Marla Martin, Communications Manager, or Jeff Zipper, Vice President of Communications
407/438-1400, ext. 2326 or 2314

Editor’s Note: You may wish to use this information with today’s release from the National Association of REALTORS®.

Florida’s Existing Home Market in July 2006: Sales Ease, Median Price Rises Slightly

ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 23, 2006 -- Florida's housing sector continued to show signs of market adjustments in July as mortgage rates edged up and the inventory of homes available for sale remained at higher levels in many markets. Statewide, the existing-home median price rose 1 percent to $250,800 last month; a year ago, it was $248,200, according to the Florida Association of Realtors® (FAR). A total of 14,451 existing single-family homes sold statewide last month, a decrease of 33 percent from the 21,691 homes sold during the previous July, according to FAR.

In July 2001, the statewide median sales price was $132,000, representing an increase of about 90 percent over the five-year period, according to FAR records. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.

Nationally, the median sales price for existing single-family homes was $231,500 in June, up 1.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). In California, the statewide median resales price was $575,800 in June; in Massachusetts, it was $370,000; in Maryland, it was $320,750; and in New York, it was $279,000.

Over the past few months, home sales in the U.S. have held to a narrow range -- a sign that the U.S. housing market is stabilizing, according to NAR housing industry analysts. Sales overall remain historically strong, NAR notes, with 2006 projected to be the third strongest sales year on record.

Looking to Florida's existing condominium market, sales of existing condos also decreased in July, with a total of 4,260 condos sold statewide compared to 6,739 in July 2005 for a 37 percent decrease, according to FAR. The statewide median sales price for condos last month was $210,200; a year ago, it was $211,900 for a 1 percent decrease. The national median existing condo price in June 2006 was $226,900 

According to Freddie Mac, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 6.76 percent last month, up from 5.70 percent in July 2005. FAR’s sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

Among the state’s larger markets, the Miami metropolitan statistical area (MSA) reported 673 existing homes sold last month compared to 1,092 homes sold in July 2005 for a 38 percent decline. The market’s median existing home price rose 5 percent to $382,200; a year ago, it was $363,800. A total of 837 existing condos changed hands in Miami in July for a 12 percent decrease over the 949 condos sold the previous year. The market's median existing condo price was $252,000; a year ago, it was $281,900 for an 11 percent decrease.

Pat Dahne, chairman of the Realtor Association of Greater Miami and the Beaches and broker-owner of Pat Dahne Realty Group, says of the adjusting housing market: "It's like a car slowing down. You can go from traveling 40 miles an hour to 30 miles an hour, and that's a 25 percent drop in your speed. But it doesn't mean you're going backwards." Miami's diverse economy provides a strong foundation for its housing sector, Dahne says. "Tourism and service industries are an important part of the economy, but there is also healthcare, major banking and finance centers, manufacturing and international shipping with the Port of Miami," she notes. "Many businesses have their Latin American headquarters here -- Miami is a business hub with global appeal."

Of the state’s smaller markets, the Ocala MSA reported a total of 525 existing homes sold in July compared to 528 homes sold a year earlier for a 1 percent decline. The area’s median existing home sales price rose 20 percent to $177,200; a year ago, it was $147,400.

"In our area, the median sales price remains solid and homes are continuing to sell … the market is leveling to a more even playing field between buyers and sellers," says Wilbur Van Wyck, president of the Ocala/Marion County Association of Realtors and broker-owner of Coldwell Banker Riverland Realty. "Part of our appeal is the natural beauty of the area. We have Silver Springs, Rainbow Springs and the Ocala National Forest; we're not far from the Gulf of Mexico and those beautiful beaches. Whether you enjoy horseback riding, hiking, camping, fishing or beach activities, there's an outlet for it around the Ocala area."

Charts showing statistics for Florida and its 20 MSAs are attached. One chart compares the volume of existing, single-family home sales and median sales prices in July 2006 to July 2005, based on Realtor transactions within the MSAs. The other chart compares the volume of existing condo sales and median sales prices in July 2006 to July 2005, based on Realtor transactions within the MSAs.

Single-Family  pdf   html

Condominium  pdf   html

The Florida Association of Realtors (FAR), the voice for real estate in Florida, provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its nearly 155,000 members in 68 boards/associations.


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Florida's largest professional trade association