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Sales and prices increase in Miami area

Sales of existing single family homes in the Miami Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) rose 11% in November compared to November 2010, and sales of existing condominiums increased 2%.

The median sales price for condominiums rose for the fourth consecutive month, up 18% to $125,000 while the median sales price of single family homes remained the same at $171,300 compared to a year earlier.

On an annual basis the average sales prices for single family homes in Miami Dade County increased 8.2% from $300,369 in November 2010 to $324,846 in November 2011. The average sales price for condominiums increased 21.5% from $193,486 in November 2010 to $226,151 last month.

‘Residential real estate sales have consistently risen in Miami-Dade since August 2008,’ said Jack Levine, 2011 Chairman of the Board of the Miami Association of Realtors.

‘Now, after the relatively rapid absorption of excess housing inventory, we are seeing property prices follow the same pattern. This is very encouraging and reflects market strengthening despite the impediments posed by unnecessary and restrictive mortgage underwriting standards and appraisal challenges,’ he added.

International buyers are increasing the number of cash transactions in the area. Cash sales accounted for 41% of single family and 79% of condominium closings. Nearly 90% of international buyers in Florida purchase properties all cash. Nationally, all cash sales accounted for 28 percent of transactions, reflecting the stronger presence of international buyers in the Miami real estate market.

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 November, 56% of all closed residential sales in Miami-Dade County were distressed, including REOs (bank owned properties) and short sales, compared to 62% in November 2010 and 57% the previous month.

‘The Miami residential real estate market continues to perform in a healthy and balanced manner,’ said 2011 MIAMI Association of Realtors residential president Ralph De Martino. ‘International buyers in Miami have fuelled an unprecedented recovery unlike any other in the nation, increasing demand and limiting supply of homes. We are fortunate because Miami combines all of the attributes that are expected to attract international buyers long into the future,’ he added.

The inventory of residential listings in Miami-Dade County has dropped 40% from 24,278 to 14,461 active listings, in the last year. Compared to the previous month, the total inventory of homes dropped 4.4% from 15,127. Since August 2008, existing housing inventory has decreased more than 66%, down from 43,100.