Miami Property Runs Out After Year Of Record Sales

Fears that property for sale is running out in Miami may undermine its record-setting year of sales in 2012, according to real estate agents.

Last year, sellers also saw asking prices increase for family homes and apartments in Miami with this trend being reported across Florida.

The reason for the boom, says the Miami Association of Realtors (MAR), is an influx of foreign buyers keen to cash in and their numbers are, apparently, increasing.

The association says the number of sales that were closed as cash sales amounted to 65% of the total in December, around the same proportion for December 2011.

Buyers were paying cash for 49% of family homes and 76% of apartment sales.

Foreign buyers pay in cash

The association’s figures also reveal that an astonishing 90% of foreign buyers are paying in cash – compared to 29% seen across the US.

Though the association fears that the trend for prices to soar will continue because foreign investors are still keen to buy and the number of homes coming up for sale is falling.

MAR reports that sales of family homes in Miami-Dade County rocketed by 7.9% last year compared to 2011 with apartment sales rising by 1.9%.

A spokesman for the association said: “Miami’s property market in 2013 will strengthen as demand intensifies, particularly from foreign investors and people looking to buy vacation homes.

“Miami’s real estate has exceeded expectations and we remain optimistic about its future performance but prices will not surge like they have done and we do not expect to set another sales record.”

He added that there was also a strong rental market in Miami too with that market also suffering from a lack of property supply.

Property sales in December notched up a 12.5% increase on the same month the year previously, helped by a 16.4% increase in family homes being sold.

Prices keep rising

Miami has now seen 13 months of continuous growth in its property prices for family homes and apartments with the average asking price for an apartment is now at £103,000 and for a family home it is £135,000.

However, the association’s figures also reveal where the cash and foreign buyers are really heading – distressed sales of property.

These are properties foreclosed by the mortgage lender and accounted for 41% of all property sales in Miami for December and demand for them remains strong.

Miami’s property success is reflected across the state of Florida with sales for family homes surging by 15.8% in December and 8.6% for apartments on the year previously

Average prices across the state are now £97,000 for family homes and £74,000 for apartments.