Miami’s Rental Market Is In Decline, About To Be Flooded. What Does This Mean For You?
The rental market in the Downtown Miami area is in for a jolt, according to an inventory report from the Downtown Development Authority. Many people expected that rental prices would begin to decline in 2017 as the new luxury condo buildings begin to open. As of the third quarter of 2016, the prices were already beginning to decline after buildings such as The Bond at Brickell and SLS Brickell began to open, flooding the market with new options for prospective tenants.
What many people did not see was the influx of new rental buildings that are going to start being delivered in 2017. A few have already come to market, but 2017 promises a whole new array of choices for tenants. Landlords are fervently trying to keep their tenants if leases are coming up for renewal, but many of the options are too good to pass up. In 2016, we saw 3,748 new condo units come to the market and 1,038 additional units in rental-only buildings. 2017 will flip that number, with 2,774 new condo options and 3,575 new units in rental-only buildings.
What to do if you are a tenant?
Don’t be greedy. While the market is in decline, the condos are not going to rent for fire-sale prices. Yes, you may have more leeway in negotiation than once before with condo units, rental-only buildings typically do not negotiate their prices. Rather, they are pre-set at the beginning of each day based upon an algorithm in their computer software.
A quick move-in is worth a lot. If you can offer to move-in as quickly as possible, you will have more negotiation power than if you are shopping several months in advance. I always say that the sweet spot between the contract date and the move-in date is 3 weeks. That gives everyone enough time to get their paperwork together and applications completed. Building applications commonly take 2 full weeks in condo developments. Rental-only developments are commonly quicker, so are a good option if you get in a pinch and need to move even more quickly.
Have ONE agent to represent you. Make sure that person is someone who is well-informed about the market and what is available. That will prevent you from drowning yourself in options and becoming frustrated. Be open with your agent about what features you like and what features you are disinterested in. Let your agent take you to rental developments as well. Many times, we know ahead of time what the availability and rough price ranges are at the rental developments.
What to do if you are a landlord?
If you currently have a good tenant, entice them to stay and treat them well.
Don’t panic, but understand the monetary value of each month of vacancy. Price your available rental on the market as quickly as possible and with a firm that will give you the most exposure.
When reviewing offers, consider reductions based upon the risk of a full month of vacancy rather than holding onto the idea that your condo will earn as much this year as it did in years past. It won’t. If you have a unit that was previously earning $3,000/month and you receive a quick-move in offer for $2,750/month, it would be a good business decision to accept. Otherwise, you could be stuck accepting far less in contract value on top of the $3,000 expense of having the unit vacant for a month.
Negotiate with people who lowball. Run your numbers and decide what is the lowest price you can accept based upon available options for the tenant and the amount of vacancy that you are already into. Not that you will always have to accept that lowest price, but you know how much room you really have for negotiation.
Remember that just like market storms that we have weathered in the past, this one will blow over. The condos will still be beautiful and in-demand afterward. If you need to sell, then sell. Otherwise just be patient until the inventory is absorbed.