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Demand for South Florida property shrinks inventory and drives up prices

Waterfront properties are driving up sales prices in South Florida as inventory — from luxury to low-income — declines, according to first-quarter market reports released today by Douglas Elliman.

The gain in Miami-area sales prices coincides with a sharp decline in inventory, particularly of distressed properties, which fell 24.7 percent since the same period a year ago, the reports show.

The median sales price of short-sale and foreclosed condos in the Miami area has jumped from $95,000 to $111,500, a gain of 17.4 percent, while the sales price for the median non-distressed condo rose 7.4 percent, from $256,000 to $275,000.

South Florida’s 37.8 percent share of the U.S. distressed property market is at its lowest in three years, real estate appraiser Jonathan Miller told The Real Deal.

“Miami used to be the poster child for distressed inventory. That’s no longer the case,” Miller said.

As the supply of distressed properties declines, investors are shifting toward a different kind of housing stock, Miller said. The average non-distressed property is 29 percent larger than the average distressed property selling in South Florida, he said.

International investors continue strengthening South Florida’s coastal communities, Miller said, and without much use of credit. More than three out of four condo sales in Miami in the first quarter were purchased with cash.

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