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Improving sales and prices for Florida property market with Miami leading the way

Condo sales in May alone increased 1.1% compared with April and houses jumped 5.4% on the month, the report from Miami’s Association of Realtors also shows.

In May, 60% of closed sales were cash transactions. International sales, which are mostly cash transactions, represent approximately 60% of closed resales and 90% of new construction sales.

It is good news for Florida which has been badly hit by the slum in real estate as a result of the global economic slowdown. In the state as a whole condo sales increased 17% and 3% single family homes.
It flies in the face of the national picture which has seen sales of existing single family homes, town homes, condominiums, and co-ops fall 3.8% from April. They are now 15.3% below May 2010, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

‘The current performance of the Miami market is exceeding expectations, as we continue to see increased demand for local properties and higher sales levels than we have seen since the boom years,’ said Jack Levine, 2011 chairman of the Board of the Miami Association of Realtors.

‘Presently, there is only a 7.4 month supply of housing inventory in Miami-Dade County.   Both American and international buyers continue to take advantage of record affordability, Miami’s attractive lifestyle and weather, and other enviable local attributes,’ he added.

The report also shows that 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. In April 57% of all closed residential sales in Miami-Dade County were distressed, including REOs and short sales.

Prices are also showing signs of improving. The median sales price of single family homes in May decreased 8% to $180,200 from a year earlier but increased 7% from the previous month. The median sales price of condominiums dropped 1% to $124,300 from a year ago but increased 7.4% compared with April.

‘May figures are very encouraging, as they reflect continued market strengthening and stabilization,’ said 2011 Miami Association of Realtors residential president Ralph De Martino.

‘The number of distressed sales dropped by four percent, which means more non distressed transactions are taking place. We also continue to see a significant reduction in housing inventory, which points to an evident demand that should result in further market strengthening in the near future,’ he added.

Statewide median sales prices increased 2% to $98,200 for condominiums but fell 5% to $135,500 for single family homes. The national median existing home price for all housing types was $166,500 in May, a 4.6% drop from May 2010.

The average sales prices for single family homes in Miami-Dade County increased 5.6%  from $320,277 in May 2010 to $338,085 in May 2011. The average sales price for condominiums increased 3.1% from $244,979 in May 2010 to $252,495 last month.

The report also shows that existing housing inventory continues to decline. The inventory of residential listings in Miami-Dade County dropped 32% from 24,721 in June 2010 to 16,917 in June 2011. Compared to last month, the total inventory of homes dropped 6% from 17,897.  Since August 2008, existing housing inventory has decreased nearly 61%, down from 43,095.