Realty Check

Miami Housing Heats Up


When I think of the Miami housing market, somehow scenes from Mad Max start creeping into my vision. A vast wasteland of empty condos and beleaguered investors with nothing but the shredded clothes on their backs and empty checkbook covers stuck to the bottom of their shoes.

Well, maybe not so much anymore.

MDA DataQuick reports sales in March rose 43 percent from February in Miami-Dade. That's the highest level since the peak of the housing boom. Sales in the Miami area have been rising for 13 straight months and prices are finally beginning to stabilize.

Condos are making a big comeback in sales, up 55 percent month to month and 62 percent from a year ago. That is the highest number of condo resales since March of 2006. You can thank all-cash foreign buyers for that. And they're hitting the high end as well, juicing the number of million dollar condo sales. Absentee buyers, often investors, accounted for more than one third of sales.

Prices are still rock bottom, down by more than 56 percent from the peak. The median price of a Miami condo now just $95,000, but the good news is that prices are holding steady. Is it all the tax credit? Probably not, since investors don't qualify.

Questions?  Comments?