Bargain pricing and the sparks of recovery combined to boost existing housing sales in the first quarter 2011, according to statistics from Florida Realtors that show a 13 percent increase in sales from the same period last year.
Sales of existing homes through March totaled 44,531 homes statewide, with 17 of 19 Florida municipalities showing sales gains year to year. Condominium sales were even stronger, with the number of sales jumping 29 percent for the quarter ending March 31.
Condo prices rose in all but one statistical region.
Sales were boosted in part by soft home prices. The median price of a home sold during the quarter was $123,600, down 6 percent from the $131,100 posted for the same three-month period last year.
Condo prices fell 16 percent to $80,700. The median price figures continue to reflect the sale of distressed properties, which pull the figure lower than would be reflected in the sales of non-distressed homes.
Nationally, existing-home sales, including single-family and condo, were off 0.8 percent from a 5.18 million pace during the same period in 2010, the National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday. The national median price of a single family home fell 4.6 percent to $158,700 compared to a year ago. Distressed homes accounted for 39 percent of all sales.
In Florida, Miami Dade County led the state as home sales increased 71 percent to 5,910. In Broward sales increased 19 percent to 7,403.
In Miami-Dade, median prices fell 20 percent to $153,600 in the single family home market and 31 percent to $94,200 in the condo market. In Broward, median prices for single-family homes dipped 35 percent to $101,800, while condo prices increased 2 percent to $68,800.
Florida's sales figures compared well to other Southern states, In the South, existing-home sales increased in the first quarter to an annual rate of 1.96 million and are 2.8 percent higher than the first quarter of 2010. The median existing single-family home price in the South slipped 0.6 percent to $141,800 in the first quarter from a year earlier.
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