Miami real estate outlook better but still up and down, latest index shows

Real estate market in Miami still unstable

The Miami real estate market, which was badly hit during the economic downturn, is still having a see saw time with sales of family properties up last month, but condo sales down.

Sales of single-family homes increased 6% in June compared with the previous month and 35% compared with a year ago, according to the figures for the Miami Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). However, condominium sales fell in June, down 7% although they are still up 54% year on year, the report for the Miami Association of Realtors shows.

It also shows that the majority of people are not buying with a mortgage. In June, 59% of closed sales were cash transactions. Cash sales accounted for 39% of single-family and 73% of condominium closings.

For the whole of Florida, condominium sales were up 8% but single-family home sales were down 4%, the reverse of the picture in Miami. While in the US as a whole sales of existing single-family homes, town homes, condominiums, and co-ops fell 0.8% and are 8.8% below June 2010, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

‘The Miami market has taken a lead position in sales growth and strengthening compared to the rest of the nation,’ said Jack H. Levine, 2011 chairman of the board of the Miami Association of Realtors.

‘Current levels of supply and demand denote a healthy market that is expected to outperform others throughout the US in the long term. The demand from foreign buyers and investors, the expansion of the Panama Canal, and the vibrant tourism industry are just some of the factors that are expected to have positive effects on the local economy and real estate marketplace,’ he explained.

The data also indicates that the effect of short sales and foreclosures on the median and average sales prices for both single-family homes and condominiums has lessened particularly in some areas of the county.  In June, 57% of all closed residential sales in Miami-Dade County were distressed, including REOs and short sales, compared to 60% a year earlier.

The median sales price of single-family homes in June fell 9% to $180,200 from a year earlier but increased 3% from the previous month. The median sales price of condominiums dropped 7% to $119,800 from a year earlier and 3% from the previous month.

‘Despite the wavering economic news and forecasts, Miami real estate is outperforming the state and the nation and continues to grow stronger every month. Prices, which typically lag behind sales, continue to stabilize, as foreigner buyers and investors increasingly play a crucial role in our remarkable market strengthening,’ said president Ralph De Martino.

State wide median sales prices increased 2% to $93,000 for condominiums and dropped 2% to $138,000 for single-family homes. The national median existing home price for all housing types was $184,300 in June, up 0.8% from June 2010.

The average sales prices for single family homes in Miami-Dade County fell 2%, from $342,051 in June 2010 to $335,289 in June 2011. While the average sales price for condominiums increased 35.2% from $253,303 in June 2010 to $342,546 last month.

Inventory is continuing to decline. Listings in Miami-Dade County fell 36% from 25,190 in June 2010 to 16,252 in June 2011. Compared to the previous month, the total inventory of homes dropped 4% from 16,897. Since August 2008, existing housing inventory has decreased more than 62%, down from 43,100. Total housing inventory nationally rose 3.3% at the end of June.

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