Miami housing market rebounds to outperform the nation
By Patricia Hoyos
Despite suffering through one of the worst housing market crises, Miami's residential market is now doing better than the rest of the nation.
"In comparison with the rest of the country, the coastal regions of our nation as well as the dessert are doing better on a percentage basis than many other interior markets," said Ron Shuffield, president of Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Realty. "We have a considerable number of international buyers and second-home buyers. Now, our prices today have rolled back about ten years."
Besides Miami, regions like Southern California, Tucson and Las Vegas are seeing an increase in the number of units sold while places like the Midwest have taken a hit.
"We are outperforming the nation by far," said Ralph De Martino, president of Ocean International Realty.
Nationwide, the number of sales has increased 2% while in Florida they have increased 15%, he said.
"The sales this year are way up from last year, and that's because all the regular buyers that were thinking that the market was falling aren't thinking that anymore," he said.
Experts agree that international buyers' demand has helped fuel the market as they see Miami as a place of opportunity, with desirable climate and location.
In addition, the exchange rates of many foreign currencies make investing in the US an attractive opportunity, whether it's to have a second home or to purchase a condo to rent out.
According to data from the Miami Association of Realtors, Florida has come out in the No.1 spot in terms of sales to international buyers since 2009, followed by California, which used to lead the pack.
An estimated 26% of Miami realtors got half or more of their business from international clients in the past year, and 69% of Miami realtors closed at least one international deal in the last 12 months.
"There's no other market in the US that can boast these kinds of statistics," said Teresa King Kinney, CEO for the Miami Association of Realtors, during the 17th annual Miami International Real Estate Congress.
"You're getting a lot of Venezuelans, Canadians, Brazilians because they feel like there's a bargain," said Michael Pappas, president and CEO of The Keyes Co.
"We had a catastrophe: overbuilding and loose money," he said. "We're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel."
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