Industry News

Florida real estate market survives hurricanes

Existing-home sales, prices rise despite storms

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Florida home sales weathered the impact and threat of hurricanes in August, and single-family existing-home sales gained 3 percent while median sales prices rose 15 percent from July to August, the Florida Association of Realtors reported today. The strike of Hurricane Charley and menace of Hurricane Frances led to delayed closings because home buyers were unable to obtain homeowners' insurance policies. Statewide, a total of 20,294 homes changed hands in August 2004, compared to 19,748 homes in August 2003. The statewide median sales price rose 15 percent to $189,500 – a year ago it was $164,100. In 1999, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $106,200 – which represents a 78.4 percent increase over a five-year period, the association also reported. In markets across the state, the aftermath of Hurricane Charley also created other problems for resale activity, as many lenders delayed closings for property re-inspections or repairs. In additi...