Miami Home Sales Still Robust as Cash Sales Drop

Miami Home Sales Still Robust as Cash Sales Drop

Residential News » North America Residential News Edition | By WPJ Staff | July 23, 2014 8:00 AM ET

According to the Miami Association of Realtors, Miami's residential property sales, particularly for single-family homes, continue to reflect strong demand compared to record sales activity over the last three years.

In June, residential real estate sales in Miami-Dade County increased 2.0 percent to 2,723 compared to 2,669 in June of last year. Single-family home sales increased 9.5 percent relative to June 2013, from 1,169 to 1,280. Compared to June 2013, condominium sales declined 3.8 percent from 1,500 the previous year to 1,443 last month.

"We continue to see strong sales activity in Miami compared to the three previous record sales years," said 2014 Chairman of the Board of the Miami Association of Realtors Liza Mendez. "Activity is mostly declining for transactions in the lowest price points and for short sales.  Increased inventory is generating more moderate price growth."

Median Sale Prices Continue to Rise

Median sale prices again increased for both single-family homes and condominiums in June. Prices remain at affordable 2004 levels despite three years of consistent increases for condominiums and 31 months for single-family homes.

The median sale price for single-family homes increased 6.0 percent, up to $243,700 from $222,000 in June 2013. The average sale price for single-family homes decreased 16.9 percent from $509,835 in June 2013 to $423,833 last month.

Compared to June 2013, the median sale price for condominiums increased by 2.6 percent to $190,000 from $185,250 a year prior.  The average sale price for condominiums increased 4.4 percent to $366,949 from $351,475 in June 2013.

Miami Real Estate Selling Fast, Close to List Price

Miami real estate continues to sell at a rapid pace and at nearly asking price, reflecting strong demand.

The median number of days on the market for single-family homes sold in June was just 41 days, an increase of 10.8 percent from June 2013. The average percent of original list price received was 95.3 percent, down only 0.5 percent from June 2013.

The median number of days on the market for condominiums sold in June was 61 days, an increase of 38.6 percent compared to the same period in 2013. The average sales price was 94.5 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 increased 2.6 percent from May but were 2.3 percent below what they were in June 2013, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).  Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 23,181 in June, up 14.6 percent compared to the year-ago figure, according to Florida Realtors. Statewide sales of condominiums totaled 9,594, up 3.1 percent from June 2013.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $223,300 in June, a 4.3 percent increase from June 2013, according to NAR.  The statewide median sale price for single-family existing homes last month was $185,000, up 5.2 percent from the previous year, while that of townhouse-condo properties was $141,000, up 8.5 percent over the previous year.

Cash Sales Drop

Cash sales in Miami continue to decline as more financing becomes available.  Still, access to mortgage loans for condominium buyers remains limited, impeding further market strengthening.

In Miami-Dade County, 57.5 percent of total closed sales in June were all-cash transactions, compared to 60 percent in June 2013. Cash sales in Miami are still significantly higher than the national average of 32 percent. All-cash sales accounted for 44.6 percent of single-family home and 69 percent of condominium closings, compared to a year earlier when cash sales were 42.3 percent of single-family home sales and 73.8 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.

"Cash sales, particularly for condos remain quite high," said 2014 Miami Association of Realtors Residential President Francisco Angulo. "While this is an indicator of the significant presence of foreign buyers in the Miami market, it also is a reflection of the lack of financing available for condominium properties.  Since qualified buyers are still facing challenges when trying to obtain mortgage loans for condos, sales, although strong, are not as strong as they could be."

Short Sales Continue to Decrease

While traditional sales continue to increase, distressed property transactions in June again declined in Miami-Dade due to fewer short sales.  In June, only 33.4 percent of all closed residential sales in Miami-Dade County were distressed, including REOs (bank-owned properties) and short sales, compared to 36.7 percent in June 2013.

Short sales and REOs accounted for 9.1 and 24 percent, respectively, of total Miami sales in June.  Sales of REOs increased 6.0 percent while that of short sales declined by 9.0 percent.

Nationally, distressed homes accounted for 11 percent of June sales compared to 15 percent in June 2013.

Active Inventory Rises

Following six years of market strengthening, seller confidence is resulting in more properties being listed for sale in Miami.

Active listings at the end of June increased 29.9 percent, from 13,151 in 2013 to 17,089 last month but remain 60 percent below 2008, when sales bottomed. Inventory of single-family homes increased 22.7 percent from 4,990 in June 2013 to 6,122 last month. Condominium inventory increased 34.4 percent to 10,967 from 8,161 active listings during the same period in 2013. At the current sales pace, there is still a 5.5-month supply of single-family homes, an increase of 13.5 percent from 4.9 months in June 2013, and a 7.8-month supply of condominiums, up from 5.8 months in June 2013, an increase of 33.6 percent.

New listings of single-family homes increased 6.4 percent, up to 2,036 in June 2014 from 1,913 during the same period in 2013. New condominium listings increased a negligible 2.1 percent from 2,626 in June 2013 to 2,682 last month.

At the end of the June, total housing inventory nationally rose 2.2 percent to 2.30 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.5-month supply at the current sales pace.

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