Despite cooling home sales across Florida in May, the statewide median price of an existing single-family home soared from a year ago, the Florida Association of Realtors reported today.

The statewide median price of an existing single-family home was $248,700 last month, up 31 percent from a year ago when it was $189,200.

In June 2000, Florida’s median sales price was $119,600, according to FAR records, resulting in an increase of nearly 108 percent over the five-year period.

Statewide, resales activity slowed slightly from the blistering pace of recent months, with a total of 25,455 homes sold compared to 26,112 homes a year ago, for a 3 percent drop.

“Some briskness left the pace of sales of existing single-family homes across Florida during June,” said 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. “Actually, this is a step forward towards economic reality as double-digit gains are impossible to sustain in the real estate market just as they are impossible to sustain in the domestic economy. This single (monthly) outcome is not an alarm bell for a major contraction, as the June unit sales are still a healthy number. The June results represented the first month-over-month decline in 2005.”

The trend of rising real estate values in Florida’s existing-homes market suggests no imminent slowing, according to Scott. “Eventually, rising interest rates will curtail this situation, but long-term rates are still advancing at a slow pace,” he said. “Substantiating the case for slowing rising long-term rates, including mortgage rates, is the fact that recent inflation rate data contained no negative surprises. As an example, the consumer price index for June stands 2.5 percent higher than a year ago. No thud has yet been heard related to the torrid pace of rising home prices.”

Among Florida’s larger markets, the Miami Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) reported a total of 1,317 homes sold last month compared with 1,293 homes sold a year ago for a 2 percent increase. The area’s median sales price rose 27 percent to $363,100; a year ago, it was $285,900.

Other larger markets reporting higher home sales in June compared to a year ago include: Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, where 5,230 homes sold for a 2 percent increase; and Jacksonville, where 1,798 homes changed hands, also for a 2 percent gain. The median sales price in both markets rose by 23 percent last month: reaching $211,100 in Jacksonville and $208,700 in Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater.

In the state’s smaller MSAs, Tallahassee had a 14 percent gain in the number of home sales last month, with a total of 552 homes changing hands compared with 486 homes sold a year ago. The market’s median sales price rose 11 percent to $169,800; a year ago, it was $152,400.

Other smaller MSAs reporting gains in home sales last month include: Punta Gorda, where 490 homes sold for a 22 percent increase; and Gainesville, where 450 homes changed hands for a 15 percent gain. The median sales price in those markets also rose: in Punta Gorda, up 16 percent to $216,500; and in Gainesville, up 10 percent to $192,000.

The Florida Association of Realtors has more than 130,000 members in 70 boards/associations.

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