he Miami Association of Realtors is recording a record number of home sales, thanks in large part to increasing interest from foreign investors, cash buyers of distressed properties and vacation-home seekers.
For the fourth consecutive month, Miami home prices posted strong gains in March with the median sales price of condominiums surging 46% compared to a year earlier, according to the latest figures from the Miami Association of Realtors.
The median condo price reached $141,700 in March while the median sales price of single family homes rose 13% to $180,000. The fact that Miami home prices have significantly increased for four consecutive months indicates prices have bottomed and have caught up with sales levels.
Statewide median sales prices in March increased 20.8% to $105,000 for condominiums and 10.3% to $139,000 for single family homes, according to the Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department.
The Miami residential real estate market saw record demand that resulted in an all-time record for home sales. This consistent demand coupled with fewer distressed properties being transacted has logically resulted in notable price appreciation unlike anywhere else in the United States.
From March 2011, the inventory of residential listings in Miami-Dade County has decreased 34% from 18,883 to 12,379 in March 2012. Compared to the previous month, the total inventory of homes dropped 5.1%. Total housing inventory nationally declined 1.3% at the end of March but is 21.8% below a year ago.Strong demand for bank owned (REO) properties and improved processing of short sales has resulted in rapid absorption of distressed listings and contributed to price appreciation.
In Miami-Dade County, 65% of total closed sales in March were all cash sales. Cash sales accounted for 47% of single family sales and 79% of condominium closings. Nearly 90% of international buyers in Florida purchase properties all cash. Nationally, all cash sales were 32% of transactions in March, reflecting the stronger presence of international buyers in the Miami real estate market.
This large number of cash sales in Miami would make impossible a credit-related crisis, such as the 2008 crisis.