The pace of Florida’s housing market eased in November, with sales up only moderately from a year ago and prices continuing to rise, the Florida Association of Realtors reported today.

Statewide sales of existing single-family homes totaled 17,219 in November, a 1 percent increase over last year’s sales activity of 17,110 homes.

The statewide median sales price rose 31 percent in November to $250,500; a year ago, it was $191,300. In November 2000, the statewide median sales price was $117,900, an increase of about 112 percent over the five-year period. The median is the midpoint, which is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half for less.

Housing markets nationwide are starting to see more of a balance between demand and supply, according to many housing industry analysts, placing home buyers and sellers on more even footing.

The national median sales price for existing single-family homes was $216,200 in October, up 16.6 percent over last year, according to the National Association of Realtors. In California, the statewide median resales price was $538,770 in October; in Maryland, it was $297,682; in New York, it was $269,000; and in North Carolina, the average resale price was $215,762.

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.33 percent in November, up from the 5.73 percent rate recorded last year. FAR’s sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

Among the state’s larger metropolitan statistical areas, the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater MSA reported higher figures in both sales and median price last month, with a total of 3,799 existing single-family homes changing hands for a 16 percent increase over the 3,276 homes sold last year. The market’s median sales price increased 33 percent to $222,900; a year ago, it was $167,100.

Other larger markets reporting higher sales in November include: Jacksonville, where 1,425 homes sold for a 20 percent gain; and Orlando, where 2,656 homes changed hands for a 2 percent increase. The median sales price also rose in both markets: in Orlando, 45 percent to $254,600; and in Jacksonville, 17 percent to $190,000.

Among the state’s smaller metro areas, Tallahassee reported a 21 percent increase in home sales last month, with a total of 357 homes sold compared to 296 homes changing hands last year. The area’s median sales price rose 12 percent over the same period to $179,800; a year ago, it was $160,600.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to jessica@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 133.

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