Florida Condo Sales up in June, Home Sales Dip

Florida Condo Sales up in June, Home Sales Dip

Residential News » Residential Real Estate Edition | By David Barley | July 20, 2011 2:54 PM ET

(ORLANDO, FL) -- According to the Florida Association of Realtors (FAR), Florida's existing condo sales rose 8 percent in June with a total of 7,941 units sold statewide compared to 7,330 sold in June 2010.

The statewide existing condo median sales price last month was $93,900; a year earlier, it was $92,300 for a 2 percent increase. The national median existing condo sales price was $165,400 in May 2011, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

"Promising signs continue for a slowly strengthening economy and housing market," said 2011 Florida Realtors President Patricia Fitzgerald, manager/broker-associate with Illustrated Properties in Hobe Sound and Mariner Sands Country Club in Stuart. "Mortgage interest rates remain historically low and affordability conditions are strong."

Nine of Florida's metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) reported higher existing condo sales in June; six MSAs had higher existing home sales.

In Florida's year-to-year comparison for existing home sales, a total of 17,597 homes sold last month compared to 18,402 homes sold in June 2010 for a decrease of 4 percent. The statewide median sales price for existing homes last month was $138,000; a year earlier, it was $141,200 for a 2 percent decrease.

However, June's statewide existing home median price was about 1.8 percent higher than it was in May. Sales of foreclosures and other distressed properties continue to downwardly distort the median price because they generally sell at a discount relative to traditional homes, according to NAR analysts. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

The national median sales price for existing single-family homes in May 2011 was $166,700, down 4.5 percent from a year ago, according to NAR. In Massachusetts, the statewide median resales price was $300,375 in May; in California, it was $291,760; in Maryland, it was $233,568; and in New York, it was $211,900.

NAR's latest industry outlook points to the still-sluggish job market and overly restrictive lending requirements as factors constraining housing's recovery. "The job market has sputtered recently, and because variations in local job creation impact housing demand, markets will recover unevenly around the country," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "If banks would simply return to normal sound underwriting standards and begin lending to more creditworthy borrowers, we'd get a much faster recovery in the housing sector."

The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.51 percent in June, significantly lower than the 4.74 percent averaged during the same month a year earlier, according to Freddie Mac. Florida Realtors' sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

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