Miami home prices spike in January as inventory continues sharp decline (US)

Following a record sales year, Miami home prices posted strong gains in January. The median sales price of condominiums in the Miami Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) spiked 36% to US $122,500 (€91,600) in January compared to a year earlier, according to the 26,000-member MIAMI Association of REALTORS and the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system. The median sales price of single-family homes jumped 13% to $170,000.

"Record demand for Miami properties has caused inventory to rapidly decline, resulting in limited supply," said Martha Pomares, 2012 Chairman of the Board of the MIAMI Association of REALTORS. "Now home prices in Miami are significantly rising and sooner than expected, as the Miami real estate market continues to outperform the rest of the nation, mostly due to the strong impact of international buyers."

Statewide median sales prices in January increased 18.8% to $95,000 for condominiums and 5.3% to $129,000 for single-family homes. The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $154,700 in January, a 2% drop from January 2010.

In January, the average sales price for single-family homes in Miami-Dade County increased 40.4%, from $238,527 in 2011 to $334,952 in 2012. The average sales prices for condominiums jumped 45.2%, from $171,077 to $248,443.

Inventory declines 37% in one year
The inventory of residential listings in Miami-Dade County dropped 37 percent from 24,507 to 13,610 over the last year. Compared to last month, the total inventory of homes dropped 3.4%. Total housing inventory nationally fell 20.6% at the end of January.

The sales of existing single-family homes in the Miami MSA declined 3% in January, from 676 to 659, compared to January 2011. Sales of condominiums dropped 16%, from 1,262 to 1,058, compared to January 2011.

Statewide sales of existing single-family homes totaled 12,044 in January 2012, down 5.5% compared to the year-ago figure, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department and vendor partner 10K Research and Marketing. Nationally, sales of existing single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops rose 4.3% from December and were 0.7% higher than they were in January 2011, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

"Never before in history had we sold as many homes in Miami as we did last year," said 2012 MIAMI Association of REALTORS Residential President Patricia Delinois. "As supply is absorbed, there are fewer properties available to sell, and it will be difficult to match the record set last year. But the good news is that home values are rapidly appreciating, as global buyers, investors and corporations focus on Miami."

Distressed properties
Heightened demand for bank-owned (REO) properties and improved processing of short sales has resulted in rapid absorption of distressed listings and price appreciation. In January, 56% of all closed residential sales in Miami-Dade County were distressed, including REOs (bank-owned properties) and short sales, compared to 70% in January 2011 and 54 percent the previous month. Contrary to a year ago, there are now more short sales being transacted than REOs.

International buyers fuel cash sales
In Miami-Dade County, 66% of total closed sales in January were all-cash sales, compared to 63% in December and 66 percent a year earlier. Cash sales accounted for 43% of single-family and 79% of condominium closings. Nearly 90% of international buyers in Florida purchase properties all cash. Nationally, all-cash sales were unchanged at 31% in January, reflecting the stronger presence of international buyers in the Miami real estate market.

Source: MIAMI Association of REALTORS

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