Sales of single-family existing homes in Florida remained at record levels during second quarter 2004 with a 28 percent increase in resale activity compared to the same time last year, according to the Florida Association of Realtors.

Statewide, a total of 73,437 homes sold during the second quarter, which surpassed the volume from the same period in 2003 by more than 15,000 homes. The statewide median sales price for second quarter 2004 rose 18 percent to $181,800; a year ago, it was $153,600. In June, the national median price of an existing single-family home was $191,800 in the second quarter, up 9.6 percent from the previous year. The median is a typical market price where half of the units sold for more and half sold for less.

Among the state’s larger markets, the Orlando metropolitan statistical area (MSA) reported a 35 percent increase in resales during second quarter 2004 compared to last year, with a total of 11,081 homes changing hands compared to 8,181 homes a year ago. The median sales price rose 14 percent to $161,600; a year ago, it was $141,300.

Greg Rokeh, president of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association and REO specialist for Watson Realty Corp., cites Central Florida’s economy as a major factor for home sales. “The job market is pretty strong, which helps to drive the housing market,” he said. “In fact, the labor market and economy in the Orlando area really didn’t have the same kind of slowdown that much of the nation experienced. And, of course, our real estate market never did slow down – it’s been booming.”

Also reporting robust sales among the state’s larger markets during the second quarter compared to the same time last year were: Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, where 13,787 homes sold for a 39 percent gain; and Jacksonville, where 4,740 homes changed hands for a 27 percent increase. The median sales price also rose in those markets compared to a year ago: in Jacksonville, 20 percent to $164,000; and in Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, 16 percent to $158,800.

Naples, one of the state’s smaller markets, also had a double-digit increase in existing-home sales during the second quarter, with a total of 1,560 homes sold compared to 1,211 homes a year ago for a 29 percent gain. The median sales price of those homes rose 32 percent to $396,200; a year ago, it was $300,800.

Other smaller markets that reported robust resales activity during the second quarter of this year compared to a year ago include: Fort Walton Beach, where 1,539 homes sold for a 40 percent boost; and Fort Pierce-Port St. Lucie, where 2,064 homes changed hands for a 35 percent gain. The median sales price also rose in those markets: in Fort Walton Beach, 23 percent to $189,700; and in Fort Pierce-Port St. Lucie, 27 percent to $187,500.

The Florida Association of Realtors provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 100,000 members in 70 boards/associations.

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