Home buyers went on a shopping spree in Miami-Dade in May — and snapped up enough houses to set a new record.
Sales of single-family homes surged to a new high last month with 1,344 closings — a 9.9 percent increase in the number of homes sold over the same month in 2016 and besting the previous record of 1,276 transactions in May 2015.
Mid-market homes — properties listed between $200,000-$600,000 — comprised 71.9 percent of all sales. The volume of transactions in that price range grew by 27.9 percent, from 756 to 967.
Christopher Zoller, the 2017 chairman of the board of directors of the Miami Association of Realtors, attributed the gains to pent-up demand and fear of rising interest rates. The average commitment rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.01 percent in May, according to Freddie Mac. The average commitment rate for all of 2016 was 3.65 percent.
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“There had been a lot of people who sat on the sidelines for a year or more and now they're getting into the market,” Zoller said. “Interest rates are still historically low, but whenever people see them go up another quarter point, they start to buy.
“What’s important to note is that these are not investors,” Zoller said. “Ninety percent or more of these single-family home buyers are end-users who are moving to a bigger or smaller house.”
Here are other highlights of the monthly existing home sales report, which was released Wednesday. The report covers sales of existing homes and does not include new condos or houses. Comparisons are for year-over-year totals, unless otherwise noted.
▪ Total sales volume for all properties sold in May was $1.17 billion, up from $1.01 billion in April
▪ Median prices for single-family homes in Miami-Dade went up 10.7 percent — the 66th consecutive month of growth — to $325,000
▪ Sales of single-family homes in Miami-Dade County increased 7.7 percent, from 2,532 to 2,728
▪ The median sales price of a condo increased 4.8 percent, from $214,750 to $225,000
▪ The number of condo sales grew 5.7 percent, from 1,309 to 1,384
▪ Sales of luxury single-family homes ($1 million and above) jumped 23.5 percent in May 2017.
Cash buyers made up 39.4 percent of all sales closed in May, which is down from 47.2 percent but still nearly double the national figure of 22 percent. Almost 54 percent of condo closings and 24.6 percent of single-family homes involved cash sales, which are often made by foreign buyers.
Although the May figures reveal Miami-Dade to be a sellers’ market, the buyer reigns supreme in Broward. A report by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors showed the number of single-family home sales fell 9.1 percent, from 1,738 to 1,579. Sales of condos and townhouses were flat, from 1,645 to 1,646.
The single-family median home price was $335,000 (up 8.1 percent), while the median condo sale price was $159,000 (up 11.6 percent).