© 2011 Florida Realtors®

ORLANDO, Fla. – Aug. 18, 2011 – Florida’s existing home and existing condo sales rose in July, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Existing home sales increased 12 percent last month with a total of 15,517 homes sold statewide compared to 13,874 homes sold in July 2010, according to Florida Realtors. Statewide sales of existing condos last month also rose 12 percent compared to the year-ago sales figure.

“Realtors in markets across the state are reporting increased activity from potential homebuyers who are ready to advantage of historically low mortgage rates and current availability of affordable housing options,” said 2011 Florida Realtors President Patricia Fitzgerald, manager/broker-associate with Illustrated Properties in Hobe Sound and Mariner Sands Country Club in Stuart.

Fifteen of Florida’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) reported higher existing home sales in July; 13 MSAs had higher existing condo sales.

The statewide median sales price for existing homes last month was $136,500; a year ago, it was $137,700 for only a 1 percent decrease. Analysts
with the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) note that 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 June 2011 was $184,600, up 0.6 percent from a year ago, according to NAR. In Massachusetts, the statewide median resales price was $325,850 in June; in California, it was $295,300; in Maryland, it was $247,100; and in New York, it was $221,595.

In Florida’s year-to-year comparison for condos, 6,619 units sold statewide last month compared to 5,904 units in July 2010 for an increase
of 12 percent. The statewide existing condo median sales price last month was $90,900; in July 2010 it was $87,800 for a 4 percent increase. NAR notes the national median existing condo sales price was $182,300 in June 2011.

Economic uncertainty continued to impact the recovery of the housing sector, according to NAR’s latest industry outlook. NAR Chief Economist
Lawrence Yun pointed to overly restrictive lending requirements, low appraisals and federal budget issues as factors affecting the pace of sales

Economic and political worries also dampened the outlook for Florida’s real estate markets, according to the University of Florida’s Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies’ latest quarterly survey of real estate trends. The report surveys economists, industry executives, real estate scholars, researchers and other experts.

“Even though unemployment in Florida improved in many markets, the pace of change and the still-high levels are affecting the pace of improvements in the real estate markets,” said Center Director Tim Becker. “Consumers continue to be cautious and pessimistic about
their own spending, which is also affecting the rate of fundamental improvement.”

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.55 percent in July, about the same level as the
4.56 percent average during the same month a year earlier. Florida Realtors’ sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

© 2011 Florida Realtors®