, Tarpon River, Croissant Park, Collee Hammock, Wilton Manors, Poinsettia Heights, Coral Ridge, or Las Olas Isles, please feel free to contact me at (786)443-7203 or through my email caseyprindle@gmail.com. I am a Realtor that works on Saturdays in order to accommodate those with busy schedules.

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Written By Casey Prindle