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Bring Cash, Get a Condo

Inventory is falling, prices are up, and cash is still king: that’s the landscape of the Miami condo market in Q3 2012, according to Prudential Douglas Elliman’s latest market report, released today. If that sounds like more of the same for the area’s hot market, it is.

For Miami condos, the median sales price during Q3 ’12 was $180k, up 28.6% from the same quarter in 2011, according to Douglas Elliman. (What a difference an NBA championship makes.) The number of sales increased 1.3% from the same period last year, to 3,129 units. Among those sales, 1,880 were of non-distressed properties, a jump of 33.9% compared with Q3 2011. The median non-distressed sales price jumped as well, to $260k, or 10.6% more than a year ago. The median sales price for luxury condos—that’s the top 10% of the market, with an entry point of $680k—was $1.1M, up 38.6% from the prior year quarter.

“Cash is king” might be an old real estate cliché (and an old retail cliché, and an old service industry cliché, and an old cliche about people named Johnny… it really fits anywhere), but 72.8% of non-distressed and 76.3% of all distressed condo purchases were made with cash, so there’s a lot of truth to it. International buyers continue to drive the market, the report notes. For those who aren’t bringing cash to the table, record low mortgage rates are attracting buyers to the market, but demand remains somewhat tempered by very tight lending conditions.

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