August 25, 2011 (Shirley Allen)

Sales of new and resale homes cooled off in Miami as sales of newly built homes dropped to a record low according to the latest real estate information released from DataQuick. Prices in the area inched up from June, but were lower year-over-year for the 46th consecutive month.

A total of 8,820 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties area in July. Sales were 10.5 percent lower than June and were 1.1 percent lower than July of 2010.

Home sales in the region typically decline 3.4 percent between June and July. Home sales were 26.9 percent lower than Miami’s average July sales rate of 12,064.

Existing home sales made up the bulk of sales activity in July with 8,361 condo and single family detached home resale’s recorded, a decline of 10.4 percent from June, but an increase of 1.1 percent over July of 2010. New home sales fell off the radar.

New home sales, like many regions in the country, remained at depressed levels. A total of 459 new homes closed escrow in July, 12.7 percent lower than the 526 homes that were sold in June and 29.2 percent lower than July of 2010. Sales of new homes were at their lowest level on record for the area in July.

Cash buyers were responsible for 62.8 percent of the purchases in July, which was down from 64.2 percent in June, but up from 56.4 percent a year earlier. 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 37.5 percent of all homes sold in July paying a median average price of $93,000, which was up from $90,700 in June and down from $96,000 in July of 2010.

Foreign buyers made up nearly 5.5 percent of all purchases in July. The median price paid by foreign purchasers for condos was $103,500, while the median price paid for single-family homes was $203,500.

Out of all the foreign buyers who had an identifiable address, 73 percent had an address in Canada.

The overall median price paid for new and resale homes and condos in July was $136,000, which was up 0.7 percent from June, but down 2.9 percent from July of last year. The median home price is 53.1 percent below the peak median price of $290,000 in July 2007.

Miami’s multi-million dollar luxury market also cooled off in July. Sales of houses and condos for $2 million or more were down 24.3 percent from June but up 30.0 percent from July of last year.

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