January 13, 2012 (Shirley Allen)
Home sales in the Miami area heated up in November as increased demand from investors and vacation-home buyers pushed sales to their highest level in five years according to the latest housing data released by DataQuick.
A total of 7,855 new and resale homes and condos closed escrow in the Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties area in November. Sales were 5.0 percent higher than October and 17.5 percent higher than in November of 2010.
Home sales in the region typically decline 12.6 percent between October and November and were still 15.9 percent lower than Miami’s average November sales rate of 9,341.
New home sales in Miami continued to remain near all-time lows. Although new home sales were 23.3 percent higher than in November 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 1.4 percent below the average for November.
Cash buyers accounted for 63.7 percent of the purchases in November, which was up slightly from 63.4 percent in October and up from 62.4 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.
The price that cash buyers paid for the homes they purchased in November rose to $95,000 from $90,400 in October, but still down from $98,675 in November of last year.
Absentee buyers, usually investors and vacation home buyers, accounted for 52.0 percent of all homes sold in November paying a median average price of $90,000, which was unchanged from both October and from November of 2010. Forty-seven percent of the absentee buyers had a mailing address outside of Florida or from a foreign country.
The overall median price paid for new and resale homes and condos in November was $134,950, which was up 5.4 percent from October, but down 3.6 percent from November of last year.
The median home price is 53.5 percent below the peak median price of $290,000 in June 2007. It was also the 50th consecutive month that prices in the area have declined year-over-year.
Miami’s multi-million dollar luxury market also picked up some steam in November. Sales of houses and condos for $2 million or more were up 33.3 percent from October and were 36.4 percent higher than November of last year.
Tags: existing home sales, Miami, distressed properties, resale homes, condos, cash buyers, investors, median price