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Although the Miami market still remains deeply troubled, sales have recently picked up which shows that the market is on the rebound . From May through December last year, 1,000 new units sold in downtown Miami (Brickell Avenue to Julita Tuttle Caseway). You can see the report here. However, the majority of buyers were investors from South America. And though occupancy in newly constructed buildings in downtown has substantially increased, more than half of the new residents were renters, and 7,000 of the 22,000 new condo units built since 2003 still remain unsold. Most which are in the Brickell area.
The majority of buyers who intend use their unit as a primary/secondary residence are primarily interested in top properties in the best locations. A big chunk of these sales were made at the Icon Brickell. By the end of the last quarter in 2009, only 125 condos had sold, with an average price of $543 a square foot.
Over all, condo prices in Miami-Dade County have declined by 51 percent since 2007, when the median price was $275,000. Last month, 2,381 condos in the county went to contract (twice as many as in March 2009) but the median price had slipped to $135,000, he said.
Still I don’t think the increase in sales may translate into higher prices. With so many investment sales, I believe many units will come back to the market when prices begin to rise, which will keep prices down. I would say we still have a minimum of 5 years before the market reaches equilibrium
The good thing is that the influx of renters has meant that downtown no longer looks like a ghost town and is bringing a vibrancy that we have never felt here. More lights are on at night, and new shops and restaurants have opened.