Douglas Elliman Closes $4.7B in Florida in 2018 After a Sprinkle of SALT

March 21, 2019 by Michael Light

Categories: Market Trends, South Florida Real Estate

2018 Year in Review - Douglas Elliman Real Estate Florida


Douglas Elliman Florida saw a 30% increase in total sales volume from 2017 to 2018. In 2018, Douglas Elliman Florida closed $4.7 Billion in total sales volume, which is a huge jump from $3.6 Billion in sales in 2017. Why?

With only 7,000 agents nationwide, including only 1,200 in Florida, how does a private brokerage firm perform these kinds of numbers in South Florida? Well, our connection to our base in the Northeast has played a major role. And more specifically, the mass exodus of people from New York and Connecticut have been vital to the growth of South Florida’s luxury real estate market. As I reported last month, there was a record number of $1M+ sales last year and an even higher number of ultra-luxury sales above $10M+.

Unless you are living under a rock, you have heard about the federal tax overhaul that took place in 2017 wherein the new law limited the amount of state and local taxes (SALT) that taxpayers can write off to only $10,000. A report by Bloomberg showed that last year, there was more than $323 Billion in SALT tax bills that could not be deducted, mostly coming from states like New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. As a result, it is not a coincidence that Miami saw a record number of luxury and ultra-luxury sales. Buyers from high-tax states are fleeing to South Florida to realize millions in tax savings.

It would be impossible to access every sale that was closed by Douglas Elliman last year to look at the specific transactions that led to a $1.1 Billion jump in closed sales while some, especially news outlets, “report” on the downturn in the Miami market. Instead of looking at these sales, look at the confluence of the new SALT cap, low tax base that Florida offers and the fact that Douglas Elliman is the market leader in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. It is pretty easy to glean that Elliman Florida is the natural “partner” that Northeast buyers turn to when moving to South Florida.

If you are interested in purchasing real estate in South Florida or are simply interested in learning more about the overall market, please contact Broker Michael Light, Senior Director of Luxury Sales at Douglas Elliman. Michael is also a member of the elite Sports & Entertainment Division at Douglas Elliman and the Founder/Owner of You may reach Michael directly at (786) 566-1700 or


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