Florida Home Sales Up in June
Existing home sales continued to rebound in Florida in June as sales jumped 17 percent from a year ago, according to data released Thursday by Florida Realtors.
Sales of existing homes posted the 22nd consecutive month of year-to-year improvement as the state continues to claw its way out of a housing bust that sent the market into a tailspin in 2007. Of 19 metropolitan areas tracked by the group, sales improved in 15 cities in year-to-year comparisons.
Median prices improved slightly in June from the month before but still lagged behind June 2009 as the market continues to adjust from historically high prices, tight credit and a glut of housing remaining in particular markets.
June’s statewide existing-home median price of $141,000 was $600 higher than May, but 5 percent lower than the $147,700 posted in June 2009. Realtors caution that the current median price may be artificially low as it includes the sale of distressed properties, which nationally accounted for nearly a third of all sales. Buyers looking at homes that aren’t in foreclosure will see prices much higher than that median, likely.
Nationally, home sales were 9.8 percent higher in June than a year earlier, though the sale of single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops fell 5.1 percent from May, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales in the South were up 11 percent year to year.
“Conditions have become more balanced in much of the country, which is good for both buyers and sellers,” said NAR president Vicki Cox Golder.
The national median sales price for existing single-family homes in June was $183,700, up 1 percent from a year earlier, according to NAR.
Back in Florida, strong sales increases were posted in Jacksonville (27 percent); Orlando (21 percent) and Tallahassee (13 percent) Sales fell in Fort Myers by 12 percent.
Condominium sales also posted gains year-to-year with the number of condos sold rising by a third. Statewide median price, however, fell 16 percent to $95,000.
State and national real estate industry officials credited the rebound in part to lower interest rates on mortgage loans. The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.74 percent in June, down from the 5.42 percent averaged during June 2009, according to Freddie Mac.
Industry observers are hoping that the economy will remain strong despite the BP oil spill that could have an impact on home sales along the Gulf coast, especially if the spill slows the economic recovery.
"If jobs come back as expected, the pace of home sales should pick up later this year and reach a sustainable level of activity given very favorable affordability conditions," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "We'll also keep a close eye on market conditions on the Gulf Coast."