Miami leads the way in US real estate recovery

Pending sales increased by 18% in October compared to previous month

Demand for properties in Miami is intensifying with the latest figures showing that pending sales increased by 18% in October compared to the previous month.

The total number of listings, including single family homes and condominiums, that pended in Miami-Dade County during the month of October increased 67% year on year and 18% compared to the previous month, according to the data from the Miami Association of Realtors.

The figures also show that the number of single family and condominium listings that pended in October increased 85% and 55.7% respectively compared to October 2011.

Florida, and Miami in particular is very popular with overseas buyers who regard current prices as a once in a lifetime chance to buy property as a holiday home or as an investment.

‘The Miami real estate market is poised for another record year, that would surpass the all-time sales record set in 2011. Strong demand persists despite the shortage of housing inventory, and listings are increasingly selling at a more rapid pace, driving in significant price appreciation,’ said Martha Pomares, 2012 chairman of the board of the Miami Association of Realtors.

She added that current market performance presents opportunities for both buyers and sellers, as prices are rising but still remain affordable. While prices are increasing, Miami remains more affordable than most US markets when comparing monthly mortgage payments to income.

‘Since we have experienced double digit appreciation for nearly a year, many home owners have recovered equity lost during the market downturn and can now make a profit when they sell,’ said Patricia Delinois, the association’s residential president.

‘Buyers, on the other hand, benefit from historically low prices. Despite the strengthening prices, the median sales price in Miami-Dade is approximately what it was in 2002. When you compare Miami to other world class cities and even to markets with fewer amenities and less desirable lifestyles, local properties are quite a bargain,’ she added.

Limited supply coupled with rising demand is yielding offers that are increasingly closer to asking price, as sellers offer fewer discounts. In October, single family home and condominium sales received 95% and 97.1% respectively of the original list price, compared to 91% and 93.6% in October 2011. The increase in percent of original list price received indicates rising demand is absorbing inventory more rapidly.

Increased pending sales are an indication of increased future sales. A sale is listed as pending when a contract is signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.

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