Florida’s Existing Home Sales Ease in August 2007
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Florida’s Existing Home Sales Ease in August 2007

ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 25 /PRNewswire/ — Low mortgage rates, low unemployment rates and strong demographics continued to reflect positive economic signs in Florida in August. Statewide, sales of existing single- family homes totaled 11,279 last month and were closer to activity in August 2001 and 2002 — before the peak of the housing boom years — than the August 2006 figures, when 15,252 homes sold for a 26 percent decrease in the year-to- year comparison, according to the Florida Association of Realtors(R) (FAR).

Florida's median sales price for existing single-family homes last month was $231,900; a year ago, it was $246,800 for a 6 percent decrease. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less. In August 2002, the statewide median sales price for single-family homes was $141,200, for an increase of 64.2 percent over the five-year-period, according to FAR records.

In July 2007, the national median sales price for existing single-family homes was $228,600, down 1 percent from the previous year, according to the National Association of Realtors(R) (NAR). In California, the statewide median resales price was $586,030 in July; in Massachusetts, it was $365,775; in Maryland, it was $323,838; and in New York, it was $249,700.

NAR's latest market outlook notes that disruptions in the mortgage market are dampening the forecast for home sales, particularly in August and September. However, the mortgage markets will calm in the months ahead, says NAR Senior Economist Lawrence Yun. “The volume of existing-home sales this year will be better than 2002, which was the second year of the housing boom,” he says. “Conventional loans – the vast majority of available financing – are available to creditworthy borrowers. Buyers in most areas who do their homework will recognize that housing remains a good long-term investment.”

Sales of existing condominiums in Florida also decreased last month, with a total of 3,380 condos sold statewide compared to 4,522 in August 2006 for a 25 percent decline, according to FAR. The statewide median sales price for condos last month was $196,800, down 3 percent from August 2006's condo median price of $201,900. NAR reported the national median existing condo price was $230,600 in July 2007.

Last month, interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.57 percent, according to Freddie Mac, close to the average rate of 6.52 percent in August 2006. FAR's sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

Among the state's larger markets, the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) reported 568 existing homes sold last month compared to 655 homes sold a year ago for a 13 percent decrease. The market's median sales price for homes was $366,200; it was $386,000 in August 2006 for a 5 percent decrease. A total of 435 existing condos changed hands in the MSA last month, down 16 percent from the 515 condos sold the previous year. The existing condo median sales price in August was $209,000; a year ago, it was $220,300 for a 5 percent decrease.

“Palm Beach offers a unique lifestyle, with beautiful beaches, cultural amenities and other wonderful opportunities,” says Norma Mirsky, president of the Palm Beach Board of Realtors and president of Mirsky Realty Group. “Mortgage rates continue to be very favorable and this is a great time to buy a home in the area, especially if you're looking for a place to live in and call home.”

Among the state's smaller markets, the Fort Walton Beach MSA reported a total of 219 homes sold in August compared to 255 homes a year ago for a 14 percent decrease. The existing home median sales price was $227,300; a year ago, it was $229,200 for a 1 percent decrease. A total of 51 existing condos sold in the MSA last month compared to 47 condos the previous August for a 9 percent increase. The market's existing condo median price was $311,500; a year ago, it was $356,300 for a decrease of 13 percent.

Harry Millsaps, president of the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors and a Realtor with Prudential Coastal Properties Inc., says that home sales are returning to a more normal pace in the area, with buyers attracted by the laid-back, friendly lifestyle. “The Federal Reserve Board's recent cut in a key interest rate could make it easier for many people to find an affordable mortgage that's right for them,” he says. “It is especially good news for homeowners with adjustable-rate mortgages; now, as many ARMs reset their rates, those borrowers could see some savings as a result of the lower interest rates. Buyers seeking to make a long-term investment in a home of their own have more options now.”

Two charts showing statistics for Florida and its 20 MSAs are attached. One chart compares the volume of existing, single-family home sales and median sales prices; the other compares the volume of existing, condominium sales and median sales price in August 2007 to August 2006 based on Realtor transactions.

The Florida Association of Realtors(R), the voice for real estate in Florida, provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 150,000 members in 67 boards/associations.
                      Florida Sales Report – August 2007
                        Single-Family, Existing Homes

                                Realtor Sales          Median Sales Price
    Statewide &
    Metropolitan Statistical
     Areas
    (MSAs)
                             August  August   %      August    August    %
                              2007    2006   Chge     2007      2006    Chge

    STATEWIDE* (1)           11,279  15,252  -26    $231,900  $246,800   -6
    STATEWIDE-YEAR-TO-DATE   95,155 132,588  -28    $238,800  $249,300   -4
    Daytona Beach               596     710  -16    $201,900  $213,400   -5
    Fort Lauderdale             538     702  -23    $368,800  $362,800    2
    Fort Myers-Cape Coral       520     691  -25    $250,800  $264,100   -5
    Fort Pierce-Port St. Lucie  287     387  -26    $214,200  $251,900  -15
    Fort Walton Beach           219     255  -14    $227,300  $229,200   -1
    Gainesville                 236     293  -19    $218,000  $215,300    1
    Jacksonville              1,067   1,490  -28    $196,700  $208,400   -6
    Lakeland-Winter Haven       314     465  -32    $170,900  $179,000   -5
    Melbourne-Titusville-Palm
     Bay                        430     571  -25    $202,800  $220,300   -8
    Miami                       385     695  -45    $392,900  $378,800    4
    Naples-Marco Island* (2)     35      32    9    $507,900  $530,400   -4
    Ocala                       219     410  -47    $154,400  $169,600   -9
    Orlando                   1,472   2,221  -34    $249,300  $261,000   -4
    Panama City                 131     135   -3    $199,300  $187,500    6
    Pensacola                   417     426   -2    $168,400  $169,500   -1
    Punta Gorda                 223     274  -19    $186,500  $210,400  -11
    Sarasota-Bradenton          687     791  -13    $273,500  $308,100  -11
    Tallahassee                 432     543  -20    $177,600  $176,700    1
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-
     Clearwater (3)           2,154   3,029  -29    $214,100  $232,400   -8
    West Palm Beach-Boca Raton  568     655  -13    $366,200  $386,000   -5

    (1) *Statewide figure includes data from the Naples Area Board of Realtors
        and Association of Real Estate Professionals.
    (2) *Data is only from the Marco Island Association of Realtors.
    (3) Data from the Hernando County Association of Realtors now included in
        the totals from 2006 and 2007.
Editor's note: Sales numbers represent totals of Realtors' closed transactions from local Realtor boards/associations within the MSAs.

This information is based on a survey of MLS sales levels from Florida's Realtor boards/associations. MSAs are defined by the 2000 Census. Source: Florida Association of Realtors and the University of Florida Real Estate Research Center.
                      Florida Sales Report – August 2007
                            Existing Condominiums

                                Realtor Sales          Median Sales Price
    Statewide &
    Metropolitan Statistical
     Areas
    (MSAs)
                             August  August   %      August    August    %
                              2007    2006   Chge     2007      2006    Chge

    STATEWIDE* (1)            3,380   4,522  -25    $196,800  $201,900   -3
    STATEWIDE-YEAR-TO-DATE   29,986  40,840  -27    $205,900  $210,000   -2
    Daytona Beach                97      74   31    $255,800  $240,900    6
    Fort Lauderdale             551     704  -22    $178,800  $204,300  -12
    Fort Myers-Cape Coral        96     100   -4    $218,800  $237,500   -8
    Fort Pierce-Port St. Lucie   54      84  -36    $180,000  $226,700  -21
    Fort Walton Beach            51      47    9    $311,500  $356,300  -13
    Gainesville                 142     200  -29    $165,300  $157,900    5
    Jacksonville                145     171  -15    $157,900  $183,600  -14
    Lakeland-Winter Haven        18      24  -25    $130,000  $125,700    3
    Melbourne-Titusville-Palm
     Bay                        114     115   -1    $188,600  $199,000   -5
    Miami                       426     761  -44    $262,000  $249,800    5
    Naples-Marco Island* (2)     28      43  -35    $316,700  $395,000  -20
    Ocala (3)                   N/A     N/A  N/A         N/A       N/A  N/A
    Orlando                     164     344  -52    $156,500  $167,500   -7
    Panama City                  41      33   24    $239,300  $304,500  -21
    Pensacola                    54      54    –    $291,700  $137,500  112
    Punta Gorda                  24      32  -25    $166,700  $155,000    8
    Sarasota-Bradenton          201     216   -7    $219,800  $242,900  -10
    Tallahassee                  49      84  -42    $133,800  $144,000   -7
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-
     Clearwater (4)             553     774  -29    $173,900  $171,600    1
    West Palm Beach-Boca Raton  435     515  -16    $209,000  $220,300   -5

    (1) *Statewide figure includes data from the Naples Area Board of Realtors
        and Association of Real Estate Professionals.
    (2) *Data is only from the Marco Island Association of Realtors.
    (3) Data from the Ocala-Marion County Association of Realtors was not
        available.
    (4) Data from the Hernando County Association of Realtors now included in
        the totals from 2006 and 2007.
Editor's note: Sales numbers represent totals of Realtors' closed transactions from local Realtorboards/associations within the MSAs.

This information is based on a survey of MLS sales levels from Florida's Realtor boards/associations. MSAs are defined by the 2000 Census. Source: Florida Association of Realtors and the University of Florida Real Estate Research Center.

SOURCE Florida Association of Realtors(R)

© 2007 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.

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