90% of foreign buyers pay cash for Miami homes

Wealthy overseas property buyers are boosting sales in Miami by buying homes for cash, according to local realtors.

Prices in the sunshine city rose again in September thanks to eager foreign buyers – for the 10th month in a row.

Year on year, condo prices are up a sensational 36.2% to an average $150,000, while family homes increased 8.6% to $190,000.

A combination of wealthy overseas buyers and a shortage of property to sell are buoying prices in the city.

Foreign buyers were pivotal in the Miami real estate market and economy, according to Patricia Delinois, residential president of the Miami Association of Realtors

Record sales

“Miami’s market share of international purchases in Florida continues to increase, reflecting its strong position as the top market for foreign buyers and investors and benefiting our businesses and our residents. Miami now accounts for 31% of all international sales in the entire State of Florida, up more than 10% compared to NAR’s 2011 Florida study,” she said.

Nine out of 10 foreign buyers in Florida buy homes with cash, compared with 28% of cash sales nationwide, up from 27% in August and down from 30% in September 2011.

Home sales in Miami-Dade County fell 3.4% compared to a year earlier, when the market returned record sales. Condo sales were down 6.7% from 1,395 to 1,302, while family home sales were up 1.6% from 903 to 917, year on year.

“The Miami real estate market continues to strengthen despite the shortage of housing inventory,” said Miami Association of Realtors chair Martha Pomares.

Great time to buy and sell

“We’ve seen nearly an entire year of significant monthly price increases, which makes now a great time to sell a home. Miami properties sell very quickly and draw multiple offers when priced right.”

Fred Brown property portal Property International says “prices in the rest of Florida rose an average 7.4% to $145,000 for family homes and 18.8% to $105,376 for condos”

This compares with an average national home price of $183,900 in September, an 11.3% increase from 12 months earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Just over 15,600 second hand family homes were sold in Florida in September, up 2% compared to a year ago, while condo sales were down 2.9% at nearly 7,350 from September 2011.