MIAMA ( DQNews) -- Miami area home sales rose sharply in June, the result of low prices, low mortgage rates and what was likely the final big boost from the federal home buyer tax credits. Sales of existing condos rose to a five-year high, while the region's overall median sale price inched up from May but remained 6% lower than a year ago, a real estate information service reported.

In June 9,296 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the metro area encompassing Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties. That was up 18.3% from May and up 20.4% from June 2009, according to MDA DataQuick. The San Diego firm tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records.

On average, sales have increased 7.1% between May and June since 1997. Total escrow closings were the highest for any June since 2007, but they fell 26.3% short of the average for that month since 1997, when DataQuick's complete Miami-area stats begin. Sales have increased on a year-over-year basis for 16 consecutive months.

Last month's resales (excludes new homes) of single-family detached houses and condos combined were the highest for the month of June since 2006. Resales have risen year-over-year for 19 consecutive months. New-home sales in June rose 21.2% above the May tally but were 1.4% lower than a year ago and the lowest for the month of June since at least 1997.

New-home sales have suffered as builders struggle to compete with distressed sales. New homes made up 6.2% of total June sales, far below the decade average of 20% of monthly sales.

The 4,355 condos that resold in June marked a 15.2% gain from May and a 33.0% increase from June 2009. It was the highest number of condo resales for that month since June 2005, when 6,070 condos resold. Condo resales made up 46.8% of total Miami-area home sales in June, compared with 48.1% a year earlier and a monthly average of 32.8% over the past decade.

In the Miami market's high end, the number of houses and condos that sold for $1 million or more rose to 262 in June, up 13.4% from 231 in May and up 21.9% from 215 in June 2009. During the first six months of this year, 1,230 houses and condos sold for $1 million or more, up 32.5% from the same period last year. The figures are based on an analysis of public property records, where there was a purchase price or loan of $1 million or more. The peak month for $1 million-plus home sales was in June 2005, when 583 sold in the Miami area.

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the Miami region during June was $150,000, up 1.4% from $148,000 in May but down 6.3% from $160,000 in June 2009.

June's overall median sale price stood 48.3% below the peak $290,000 median in June 2007. The Miami area's median price has fallen on a year-over-year basis for 33 consecutive months.

The median price paid for resale condos in June was $100,000, nearly unchanged from $100,150 in May and down 4.8% from $105,000 in June 2009. Last month the resale condo median stood 54.3% below its $219,000 peak in July 2006.

The median paid for resale single-family detached houses held at $185,000, the same as in May but down 1.5% from $187,750 a year ago, and down 45.6% from a June 2007 peak of $340,000.

Another price gauge analysts watch, the median paid per square foot for resale single-family detached houses, rose slightly on a year-over-year basis for the first time since September 2006. Last month the figure inched up to $108, up from $106 per square foot in May and up 0.9% from $107 in June 2009. Last month's figure was still 48.8% below the region's $211 peak in summer 2006.

A popular form of financing used by first-time home buyers - government-insured FHA loans - accounted for 43.5% of all home purchase loans in June, down from 45.6% in May but up from 43.1% a year ago. Two years ago it was 19.1%.

Absentee buyers purchased 31.8% of all homes sold in the Miami area in June, down from 33.2% in May but up from 31.0% a year ago, according to public property records. In June absentee buyers paid a median $105,000, down from $110,300 in May and down from $113,000 a year earlier. Absentee buyers are often investors, but could include second-home buyers and others who indicated at the time of sale that their property tax bill would be sent to a different address.

About 3.1% of the homes sold in June had been "flipped" within a six-month period, meaning they had been bought on the open market and then re-sold within that six-month window. That was up slightly from a flipping rate of 3.0% of all sales in May and up from 2.2% a year earlier. Flipping rates were higher before the housing market correction: In July 2005, for example, the Miami-area flipping rate was 5.6%.

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