MIAMI Miami Association of Realtors -- Sales of existing single-family homes in the Miami metropolitan area in December were 734 vs. 623 a year earlier, a increase of 18%.

Meanwhile, December sales in Miami rose 70% from December 2008, according to the Miami Association of Realtors and the Southeast Florida Multiple Listing Service.

Sales of condominiums increased 29% to 985 from 766 in December 2009. Condominium sales jumped 116% from December 2008.

Statewide sales increased 4% to 6,673 for condominiums and 4% for single-family homes to 15,550. Nationally, sales of existing single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops rose 12.3% from November but were 2.9% below December 2009, according to the National Association of Realtors.

"Sales figures for December and for all of 2010 are very encouraging," said Jack Levine, 2010 chairman of the Miami Association of Realtors. "Increasing sales denote the demand that exists for local properties and show significant strengthening from where we were two years ago."

Total closed sales of condominiums in 2010 spiked 43% to 9,778 in 2010. Compared to 2008, condominium sales in 2010 increased 114%. Total single-family home sales increased 9% in 2010 from 2009 and 67% from 2008.

Short sales and foreclosures continue to have an impact on median and average sales prices for both single-family homes and condominiums especially in some areas of the county.

In the Miami metropolitan area, the year-end 2010 median sales price dropped a negligible 3% for single-family homes and 18% for condominiums from 2009. Statewide, the year-end median sales price dropped 4% for single-family homes and 15% for condominiums. The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $168,800 in December, a 1% drop from December 2009.

The median sales price of single-family homes in December decreased 15% to $173,600 from a year earlier. The median sales price of condominiums dropped 33% to $99,100. Statewide median sales prices decreased 17% to $88,100 for condominiums and 5% to $133,100 for single-family homes.

The average sales price for total single-family homes in Miami-Dade County increased 5% to $301,020 in 2010. The average sales prices for condominiums dropped 8% to $221,330.

"While we have seen the Miami real estate market improve overall, many local areas and neighborhoods are surging," said 2011 Miami Association of Realtors Residential President Ralph De Martino. "Sales prices and volume are increasing in various cities throughout Miami-Dade County."

The inventory of residential listings in Miami-Dade County dropped 7.6% to 23,116 from 25,021 since January 2010, according to the SEFMLS. Compared to last month, the total inventory of homes dropped 4.8%. Total housing inventory nationally fell 4.2% at the end of December.
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