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Miami Hits 5-Year High in April Home Sales

MIAMI (DQNews) -- Home sales in the Miama region dipped more than usual from March but were still the highest for an April in five years, with condo resales reaching a six-year high. The overall median sale price rose slightly from March but fell short of a year ago for the 43rd consecutive month amid near-record-high levels of investor and cash buying, a real estate information service reported.

In April, 9,727 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the metro area encompassing Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties. April sales fell 5.0% from the prior month but increased 17.8% from a year earlier, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. The firm tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records.

On average, sales between April and March have declined 0.3% since 1997, when DataQuick's complete Miami-area statistics begin.

>>If you are looking to buy a home, TheStreet's sister site BankingMyWay can help you find the lowest mortgage rates in your area.

April's total sales were the highest for that month since 2006 (when 13,982 homes sold) but fell 15.5% below the average April sales tally of 11,516 since 1997.

The 5,113 condos that resold last month marked a 5.9% decrease from March but a 28.5% increase from a year earlier. It was the highest number of condo resales for the month of April since 2005, when 6,332 condos resold. Condo resales made up a near-record 52.6% of total Miami-area home sales last month, compared with 48.2% a year earlier and a monthly average of 33.1% over the past decade.

New-home sales continued to suffer last month as builders struggled with the weak economy and competition from distressed sales. April's 569 new-home sales, which rose 1.6% from March and 4.4% from a year earlier, were the third-lowest on record for that month behind April 2010 and April 2009. Last month's new-home sales made up just 5.8% of all transactions - close to an all-time low and far below the new-home market's decade-long average of 19.0% of total monthly sales.

In the Miami region's luxury market, 72 houses and condos sold for $2 million or more last month, down 4.0% from 75 in March and down 8.9% from 79 a year earlier. However, during the first four months of this year there were 248 sales for $2 million or more, up 3.8% from the same four-month period last year. The figures are based on public property records, where either a price or loan amount was available.

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