December housing transaction volume continued to increase year-on-year in Miami and prices remain stable from the previous month, according to the latest data from MDA DataQuick. In December, 8,259 new and resale houses and condos were sold in the three-county Miami market. That’s an increase of 19.1% from November and an increase of 41.3% from December 2008, when 5,846 homes were sold. The 2009 total was the highest for a December since 2006, but still the third lowest total since 1997, when DataQuick began tracking the market. DataQuick said it’s normal for sales to increase from November to December, adding in 2009, the increase was less than the 13-year average of a 29.6% increase. Sales volume continued a 10-month run of year-over-year increases for all housing types. Existing single-family homes and condos are on a similar 13-month run, but December 2009 new home sales decreased from December 2008’s level, a monthly trend experienced in 42 of the past 43 months. Like in many other US markets, Miami homebuilders have struggled to compete with excess foreclosure inventory on the market. While December’s new home sales volume was up 31% from November, it was still the lowest tally for the month since 1997 and only accounted for 8.6% of all sales in December, DataQuick said. Over the past decade, new home sales have taken an average 20.3% share of total sales activity. There were 3,611 condo sales in December, up 18% from November and up 61.5% from a year ago. It’s the highest volume of condo sales since 2004, when 4,407 condos were sold. Condo resales accounted for 43.7% of all Miami sales in December, up from 38.2% last year and the 10-year monthly average of 31.5%. As a result of the surge in condo sales, housing units priced between $50,000 and $150,000 increased 98.5% from December 2008. Sales between $50,000 and $150,000 accounted for 47.5% of total home sales in December, up from 33.9% in December 2008 and 15.2% in December 2007. Sales of homes priced above $1m were also up in December. There were 243 sales priced at $1m or more during the month, up 51% from 161 in November and 28.6% from 189 in December 2008. The median price paid for all new and existing housing was $155,000 in December. That’s even from November, but down 22.5% from $200,000 in December 2008. After declining for 27 straight months, December’s year-over-year price decline was the smallest since the median dropped 22.2% in November 2008. December’s median was down 46.6% from the peak median of $290,000 in June 2007. The median price for existing condos in December was $105,000, even from November, but down 23.7% from a year ago and down 54.8% from the peak of $219,000 in July 2006. The median price for existing single-family homes in December was $188,000, up 1.7% from $184,800 in November but down 14.5% from a year ago and down 44.1% from June 2007’s peak of $340,000. Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-backed mortgages were used to fund 42.5% of all purchase loans in December, down from 48.5% in November but up from 35% a year ago and 5.4% two years ago. Adjustable-rate mortgages accounted for 5.7% of all purchase mortgages, even from November, down from 6.9% in December 200 but up from the decade low of 4.4% in May 2009. Absentee buyers — generally investors, but anyone who indicates at the time of sale their property tax bill should be sent to a different address — accounted for 29.3% of all homes sold in the Miami area in December, up from 28.8% in November and 26.6% a year ago. Cash purchases accounted for 54% of all December sales and those buyers paid a median $120,000 for their homes. Write to Austin Kilgore.