Low interest rates for mortgages and sinking prices are fueling activity in Miami’s struggling real estate market, resulting in strong September sales. Reports show the median sale prices for homes in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties have fallen from the previous month for the forty-eighth month in a row, bringing home sales to within 9% of the average for September sales (excluding hew homes). Although new-home sales continue to suffer, Miami-area sales in this sector were up 25% for the month from a year ago. For more on this continue reading the following article from TheStreet.
Miami-area home sales held at a five-year high in September, rising 15% from a year earlier as price reductions and super-low mortgage rates helped stoke year-over-year sales gains across the price spectrum.
The median sale price fell short of the year-ago level for the 48th consecutive month but the magnitude of the decline — 1.5% — was the smallest yet, a real estate information service reported.
In September, 8,546 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the metro area encompassing Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties. That was down 11.3 from the prior month but up 15.1% from a year earlier, to the highest level for a September since 2006, when 11,892 homes sold, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. The firm tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records.
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A drop in sales between August and September is normal for the season, partly because many families try to close escrow and move before school starts in late summer. On average, sales have fallen 9.5% between August and September since 1997, when DataQuick’s complete Miami-area statistics begin.
September’s total sales fell 19.5% below the average September sales tally of 10,621 since 1997. However, if newly built homes are excluded from the sales mix, then the number of homes that closed escrow in September was just 9% below average for a September. Although the Miami region’s new-home sales rose 25% in September from a year earlier, they were still the second-lowest on record for that month.
The number of new and resale houses and condos that sold in September for less than $100,000 rose 17.1% from a year earlier, compared with a 14.7% gain for sub-$200,000 sales; a 17% annual increase for $200,000 to $600,000 sales; and a 16.1% annual gain for transactions above $800,000. Sales over $950,000 rose 18.2% compared with September 2010.
In the Miami region’s multi-million-dollar luxury market, the number of new or resale houses and condos that sold for $2 million or more in September fell 10.9% from August but rose 1.8% from a year earlier. During the first nine months of this year, 638 homes sold for $2 million or more, up 16% from the same period last year and the highest for that nine-month period since 780 homes sold for $2 million or more in 2008. The figures are based on public property records, where either a price or loan amount was available.
In the overall market, the median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the Miami region in September was $130,000, down 1.5% from both August and a year earlier. It was the lowest level for the median since April this year, when it was $125,000.
In September, absentee buyers purchased a near-record 38.1% of all homes sold in the Miami area, the same as in August but up from 35.4% a year earlier. The all-time high was 39.4% this March. Absentee buyers paid a median $90,000 in September, the same as in August but up from $87,500 a year earlier. Absentee buyers are investors, second-home buyers and others who indicate at the time of sale that their property tax bill will be sent to a different address. (Absentee statistics go back to January 2000).
This article was republished with permission from TheStreet.