Following two consecutive quarters of job growth declines, Miami payrolls grew at a 1.7 percent annualized rate in the fourth quarter of 2012. This brings full-year 2012 job growth in Miami to just 0.6 percent, well-below the U.S. average of 1.7 percent for the year. The local unemployment rate declined significantly in the fourth quarter, to 8.1 percent on average, but going forward is expected to decline more gradually. Following poor payroll growth in the second and third quarters of 2012, income growth in Miami was likewise sluggish in the third quarter.
Year-over-year home price declines in Miami slowed markedly into mid-year 2012, with Q2 home prices showing positive growth of 0.7 percent year-over-year. Home prices further increased in the third quarter, at a pace of 1.2 percent year-over-year. Prices are expected to continue to firm over the course of 2013 helping to re-energize south Florida’s residential real estate market. Multifamily rental development remains a bright spot in the Miami economy. Multifamily starts rocketed up by 83 percent in 2012. Some of these rapid gains will be paid back in following quarters. The overall trend, however, is a positive one and bodes well for the Miami real estate market this year. Single-family starts are also improving, up 27 percent in 2012.
Tourism and trade are also top performers for the Miami economy. Tourism-related tax revenues are up, and passenger and cargo traffic at Miami International Airport (MIA) set annual records in 2012. According to the Federal Reserve’s most recent Beige Book, the Atlanta District (which includes Miami) noted strong business and international tourist traffic, however, a deepening Euro-zone recession is unwelcomed news.
Click here for the complete Miami MSA Regional Economic Update: Miami 2013Q1.