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Three Cents Worth: Miami's Seasonal Condo Price Trends

[This week, real estate appraiser, Curbed graph guru, blogger, and podcaster Jonathan Miller puts in another installation of his Three Cents Worth column, with his unique perspective on Miami's strange real estate market]

Yes, Miami actually has four housing seasons (no, you can't use good-great-good-great). Last week we released the 3Q 2012 Miami sales report with Douglas Elliman covered here on Curbed Miami so I thought I'd do a 2-fer breaking out the five regions in our coverage of the coastal communities. I went with condos due to the low volume of single family sales in some of the submarkets.

Median sales price charted by region, you can see a clear upward trend across all markets beginning with 1Q 2011. Curiously that was the same point in time when international buyer demand began to accelerate. It was also when the "robo-signer" scandal in 3Q 2010 began to cause services to slow down the pace of foreclosure sales entering the market. Coincidentally, 2Q 2011 was the recent high water mark for inventory - so the sharp decline in inventory has been consistent with the rise in prices.

Look for the pace of foreclosures to rise over the next year but probably not the tsunami pace of 2010 since banks will likely do a lot more short sales. The courts are backed up and now that the major services have been penalized for bad behavior (a slap on the wrist, really) I don't think they will be as much of a drag on the overall market as once thought - but clearly will have some sort of impact until the market is expunged of the excess distress.

Looking at year-over-year change in median sales price, the trend shows several patterns:

· The spring market (2Q) is generally when we see an uptick in price pressure in most housing markets and Miami is no exception.
· The first quarter of 2010 shows a sharp spike from the large decline in foreclosure activity as the mix shifted towards non-distressed.
· The volatility is trending lower with the decline in distress sales.
· Prices are trending higher.

· Matrix [Miller Samuel]
· Three Cents Worth archive [Curbed Miami]