Driven mainly by a strong all-cash buyers market, Miami single-family home sales registered double-digit growth in February 2015, as all residential median sale prices continued three years of positive gains, reports the Miami Association of Realtors.
Sales Rise for Single-family Homes, Condos
Miami single-family home and condominium sales grew year-over-year in February. Single-family home transactions -- which set an all-time Miami annual record in 2014 -- increased 14.2 percent relative to February 2014, from 860 to 982. Existing condominium sales -- which posted the second best year in Miami history last year despite an increase in new condo construction -- rose 1.4 percent from 1,176 in February of last year to 1,192 last month. Combined, Miami-Dade County residential real estate sales increased 6.8 percent to 2,174 last month compared to 2,036 during the same time period in 2014.
"Miami residential home sales continue to grow at a moderate rate," said Christopher Zoller, a 27-year Miami-based Realtor and the 2015 Residential President of the Miami Association of Realtors. "Seller confidence and buyer demand in the Miami real estate market is leading to more active listings and higher sale prices."
Single-family home prices, which again increased in February, remain at affordable 2004 levels despite more than three years of consistent year-over-year increases. Condo prices also increased in February 2015, marking 44 months of growth in the last 45 months. The median sale price for single-family homes increased 7.9 percent, up to $245,000 in February 2015 from $227,000 in February 2014. The average sale price for single-family homes increased 4 percent to $431,746 last month from $415,312 during the same time period last year.
Compared to February 2014, the median sale price for condominiums increased 6.8 percent to $189,000 from $177,000 a year prior. The average sale for condominiums increased 8.4 percent to $365,856 from $337,382 in February 2014.
Miami Real Estate Continues Selling Fast, Close to List Price
Miami single-family homes and condominiums continue to sell close to asking price, reflecting a strong consumer demand. The median number of days on the market for single-family homes sold in February 2015 was just 46 days, a decrease of 2.1 percent compared to the same period in 2014. The average percent of original list price received was 94.6 percent, down a negligible 0.6 percent from a year earlier.
The median number of days on the market for condominiums sold in February 2015 was 65 days, an increase of 14 percent compared to the same period in 2014. The average percent of original list price received was 93.3 percent, a 1.8 percent decrease.
National and State statistics
Nationally, sales of existing single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops increased 1.2 percent from January. Sales were 4.7 percent higher than a year ago and above year-over-year totals for the fifth consecutive month, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 18,701 last month, up 19 percent compared to the year-ago figure, according to Florida Realtors. Statewide sales of condominiums totaled 8,260, up 7.4 percent compared to February 2014.
The national median existing-home price for all housing types in February was $202,600, which is 7.5 percent above February 2014, according to NAR. The national median home price has now seen 36 consecutive months of year-over-year price gains.
The statewide median sale price for single-family existing homes last month was $179,995, up 9.1 percent from the previous year, according to Florida Realtors. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in February was $143,000, up 8.3 percent over the previous year.
Cash Sales Increase, Condo Financing Remains an Obstacle
Cash sales in Miami increased relative to last month, but are down compared to the same time period last year. Access to mortgage loans for condominium buyers remains limited. The lack of Federal Housing Administration loans for a large number of existing Miami condominium buildings is preventing further market strengthening.
In Miami-Dade County, 58.8 percent of total closed sales in February 2015 were all-cash transactions -- up from 57.2 percent from the previous month. Cash deals in Miami are down relative to February 2014 when 62.5 percent of transactions were all-cash. Miami condominiums comprise a large portion of Miami's cash purchases as 71.1 percent of condominium closings were made in cash in February compared to 43.9 percent of single-family home sales.
Miami's percentage of all-cash sales is more than double the national average. About 26 percent of all national housing transactions were in cash in February 2015, according to NAR. Since 82 percent of foreign buyers in Florida purchase properties all cash, this continues to reflect Miami's ability to attract international buyers.
"Miami's location and proximity to the Caribbean and Latin America have always attracted foreign buyers," said Carlos Gutierrez, a 13-year Miami-based Realtor and the 2015 Residential President-elect of the Miami Association of Realtors. "Miami's home prices are still very affordable when they are compared with other major cities such as Los Angeles and New York and even in comparison to cities with less attractive lifestyles and amenities."
Short Sales Continue to Decline in Miami
While traditional sales remain strong, distressed property transactions declined in Miami-Dade in February 2015 due to fewer short sales. In February 2015, only 35 percent of all closed residential sales in Miami were distressed, including REO (bank-owned properties) and short sales, compared to 36 percent in February 2014.
Short sales and REOs accounted for 7.2 percent and 27.8 percent, respectively, of total Miami sales in February 2015. Sales of REOs increased 21.7 percent year-over-year while that of short sales declined 33.9 percent. Nationally, distressed sales were 11 percent of sales in February, unchanged for the third consecutive month and down from 16 percent a year ago.
Active Listings on the Rise
After three years of record sales activity that resulted in an inventory shortage, seller confidence continues to result in more properties being listed in Miami.
Active listings at the end of February increased 9 percent, from 16,836 in the same time period last year to 18,353 last month. Active listings remain about 60 percent below 2008 levels when sales bottomed. Inventory of single-family homes increased 3.5 percent from 6,113 active listings last year to 6,330 last month. Condominium inventory increased 12.1 percent to 12,023 from 10,723 listings during the same period in 2014.
At the current sales pace, there is a 5.5-month supply of single-family homes, a negligible decrease of 1.8 percent from 5.6 months in February 2014. There is an 8.9-month supply of condominium inventory, up from 7.5 months in February 2014, an increase of 19.1 percent. A balanced market between buyers and sellers offers between six and nine months supply of inventory.
New listings of single-family homes decreased 1.3 percent from 2,006 in February of last year to 1,979 last month. New condominium listings increased 0.8 percent to 2,979 last month, compared to 2,956 during the same time period in 2014.
Nationally, total housing inventory at the end of February increased 1.6 percent to 1.89 million existing homes available for sale compared to the previous month, which represents a 4.6-month supply at the current sales pace.
February 2015 New Construction Market Update
Strong sales in the preconstruction condominium Miami market east of Interstate 95 continue to reflect significant demand for new properties, according to the latest New Construction Market Status Report released by Cranespotters.com.
Since 2011, 11 towers with 1,381 units have been completed in Miami-Dade County east of I-95. There are 69 towers with 9,515 units under construction in Miami east of I-95, according to Cranespotters.com March 14 report. About 79 towers with 11,816 units are planned, but have not begun development. There are also 54 towers with 8,403 units that have been proposed in Miami east of I-95.
Overall in Miami-Dade County, developers have announced 213 towers with 31,115 units since 2011. Of the above projects in Miami-Dade:
97 projects with 113 towers comprising 16,924 units are currently selling.
70 percent of units have been sold.
The mean minimum price per square foot of these units is $907, compared to $874 last month.