Haute Residence member Paola Marulanda is a South Florida real estate expert, the founder, and CEO of Luxury Home Connect, and one of Miami’s top realtors. Using her expertise, passion for real estate, and commitment to outstanding service, she has successfully brokered transactions for a wide array of prominent clients and made record-breaking eight-figure sales. Recently, she talked with Haute Living about the effects of Covid, current market trends, and the secrets to her success.
Haute Residence: How has the market changed since Covid?
Paola Marulanda: In early 2018, new laws came into effect that eliminated the individual state income tax in Florida, making Miami an increasingly attractive home base for America’s wealthiest. Shortly after this migration of affluence ensued, Covid-19 forced every individual and every business to reevaluate their priorities for the long haul. Suddenly, the appreciation for home space — especially horizontal space, versus vertical space in homes and condos — surged at an incredible rate. Although at first condos were at a standstill while the single-family home market experienced a frenzy, the seemingly endless oversupply of condo inventory was absorbed by those drawn to the climate, taxes, and lifestyle South Florida has to offer. Furthermore, affordability compared to other major metropolitan areas and record-low interest rates opened the floodgates. Now, with headquarters and satellite offices opening all over, it makes sense for people of every level of wealth, education, and business to move here.
HR: What are the current trends in your market?
PM: The current trend in Miami is the quintessential example of a supply and demand imbalance. The combination of record-high demand and a finite supply of inventory created the perfect storm for a surge in prices, making it a very strong seller’s market. Miami-Dade County’s total home sales increased 142 percent year-over-year while existing condo sales increased 240 percent. Median prices on single-family homes rose 32 percent, from $380,000 to $500,000, and median prices for condos rose 26 percent year-over-year, from $262,250 to $330,000. The monthly supply of inventory for single-family homes has decreased 54 percent. In September 2021 alone, the total dollar volume for single-family homes in Miami was approximately $1.2 billion, compared with $975 million in September 2020. Active inventory in the same period has fallen to 2,957 homes in September 2021 from 4,039 in September 2020. Adding to the velocity of sales transactions is the expectation of a rising interest rate environment on the heels of a 6.2 percent CPI print, a measure of inflation. Heading into 2021, the Federal Reserve forecasted a CPI figure of 1.8 percent. Why does this matter? Now that inflation is not seemingly transitory, the market is anticipating higher rates. This translates to a potential 16 percent higher cost of borrowing over the life of the mortgage next year as compared to this year.
HR: How do you continue to offer optimal service in the current climate?
PM: It is crucial for buyers to work with a local expert who can match their desires with the reality of the market. This requires tapping into local contacts to obtain off-market properties and educating buyers about the myriad geographical boundaries that now extend into new and upcoming neighborhoods outside of the more popularly known ones, such as Miami Beach and Coral Gables. Now we can talk about areas like Surfside, Pinecrest, and South Miami, which were overlooked and undervalued before. On the seller’s side, the recipe for success was once network, reach, and marketing. Today’s market conditions call for a more extensive set of criteria in order to keep sellers safe from fraudulent buyers and scams. Taking deals from start to close and optimizing deal terms is of the utmost importance. Backed by the most renowned and leading agency in the luxury real estate world, Sotheby’s International Realty, I can ensure that the most extensive and appropriate set of tools is employed to gain maximum exposure, while my own company, Luxury Homes Connect, offers an additional layer of legal support and negotiation expertise.
HR: What are some past successes, and how do you plan to continue to be successful?
PM: My latest successes involve record-breaking eight-figure sales in multiple neighborhoods, such as South of Fifth, Key Biscayne, Coral Gables, and Brickell. I am truly passionate about matching buyers with their dream home and sellers with their dream offer. I am currently closing on my own dream home, which serves as a testament to the strength and positive trajectory of the Miami real estate market!
Paola Marulanda is the exclusive agent representing the Key Biscayne/Miami Beach Islands real estate market as a member of the Haute Residence Real Estate Network. For more information, call 305-496-0359 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.