Market Trends

Buying a Home NOW is a Very Wise Move

FIU College of Business did a 30 year study which casts doubt on whether buying is really better than renting.  Although the results are not available yet, you can read a summary here.  After reading the summary, I’d like to make two points:

Their conclusion that renting makes more sense is based on the premise that the renter would be investing the difference between renting and owning.  By their own admission, renters DON’T do this nor do historical trends support that they are likely to have the discipline to do so.  Life gets in the way and the money is spent elsewhere.  Additionally, in Miami, there are places where renting costs more than buying, so there would be no savings to invest.  So each month you’d be a little poorer and you’d have no tax advantages at the end of the year either.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Buying in Miami is Cheaper than Renting

Inman news has an article of the top cities in America where buying is cheaper than renting.  Miami heads the list.  But this is not news to me.  As a dedicated real estate professional, I have known this all along and so have my customers.

With interest rates still at an all-time low and loan programs available for qualified buyers, it makes sense to buy and invest in your future.

You can read the article here.  If you’d like help getting out of your rental and into your own home in the Miami areas I service, please contact me.

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Pinecrest Home Sales

Pinecrest Luxury Home - most expensive sale in December

Pinecrest Luxury Home – most expensive sale in December

Pinecrest home sales were brisk in December.  There were 20 closings of homes in Pinecrest, ranging in price from $270,000 to $3,998,000.  Don’t let the lowest priced sale fool you.  The average sales price in Pinecrest was $1,148,100 with the median being $805,000.

The most expensive home sale in Pinecrest was a 9 bedroom, 12 bath, plus guest house, home in North Pinecrest.  The total living area was 14,446 square feet and the lot size was over a true acre at 50,529 square feet.  This home is the one in this picture and boasted many amenities, including a swimming pool, lit tennis court and beautiful landscaping.  It was listed at $4,500,000 and sold at 88.84% of list price.  It is interesting to note that, according to the MLS data, it was also a cash sale.  Read the rest of this entry »

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South Miami Home Market Analysis

Nothing gives you a clear picture of the South Florida real estate market as aptly as looking at the numbers.  And nothing gives a better understanding of the numbers as well as a visual aid.

Here’s what’s going on in South Miami. Please note that these numbers do not include the High Pines and Ponce Davis area.  While folks like to think of each of them as part of South Miami, they really aren’t officially part of the city of South Miami.  I ran these reports by city.  I’ll devote separate market reports to High Pines and Ponce Davis homes.  Below is a breakdown of the homes presently available for sale in South Miami:

Homes for sale in South Miami 5/21/10

There are 56 single family homes available for sale in South Miami. The lowest priced one at $29,900 (no, that isn’t a typo) and all the way at the other end of the spectrum is the highest priced at $1,899,000 (a beautifully appointed newer construction with 6 bedrooms and centrally located just minutes from U.S. 1).

In comparison, below is what is Pending Sale in South Miami.  That means that the home seller and buyer have come to an agreement on price and terms, escrow has been opened, and the transaction is on its way to closing sometime in the near future.  Considering the number of closed sales in the last 3 months (noted below), this number of pending sales is a very healthy number.  Keep in mind that not all sales that go under contract get to closing.  Sometimes the transaction falters and the reasons are many.  Of the 22 homes pending sale in South Miami, 12 are short sales and 2 are foreclosures.  So more than half of the pending home sales are distressed sales:

Homes pending sale in South Miami

The final graphic shows what has actually closed in the last 30 days.  There were 3 closed sales in South Miami in the last 30 days.  There were 9 closed sales in the last 3 months, so last month’s activity is pretty much the average for the area lately: 3 sales a month:

South Miami Closed Sales 30 days

When you think about the fact that there are 56 homes for sale and they are selling at a rate of 3 per month (we do not count pendings when calculating this), there are 18.66 months of inventory available for sale in South Miami. A normal market has about 6 months of inventory.  This means it is crucial that you price your property well to be one of those closed sales.

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$8,000 Homebuyer Credit Extension Update

Almost daily I am asked by Miami home buyers if “the credit” has been extended. The deadline for the current credit is fast approaching (Nov. 30th) and if you’re not in contract already to buy a house, it is unlikely that you will be able to take advantage of the present credit.

BUT today we have news of being closer to a decision on whether the credit will be extended and/or expanded.  The Senate has come up with the following:

  • Keep the amount capped at $8,000
  • Extend the close date to June 30, 2010 (must be under contract by April 30)
  • Raise the qualifying income limits to $125K for singles & $250K for joint taxpayers (limits are presently $75K & $150K respectively)
  • Add a separate credit (up to $6,500) available to existing homeowners who have been in their home 5 of the previous 8 years before closing

The Senate still has to vote on the above and the House of Representatives could come up with it’s own version.  But this step brings us closer to a decision.

If you’ve been looking for a Miami home and hoping to qualify for the credit, you still may be able to.  Stay tuned.

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Bulk Sales Of Condos Being Tested In Florida

Miami bayfront highrise condosOver 23,000 condos were built in Miami since 2003 and their prices have fallen by half since December 2006!

The glut of condos has not gone unnoticed!!  Opportunities to make money in this sector of the economy has created the Bulk Purchase Of Condos  as a new concept that is being tried first in Miami and if this proves successful, it will spread to cities like Las Vegas and San Diego where many condos are standing empty.

In Aventura, the Artech development of condos at 3131 N.E. 188th Street was completed with 235 units.  41 of these units were bought in bulk and at greatly reduced prices from the developer and are now on the market with 15 having been sold, so far.

At Bal Harbor One, a luxury highrise overlooking the gorgeous Government cut oceanfront, sold off 51 condo hotel units for 14.6 million dollars, to a bulk investor.

This type of purchase, allows new prices for these condos to be set at current rates and buyers will be able to take great advantage of severely reduced prices of well built, luxury properties.  Truely, a great chance to really get a deal.

This also allows condos to get filled up and collect maintenance fees.  These private investors are acting stragically, pricing the properties at the market, offering incentives, and sometimes renting those that don’t sell.  They are filling a need in the market place.

This is good old fashioned American ingenuity!  Please call me for more details and information if you are considering a bulk purchase…

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These articles are not intended to give legal or tax advice, and you should consult your attorney or financial advisor for additional information.

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