Miami Region December Home Sales

by 04 Feb 2011
Miami area December home sales rose to a four-year high for that month thanks to robust condo sales. The overall median sale price fell nearly 13 percent from a year earlier, reflecting price erosion and a shift toward unusually high condo resales and unusually low new-home sales, a real estate information service reported. In December, 8,608 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the metro area encompassing Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties. December sales rose 28.7 percent from the prior month and increased 4.2 percent from a year earlier, according to DataQuick Information Systems of San Diego, Calif. The firm tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records. December?s 28.7 percent sales gain from November was higher than the normal, seasonal increase. On average, December sales have risen 23.3 percent from November since 1997, when DataQuick?s complete Miami-area statistics begin. December?s total sales were the highest for that month since 2006 (when 11,643 homes sold) but fell 27.8 percent below the average December sales tally of 11,920 since 1997. The 4,332 condos that resold in December marked a 31.0 percent increase from November and a 20.0 percent increase from a year earlier. It was the highest number of condo resales in the month of December since 2005, when 4,407 condos resold. Condo resales made up a record 50.3 percent of total Miami-area home sales in December, compared with 43.7 percent a year earlier and a monthly average of 33.8 percent over the past decade. New-home sales have suffered as builders struggle with the weak economy and competition from distressed sales. December?s 599 new-home sales, which rose 46.8 percent from November but fell 16.0 percent from a year earlier, made up just 7.0 percent of all transactions in December. That?s far below the new-home market?s decade average of 19.3 percent of total monthly sales. In the region?s high end, the number of houses and condos that sold for $1 million or more rose to 236 in December, up 65.0 percent from a month earlier but down 2.9 percent from a year earlier. During all of last year, 2,327 houses and condos sold for $1 million or more, up 12.9 percent from 2009. The figures are based on an analysis of public property records, where there was a purchase price or loan of $1 million or more. The peak month for $1 million-plus home sales was July 2005, when 583 sold. The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the Miami region in December was $135,000, down 3.6 percent from $140,000 in November and down 12.9 percent from $155,000 in December 2009. December?s overall median sale price was tugged lower in part by the unusually high concentration of condo resales and low concentration of new-home sales. December?s median stood 53.4 percent below the peak $290,000 median in June 2007.

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