Florida's Existing Home, Condo Sales Up in June 2009

Florida's Existing Home, Condo Sales Up in June 2009

Residential News » Residential Real Estate Edition | By Michael Gerrity | July 23, 2009 1:12 PM ET

(News Source: Florida Association of Realtors)

(ORLANDO, FL) - Florida's existing home sales rose in June - the 10th consecutive month that sales activity showed gains in the year-to-year comparison, according to the latest housing data released by the Florida Association of Realtors (FAR). Statewide sales in June also increased over the previous month's sales level in both the existing home and existing condominium markets. And, for the second month in a row, the statewide median sales price for existing homes was higher than the previous month's statewide median.

Existing home sales rose 28 percent last month with a total of 15,850 homes sold statewide compared to 12,339 homes sold in June 2008, according to FAR. Statewide existing home sales in June increased 13.8 percent over May's statewide activity.

Florida Realtors also reported a 39 percent rise in statewide sales of existing condos in June; existing condo sales last month rose 8.3 percent over the total units sold in May.

Sixteen of Florida's metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) reported increased existing-home sales in June and 14 MSAs also showed gains in condo sales. A majority of the state's MSAs have reported increased sales for the past year (12 consecutive months).

Florida's median sales price for existing homes last month was $148,000; a year ago, it was $205,300 for a 28 percent decrease. However, the statewide existing home median price in June increased 2.49 percent over May's median price; it also was higher than the statewide median price reported each month since the start of 2009. According to housing industry analysts with the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), 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. 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 2009 was $172,900, down 16.1 percent from a year earlier, according to NAR. In Massachusetts, the statewide median resales price was $284,000 in May; in California, it was $267,570; in Maryland, it was $265,724; and in New York, it was $189,000.

NAR's latest housing industry outlook notes the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers is boosting the sector. "Strong activity by entry level buyers is helping to absorb inventory and allow some existing owners to make a trade," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "However, the increase in sales is less than expected because poor appraisals are stalling transactions. The big question is how much the appraisal issue will impact the ability of contracts to go to closing."

In Florida's year-to-year comparison for condos, 5,241 units sold statewide compared to 3,771 units in June 2008 for a 39 percent increase. The statewide existing condo median sales price last month was $112,900; in June 2008 it was $180,400 for a 37 percent decrease. The national median existing condo price was $173,800 in May 2009, according to NAR.

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.42 percent last month, down significantly from the average rate of 6.32 percent in June 2008, according to Freddie Mac. FAR's sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

Among the state's smaller markets, the Punta Gorda MSA reported a total of 216 homes sold in June compared to 196 homes a year ago for a 10 percent increase. The existing home median sales price was $145,600; a year ago, it was $141,000 for a 3 percent increase. The market's existing condo median price last month was $140,000; a year earlier, it was $160,000 for a 13 percent decrease.

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