The Brickell Rental Market Under a Microscope
The rental market is a very interesting segment of the real estate market, not only for potential tenants on the prowl for a new pad but also current landlords and would-be investors trying to assess the demand for rentals across various neighborhoods and, more specifically, across various condo developments. Only a few years ago, the supply of rentals in Miami far outpaced demand. As a result, rental prices plunged and renters ruled the day. Fast forward to the present and an entirely different rental market is upon us in Miami. Nowadays, rental inventory is being absorbed quickly and overall rental prices are on the rise. For those living in Miami, I’m sure this a message that you have not only read in the local paper but have also heard directly from friends and family who have experienced it firsthand.
Obviously, not all neighborhoods and condo developments are created equal. Factors such as price, location, views, quality and recommendations from peers help determine rental demand. As a result, one would assume that demand can vary greatly from building to building and even neighborhood to neighborhood. Which condo developments are the leaders when it comes to rental demand and which are the laggards? More importantly, which buildings should we expect to see prices climb in the near future?
In this first segment, I decided to analyze the Brickell rental market to answer the above questions. Below, you will find a spreadsheet containing rental data for various condo developments in Brickell. Click the link below the spreadsheet to view it in its entirety.
Brickell Rental Market as of March 01, 2011
Columns C through G show the number of available rentals pertaining to each condo development grouped by number of bedrooms. Column I displays the total number of rentals available in each condo development while column J shows the total number of units within that development. I debated whether or not to include column K, the number of available rentals over the total number of units in the development expressed as a percentage, because the figure can be deceiving in buildings where developer inventory remains which has neither been sold nor rented. This is the case in buildings such as Icon Brickell and Infinity at Brickell. Regardless, I decided to include the figure because it can provide additional insight in buildings where this is not the case.
The main objective in creating this spreadsheet was to calculate months of inventory for each condo development. This can be seen in column M. Months of inventory was calculated by dividing total units available for rent by the monthly average number of units rented over a 3-month period from November 16, 2010 to February 15, 2011. You may be wondering why I did not include closed rental data from the past two weeks in determining the monthly average. I have noticed that it can take real estate agents days, and even weeks, to change the status of a rental in the MLS from pending to rented. As a result, I felt that the average would be skewed to the downside and not be an accurate representation of the Brickell rental market. Furthermore, if I had to venture a guess, I would also say that it is highly likely that around 10 percent of the total number of units available for rent are in fact no longer available. In this case, the listing agent has yet to change the status from available to pending.
Regardless, a lot can be ascertained from the spreadsheet above. In my opinion, any building with 1.5 months of inventory or less has a solid rental market. 1060 Brickell, The Plaza on Brickell and Vue at Brickell are standouts with absorption rates hovering around one month. I expect rentals prices in these developments to continue to rise in the near future. For those in the market to lease a condo in one of these developments, I advise that you act quickly and put your best foot forward when making an offer.
According to the spreadsheet, there is currently 2.29 months of rental inventory available in Brickell. Some may expect this number to increase as more units from Icon Brickell and Infinity at Brickell hit the rental market. Of course, this will all depend on how quickly the units become available and at what pace demand absorbs them. Only time will tell, but I plan to watch Brickell rental market closely and post updates on a monthly basis.
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.