Miami Bucks National Home Sales Trend, Becomes Balanced

World Property Channel


The Miami Association of Realtors reported today that during the month of March 2014, Miami’s real estate market reflected more of a balance between buyers and sellers. At the same time, property prices did continue to rise and home sales, particularly for single-family homes, bucked a national flat-line sales trend in March and remained historically strong at a local level.

Median Sale Prices Continue to Increase

Median sale prices again increased for both single-family homes and condominiums in March.  The median sale price for single-family homes increased 4.4 percent, up to $235,000 from $225,000 in March 2013, marking 28 straight months of growth. The average sale price for single-family homes increased 17.8 percent from $389,847 in March 2013 to $459,102 last month.

Thumbnail image for Liza-Mendez-Miami-Association-of-Realtors.jpgLiza Mendez

“We continue to experience strong demand for Miami properties in 2014,” said 2014 Chairman of the Board of the Miami Association of Realtors Liza Mendez. “While additional inventory is creating a more balanced market, strong sales continue to drive growth, as Miami remains a focal point for buyers and investors worldwide.”

The median sale price for condominiums has increased for 33 consecutive months.  Compared to March 2013, the median sale price for condominiums increased by 19.8 percent to $200,000 from $167,000 a year prior.  The average sale price for condominiums increased 16.3 percent to $377,290 from $324,380 in March 2013.

Single-Family Home Sales Increase 10.5%

In March, residential real estate sales in Miami-Dade County increased 2.5 percent to 2,542 compared to 2,480 in March of last year. Single-family home sales increased 10.5 percent relative to March 2013, from 1,022 to 1,129. Compared to March 2013, condominium sales declined a negligible 3.1 percent from 1,458 the previous year to 1,413 last month.

Miami Real Estate Selling Fast, Close to List Price

Miami real estate continues to sell at a rapid pace and nearly at asking price, indicating properties are being priced right, while buyers realize the need to be competitive in the current market.

The median number of days on the market for single-family homes sold in March was just 47 days, an increase of 11.9 percent from March 2013. The average percent of original list price received was 94.9 percent, down 0.4 percent from 95.3 percent in March 2013.

The median number of days on the market for condominiums sold in March was 59 days, an increase of 22.9 percent compared to the same period in 2013. The average sales price was 94.2 percent of the asking price, a decrease of 2.5 percent.

National and State Figures

Nationally, sales of existing single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops slipped 0.2 percent from February and were 7.5 percent below what they were in March 2013, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).  Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 20,081 in March, up 2.8 percent compared to the year-ago figure, according to Florida Realtors. Statewide sales of condominiums totaled 9,580, down 5.2 percent from March 2013.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $198,500 in March, a 7.9 percent increase from March 2013, according to NAR.  The statewide median sale price for single-family existing homes last month was $173,000, up 7.1 percent from the previous year, while that of townhouse-condo properties was $140,000, up 16.7 percent over the previous year.

Active Listings Continue to Increase

Active listings at the end of March increased 29.1 percent, from 13,067 in 2013 to 16,879 last month. Inventory of single-family homes increased 22.5 percent from 4,960 in March 2013 to 6,074 last month. Condominium inventory increased 33.3 percent to 10,805 from 8,107 active listings during the same period in 2013. At the current sales pace, there is a 5.6-month supply of single-family homes, an increase of 9.4 percent from 5.1 months in March 2013, and a 7.5-month supply of condominiums, up from 5.9 months in March 2013, an increase of 27.7 percent.

New listings of single-family homes increased 10.2 percent, up to 2,090 in March 2014 from 1,896 during the same period in 2013. Condominium listings increased 13.7 percent from 2,678 in March 2013 to 3,045 last month.

At the end of the March, total housing inventory nationally rose 4.7 percent to 1.99 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.2-month supply at the current sales pace.

Short Sales Continue Sharp Decline

Sales of distressed properties continue to sharply decline in Miami-Dade County.  In March, only 31.5 percent of all closed residential sales in Miami-Dade County were distressed, including REOs (bank-owned properties) and short sales, compared to 41.4 percent in March 2013. Sales of REOs increased 26 percent while sales of short sales sharply declined by 51 percent. Nationally, distressed homes accounted for 14 percent of March sales compared to 16 percent in February and 21 percent in March 2013.

“A significant decrease in distressed properties is another indication of the health of the Miami real estate market,” said 2014 Miami Association of Realtors Residential President Francisco Angulo. “Rising home values and an improving economy are resulting in fewer short sales and foreclosures.  Similarly, increased property equity and consumer confidence are yielding more new listings and inventory, which allows for a more balanced market between buyers and sellers.”

The median sales price of single-family home and condominium foreclosures in Miami-Dade increased 4.7 percent to $151,500 and 11.4 percent to $117,000, respectively.

Cash Sales

In Miami-Dade County, 60.5 percent of total closed sales in March were all-cash transactions, compared to 63.7 percent in March 2013. Cash sales in Miami are still significantly higher than the national average of 33 percent. All-cash sales accounted for 48.4 percent of single-family home and 70.2 percent of condominium closings, compared to a year earlier when cash sales were 44.8 percent of single-family home sales and 76.9 percent of condominium sales.

Since nearly 90 percent of foreign buyers in Florida purchase properties all cash, this continues to reflect the much stronger presence of international buyers in the Miami real estate market.
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