Cash sales dominate Miami property market
Foreign buyers are still mad for Miami property, as cash sales continue to dominate Florida's property market, despite rising house prices. Demand pushed sales up last month, with up to 60 per cent of them involving foreigner buyers.
90 per cent of foreign buyers in Florida favour cash to purchase property, according to the Miami Association of Realtors. 59.3 per cent of completed transactions in April 2014 used all cash. All-cash sales accounted for 44.5 percent of single-family home and 70.3 percent of condominium closings. This is down from a year earlier when cash sales were 47.1 percent of single-family home sales and 77.3 percent of condominium sales. but compared to the national average of just 33 per cent cas sales, international buyers remain a strong presence in Miami.
The country's real estate market continued to stabilize in April, with median sales prices increasing by 8 per cent for single-family homes year-on-year to $243,000, the 29th month of growth in a row.
The median sale price for condominiums has increased for 34 consecutive months, rising 10.3 per cent year-on-year to $193,000 in April.
Despite rising values, though, which have seen sales slow significantly in other states, transactions in Miami-Dade County increased 2.1 percent to 2,712 in April. Single-family home sales increased 5.6 per cent annually, while condo sales remained steady with a negligible 0.4 per cent decline.
Indeed, Miami real estate continues to sell at a rapid pace and at nearly asking price, indicating properties are being priced right, while buyers realize the need to be competitive in the current market.
“The Miami real estate market continues to stabilize and reflect more balance between buyers and sellers,” says 2014 Chairman of the Board of the Miami Association of Realtors Liza Mendez.
The situatiopn is a marked contrast to the overall picture in America, where sales of existing single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops increased 1.3 per cent month-on-month were 6.8 per cent down year-on-year, according to the National Association of Realtors. Pending sales edged up in April for the second month in a row, but remain 9.2 per cent lower than April 2013.
NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun forecasts a gradual uptrend in sales: “Higher inventory levels are giving buyers more choices, and a slight decline in mortgage interest rates this spring is raising prospective home buyers’ confidence."
In Florida, though, sales are climbing already. Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 21,835 in April, up 4.1 per cent compared to the year-ago figure, according to Florida Realtors.
The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $201,700 in April, a 5.2 per cent increase from April 2013, according to NAR. Florida's median sale price, though, jumped by a stronger 6.1 per cent annually. Even with stronger growth, though, the median transaction value is now $175,000, still below the national average. That relative affordability is just one of many factors that still draws international investors to the Sunshine State - and, in particular, Miami.
That confidence extends to sellers too, with more properties being listed for sale. Active listings at the end of April increased 32.5 per cent year-on-year, higher than the national annual rise of 16.8 per cent.
“The Miami real estate market current offers opportunities for both buyers and sellers,” comments 2014 Miami Association of Realtors Residential President Francisco Angulo.
“Demand remains strong for both single-family homes and condominiums," adds Mendez, "as both domestic and international buyers continue to be drawn to the unique and vibrant Miami area and all the opportunities that the local market offers.”