Home/Mortgages/Home Sales in Miami at Five-Year High in September

November 3, 2011 (Shirley Allen)

Monthly home sales declined as expected from August to September but were still at a five year high, outperforming last year’s sales pace by 15 percent according to the latest data released from DataQuick.

A total of 8,546 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties area in September, down from 9,638 sold in August. Sales were 11.3 percent lower than August but 15.1 percent higher than in September of 2010.

Home sales in the region typically decline 9.5 percent between August and September and were 19.5 percent lower than Miami’s average September sales rate of 10,621.

Like much of the nation, new home sales in Miami continued to remain near all-time lows. Although new home sales were 25.0 percent higher than in September of last year, they were still the second lowest on record for that month.

Take out the effect that new home sales had on this month’s data and you would find that existing home sales were only 9.0 percent below the average for September.

Cash buyers were responsible for 62.0 percent of the purchases in September, which was down from 62.4 percent in August, but up from 61.2 percent a year ago. The record for cash purchases was in March 2011, when 68.6 percent of the sales were for cash. Some cash buyers use alternative financing arrangements but at the time of purchase there was no indication of a purchase loan recorded.

Absentee buyers, usually investors and vacation home buyers, accounted for 38.1 percent of all homes sold in September paying a median average price of $90,000, which was unchanged from August but up from $87,500 in September of 2010. In August, absentee buyers also accounted for 38.1 percent of all purchases.

The overall median price paid for new and resale homes and condos in September was $130,000, which was down 1.5 percent from both August and September of last year. The median home price is 55.2 percent below the peak median price of $290,000 in June 2007. It was also the 48th consecutive month that prices in the area have declined year-over-year, but it was also the smallest decline during that time.

Miami’s multi-million dollar luxury market also continued to cool off in September. Sales of houses and condos for $2 million or more were down 10.9 percent from August but up 1.8 percent from September of last year.

Tags: DataQuick, existing home sales, Miami, distressed properties, resale homes, condos, cash buyers, investors, median price