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Miami home, condo prices finish higher in Q4 | By Andrew Morrell

Median prices for single-family homes and condos in the Miami area grew at a faster rate than the national average in the final quarter of 2018, according to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors.

Compared to the same period in 2017, the median price for a home listing in Miami grew 4.5 percent during the fourth quarter of 2018, while condo prices grew 4.4 percent. Nationally, home prices grew 4 percent while condo prices grew by just 0.3 percent.

Real estate agents, including Florida Realtors president Eric Sain, attribute this strong price growth to a resilient economy statewide.

Florida’s economy is growing, the jobs outlook remains strong and more people are moving to the Sunshine State,” said Sain, who works as a district sales manager with Illustrated Properties in Palm Beach. “And, while mortgage interest rates have fluctuated in recent months, they remain at historically low levels. All of these factors are positive signs for the state’s housing market in 2019.”

Across Florida, home prices grew even faster in Q4 — by an annual rate of 7.2 percent, to finish 2018 at a median price of $254,505. The number of new listings also saw a 6.5 percent increase compared to the same period. Year-to-date home sales (From January through December 2018) grew 2.2 percent.

Home sales slow nationally in Q4

Compared to Miami and the Florida home market, the national picture was less rosy, although the situation for buyers improved. The total number of existing home sales completed throughout the U.S. last year declined by 1.8 percent compared to 2017 totals. In the fourth quarter alone, closings fell by 7.4 percent nationally. Markets in the Western U.S. saw sales drop by almost 14 percent in Q4 2018 compared to the prior year, and price growth reached just 1.8 percent.

“The West region, where home prices have nearly doubled in six years, is undergoing the biggest shift with the slowest price gain and large buyer pullback,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun in a press release for the national figures. Still, Yun noted that “[h]ome prices continued to rise in the vast majority of markets” during Q4 2018, “but with inventory steadily increasing, home prices are, on average, rising at a slower and healthier pace.”