August 2, 2012
Miami-area June home sales bucked the norm and fell from May, but domestic and international demand remained high enough to push sales up a bit from a year ago to the highest level for a June in five years. The median sale price hit a two-year high, rising year-over-year for the sixth consecutive month amid a continuing decline in sales of lower-priced homes and a steep rise in mid- to high-end deals, a real estate information service reported.
In June, 10,105 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the metro area encompassing Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties. That was down 4.8 percent from the prior month and up 2.5 percent from a year earlier, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. The firm tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records.
Typically Miami-area sales increase between May and June, with that gain averaging 6.0 percent since 1997, when DataQuick's complete Miami-area statistics begin.
June's total sales were 17.7 percent below the average number of sales in the month of June since 1997. However, if newly built homes are excluded from the sales mix, then the number of houses and condos that closed escrow in June was 6.0 percent below the historical average for the month (resale condos were nearly 19 percent above average, while resale house sales were about 23 percent below average). The region's new-home sales in June were the lowest on record for that month and were 75.7 percent below average for the month of June.
When viewed by price segment, total June sales in the Miami area fell 9.4 percent year-over-year for homes priced below $100,000, and fell 2.9 percent for homes below $200,000. Sales between $250,000 and $450,000 posted a 24.9 percent annual sales gain in June, while the number of homes that sold between $500,000 and $800,000 rose 37.5 percent and deals above $800,000 rose 6.9 percent from the same month last year.
Increased affordability from super-low mortgage rates and lower prices have spurred more demand in the mid- to higher-end markets this year. In the lower price ranges, demand among first-time buyers, investors and vacation-home buyers has been robust, and it has reportedly depleted the supply of homes on the market to the point where it's limited the sales volume (i.e. if there were more homes on the market then sales would be higher). Why aren't more homes hitting the market to meet the higher demand? Many who would like to sell can't because they owe more than their homes are worth. Other potential sellers are holding off on a move-up purchase because of uncertainty over the economy, or because they're waiting for higher prices.
In the Miami region's multi-million-dollar luxury market, 88 homes sold for $2 million or more in June, down 27.3 percent from the month before and down 16.2 percent from one year earlier. However, luxury sales can vacillate month-to-month, and year-to-date luxury sales are up: Between January and June this year, 495 homes sold for $2 million or more, up 13.3 percent year-over-year. The figures are based on public property records, where either a price or loan amount was available.
In the overall Miami market, the median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in June was $150,000 - the highest median for any month since June 2010, when the median was also $150,000. The June median rose 3.6 percent from the month before and rose 11.1 percent from a year earlier.
The Miami area's median sale price has increased year-over-year each month in 2012. Prior to January this year, the median hadn't risen year-over-year since September 2007. The median stopped falling year-over-year in December 2011, when it was the same as a year earlier.
The June median was 25.0 percent higher than the current housing cycle's post-peak trough of $120,000 in January and February of 2011, but it was still 48.3 percent lower than the Miami area's peak $290,000 median in June 2007.
The region's resale condo median rose 16.7 percent year-over-year in June, marking the ninth consecutive month in which that price measure posted an annual gain. The median price paid for resale single-family detached houses rose 6.3 percent in June - the fifth month in a row with a year-over-year increase.
Another key price gauge analysts watch, the median price paid per square foot for resale single-family detached houses, rose again in June to $96 for the overall region. That was up 2.8 percent from the month before and up 8.1 percent from a year earlier - the fifth consecutive year-over-year gain following 19 months of annual declines. The June figure stood 50.3 percent below the peak median of $211 paid per square foot for resale houses in May 2006.
At the county level in June, the median paid per square foot for resale single-family detached houses rose to $84 in Broward County, up 3.7 percent month-to-month and up 7.7 percent year-over-year. It was the sixth consecutive month with an annual gain. The median paid per square foot was $104 in Miami-Dade County, down a tad from $105 the prior month and up 9.0 percent from a year earlier, marking the seventh consecutive month to post an annual gain. Palm Beach County's median paid per square foot increased to $105 in June, up 1.9 percent from the month before and up 3.8 percent from a year earlier, marking the fourth consecutive month with an annual gain.
For the overall region, the median price paid per square foot for resale condos in June rose to $91, up 2.2 percent from the month before and up 9.9 percent from a year earlier. The figure has risen year-over-year for nine consecutive months, but in June it was still 56.9 percent below its April 2006 peak of $211 per square foot.
Absentee buyers, including investors and vacation-home buyers, continue to snap up many of the region's condos and other lower-cost properties. Absentee buyers purchased 40.0 percent of all homes sold in the Miami area in June, down from 41.8 percent the month before and down from 42.6 percent a year earlier. However, June's absentee level was still close to the peak for such purchases - 42.6 percent in February this year. (Absentee statistics go back to January 2000).
Absentee buyers paid a median $110,000 for all new and resale houses and condos that they purchased in June, up from $105,000 the month before and up 21.3 percent from $90,700 a year earlier. Absentee buyers are investors, second-home buyers and others who indicate at the time of sale that their property tax bill will be sent to a different address.
Buyers who had a foreign mailing addresses in the public record were responsible for 5.1 percent of all Miami-area home sales in June, and 8.6 percent of the region's existing condo sales. In the first half of this year, these identified foreign buyers bought 6.1 percent of all homes sold, and 10.0 percent of all resale condos. (Note: Not all foreign buyers use a foreign mailing address, hence cannot be tracked with public records.)
In June, nearly 70 percent of the Miami-area's buyers with a foreign mailing address were from Canada, while the rest were split between Venezuela (3.7 percent of identified foreign buyers), Argentina (3.1 percent), Brazil (2.3 percent), France (1.8 percent) and more than 30 other countries. During the first half of this year, buyers from Canada accounted for 74.4 percent of all identified foreign-buyer transactions, with the rest split between Brazil (2.4 percent), Argentina (2.3 percent), Venezuela, (2.2), France (1.5 percent) and dozens of other countries.
Of all homes bought with a foreign mailing address in June, about 81 percent were existing condos, while about 12 percent were resale detached houses and the remaining 7 percent were newly built houses or condos. The breakdown was roughly the same for the first half of this year, with 82 percent of all identified foreign buyers choosing resale condos.
Foreign buyers paid a median $110,000 for all the homes they bought during the first six months of this year. They paid a median $163,000 for resale houses, a median $92,000 for resale condos and a median $300,000 for newly built houses and condos. The most expensive home bought by an identified foreign buyer in the first half of this year was a $6.8 million, 9,469-square-foot house in Palm Beach County's 33487 zip code (Highland Beach).
Many absentee buyers are also cash buyers, who purchased 63.0 percent of the Miami-area homes sold in June. That was down from 65.4 percent the prior month and down from 64.2 percent a year earlier. The peak was 68.7 percent in February this year. June's cash buyers paid a median $110,000, up from $106,000 the prior month and up 14.5 percent from $96,100 a year earlier. Cash deals are where there was no indication in the public record of a purchase loan recorded at the time of sale.
Meanwhile, use of a form of low-down-payment financing that's popular with first-time homebuyers - government-insured FHA loans - fell to 32.8 percent of all home purchase loans in June. It was the lowest FHA level since November 2008, when it was 32.7 percent. June's FHA level was down from 34.4 percent the month before and down from 39.5 percent a year earlier.
View the full Miami home sale chart at DQNews.com.
Media calls: Andrew LePage (916) 456-7157
Source: DataQuick; DQNews.com
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