As sales of Florida’s existing single-family homes rebounded in August from a two-month decline, the median home price continued an impressive upward trend, according to the Florida Association of Realtors.


Statewide, a total of 21,318 homes changed hands in August, up 4 percent from 20,491 homes a year ago.


The statewide median sales price rose 31 percent last month to $246,500; a year ago, it was $188,700. In 2000, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $117,100, which translates to an increase of about 97.8 percent over the five-year period, according to FAR records.


David Scott, executive director of the Dr. Phillips Institute for the Study of American Business Activity and professor of finance at the University of Central Florida, noted “that just as double-digit rates of growth are impossible to sustain in the overall economy, such gains also are not sustainable in the home resale market. It appears that “a mild – and mild is emphasized – pullback in the overall robustness of the state existing real estate market is in place,” Scott said


Among the state’s larger metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), Orlando reported strong sales last month, with a total of 3,418 homes changing hands, compared with 3,141 homes last year for a 9 percent gain. The market’s median sales price increased 43 percent to $248,600; a year ago, it was $174,000.


Other larger markets reporting higher sales last month compared to August 2004 include: Jacksonville, where 1,796 homes sold for a 15 percent increase; and West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, where 1,319 homes sold for a 5 percent gain. The median sales price also rose in both markets: in West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, up 27 percent to $411,400; and in Jacksonville, up 18 percent to $197,200.


Among the state’s smaller MSAs, the Gainesville market reported an 11 percent boost in home sales in August, with 352 homes changing hands, compared with 316 homes a year ago. The area’s median sales price rose 10 percent to $190,000; a year ago, it was $173,100.


Other smaller MSAs reporting strong resales activity last month include: Fort Pierce-Port St. Lucie, where 741 homes sold for a 16 percent increase; and Tallahassee, where 570 homes sold for a 39 percent gain. The median sales price in those markets also rose: in Fort Pierce-Port St. Lucie, up 33 percent to $267,600; and in Tallahassee, up 4 percent to $163,800.



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