Existing-home sales in Florida dropped 24 percent in May from the previous year, while median prices and inventory of homes available for sale continued to rise, according to an industry trade group.

A total of 18,680 existing single-family homes were sold in the state last month, down from 24,523 homes sold the previous May, the Florida Association of Realtors reported.

Statewide, the existing-home median price rose 11 percent to $256,400 last month; a year ago, it was $232,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

Sales of existing condos also decreased in May, with a total of 5,725 condos sold statewide compared to 8,337 in May 2005 for a 31 percent decline, according to FAR.

The statewide median sales price for condos remained relatively flat last month at $222,000; a year ago, it was $222,100. The national median existing condo price in April 2006 also was $222,000.

Among the state’s larger markets, the Jacksonville metropolitan statistical area reported 1,732 existing homes changed hands last month compared with 1,671 homes sold in May 2005 for a 4 percent gain. The market’s median existing-home price rose 15 percent to $208,700; a year ago, it was $181,700.

A total of 230 existing condos sold in Jacksonville in May for a 35 percent increase over the 170 condos sold the previous year. The market’s median existing condo price rose 3 percent to $170,900; a year ago, it was $166,700.

Of the state’s smaller markets, the Pensacola metro area reported a 1 percent increase in existing-home sales in May, with 589 homes sold compared with 582 homes sold a year earlier. The area’s median existing home sales price rose 8 percent to $170,600; a year ago, it was $158,600.

Sixty-seven existing condos sold in Pensacola last month compared to 70 condos sold in May 2005 for a drop of 4 percent. The market’s median existing condo price rose 31 percent to $196,700; a year ago, it was $150,000.

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