Don't call it a comeback

Miami condo sales skyrocket, but that's not a sign the market has stabilized

Sometimes, news reports are so unusually odd that it is just plain hard to accept face value. Now, I’m not talking about three-headed frogs or anything like that, but straight-forward economic news. Take the case of the recent news release from the Miami Association of Realtors that reported existing condominium sales in August spiked 59 percent compared to August 2009 and a walloping 77 percent versus August 2008.

Those were such outstanding numbers that I gave a call to my two best sources in South Florida to see what was up.

"It’s a combination of reduction in inventory and repricing," said Peter Zalewksi, a principal with the Bal Harbour, Fla., consulting firm Condo Vultures LLC. "Remember when gas was $1.75 a gallon and then shot to $4. Now it is $2.50 a gallon and it looks like a pretty good deal. People now know what real pricing is for Miami condos and are starting to buy again."