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RISMEDIA, September 28, 2010—Sales of existing homes in Florida rose 1% in August 2010, with a total of 13,997 homes sold statewide compared to 13,908 homes sold in August 2009, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors. Statewide existing home sales in August increased 3% over statewide sales activity in July.

Ten of Florida’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) reported higher existing home sales last month, while 13 MSAs posted increased existing condo sales. Florida’s median sales price for existing homes last month was $134,000; a year ago, it was $146,500 for a decrease of 9%. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

The national median sales price for existing single-family homes in July 2010 was $183,400, up 0.9% from a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). In Massachusetts, the statewide median resales price was $333,000 in May; in California, it was $314,850; in Maryland, it was $267,489; and in New York, it was $227,000.

In Florida’s year-to-year comparison for condos, 5,706 units sold statewide last month compared to 4,662 units in August 2009 for an increase of 22%. Statewide existing condo sales last month increased almost 2.7% over July’s condo sales.

The housing sector faces a long recovery process, due in part to slow job growth and the still-fragile economy, according to NAR’s latest industry outlook. “Home sales will remain soft in the months ahead, but improved affordability conditions should help with a recovery,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. The pace of sales has slowed since May, following the expiration of the federal home buyer tax credit, Yun said, who predicted this “pause period” likely will last through September. “However, given rock-bottom mortgage interest rates and historically high housing affordability conditions, the pace of a sales recovery could pick up quickly, provided the economy consistently adds jobs,” he said.

The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.43% in August, down from the 5.19% averaged in August 2009, according to Freddie Mac. Florida Realtors’ sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

For more information, visit www.floridarealtors.org.

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