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Monday, August 15, 2011

Miami Residential Sales Spike 49% in 2Q, Reflects Strength of the Market

(MIAMI, FL) -- Based on a new report from the Miami Association of Realtors, the Miami Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), sales of homes - including existing single-family homes and condominiums - increased 49 percent, from 4,557 to 6,768, in the second quarter of 2011 and 15 percent from the previous quarter. This rise marks 12 consecutive quarters, since the third quarter of 2008, of increasing sales.

The Miami MSA posted the highest sales increases of any major metro area for condominiums and of all single-family home markets in Florida.  Miami sales of existing single-family homes increased 31 percent compared to a year earlier.  The sales of existing condominiums in Miami spiked 62 percent compared to the second quarter of 2010.  Statewide sales of single-family homes increased 1 percent while that of condominiums increased 14 percent.  Nationally, total state existing-home sales, including single-family and condo, declined 5.4 percent compared to the first quarter of 2011 and were 12.7 percent below the second quarter of 2010.

"Miami sales have increased consistently for nearly three years," said Jack H. Levine, 2011 Chairman of the Board of the Miami Association of Realtors.  "Residential sales have exceeded last year's levels, which were boosted by the homebuyer tax credit.  International buyers and investors continue to fuel the Miami real estate market unlike any other in the U.S., resulting in rapid inventory absorption."

Vanessa Grout, CEO and President of Douglas Elliman Florida tells the World Property Channel, "The increase in 2Q Miami sales activity is due to the continual clearing of distressed sales and an increasing confidence in the value of our isolated submarket. The Miami housing market is hot because buyers perceive the worth in owning property in such a vibrant area. When a property in Miami is priced correctly it does sell."

Median Sales Prices

Short sales and foreclosures continue to have an impact on median and average sales prices for both single-family homes and condominiums especially in some areas of the county.

The median sales price for single-family homes in Miami-Dade dropped only nine percent to $178,800 in the first quarter.  The median sales price for condominiums dropped six percent to $119,800.  Statewide, median sales prices dropped five percent to $134,600 for single-family homes and two percent to $94,700 for condominiums.  The national median existing single-family home price was $171,900 in the second quarter, down 2.8 percent from $176,800 in the second quarter of 2010.

"Current Miami sales levels are reflective of a healthy and balanced marketplace," said Miami  Association of Realtors Residential President Ralph E. De Martino.  "While distressed sales are still impacting home prices to some degree, many local areas and buildings throughout South Florida have been experiencing rising values for quite some time.  We also continue to see extreme demand for bank-owned properties, resulting in multiple offers and a dwindling supply."

Inventory Levels

Total housing inventory in Miami-Dade County has decreased 39 percent from a year ago and 13 percent from the previous quarter.  Since August 2008, when home sales began to rise, local inventory has declined 64 percent.

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