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The Market's Looking Up, Despite Lack Of Loans Or Inventory

Beginning 2013 with a bang, Douglas Elliman has dropped their Fourth Quarter 2012 Miami Market Report. Jonathan Miller, the author of the reports, and Curbed Miami's right hand market analyst, has contributed his commentary in the hopes of bringing the report's more salient points to life. Take it away Jonathan...

The Miami housing market continued to improve through the end of 2012. The key story in the market rebound has been the increase in sales despite no real easing in mortgage lending. Year-over-year sales activity jumped 14%, the highest total for a fourth quarter in at least 6 years. That's a more important trend than prices, since sales activity leads prices by at least a year.

Median sales price did surge 27.3% over the same period as well. Nearly 75% of all condo purchases and approximately 45% of all single family purchases were made with cash in the quarter, nominally different than a year ago. International buyers and an improving economy are keeping the pressure on the market despite the lack of participation by banks. Distressed sales fell to a 3 year low of 40.2% after reaching 64.7% in early 2011.

Another important trend has been falling inventory. There were 17.6% fewer listings available for sale in the fourth quarter than the same period a year ago. This is a national phenomenon caused by tight mortgage lending standards. Sellers, when they sell, become buyers and if they don't qualify for a purchase, they won't sell. It's as simple as that.
· Q4 2012 Miami Sales [Douglas Elliman]