Miami home sales spike 51% over last year
Miami metro home sales in the third quarter jumped 51% from a year ago, according to the Miami Association of Realtors. Home sales, including existing single-family homes and condos, totaled 6,412, up from 4,239 last year. Existing condo sales increased 48%, and single-family home sales went up 47%. Statewide sales for Florida also saw an increase from last year, with single-family homes up 12% and condos up 13%. Nationally, the National Association of Realtors reported home sales fell 0.1% from the second quarter, though they increased 17% from a year earlier. Miami's home sales have increased 13 consecutive quarters dating back to the third quarter 2008, according to the local realtor association. "Strong demand from international buyers is fueling robust sales activity in Miami despite low consumer confidence and high unemployment," association chairman Jack Levine said in a Wednesday release. "Local sales are expected to set a record this year that should exceed the height of the boom in 2005." NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun predicted "double-digit price increase in Miami in 2012," according to the release. Average sales price in Miami-Dade County for single-family homes was $327,477 in the third quarter, up 19% from a year ago. Average condo sales price increased 21% to $232,158. Separate reports, however, paint a different pricing picture. Integrated Asset Services said Tuesday home prices in Miami were up 1.6% in the third quarter from the previous quarter, but down 9.9% from a year ago. Zillow (Z) reported Miami housing values sat at $138,200 for the quarter, down 1.1% from the second quarter and 3.5% from the third quarter 2010. About 47% of homes in Miami were in negative equity, or borrowers who owe more than their homes are worth, according to Zillow. Write to Andrew Scoggin. Follow him on Twitter @ascoggin.