Friday, May 13, 2005

Real estate sales heat up in Florida

Median home price grows 27% in first quarter
Thursday, May 12, 2005

Inman News

Home sales and prices in the Fort Myers-Cape Coral area jumped sharply in the first quarter of 2005.

Sales of Florida's existing single-family homes in the first quarter grew 7 percent from a year ago, according to the Florida Association of Realtors, with Realtors reporting 57,699 sales, up from 53,971 during the same period last year.

Following a three-month trend, the statewide median sales price once again topped $200,000, rising 27 percent to $207,000 in the first quarter; a year ago, it was $163,600. In 2000, the first-quarter statewide median sales price was $109,600, which is an increase of about 88.9 percent over the five-year period.

Among the state's larger markets, the Fort Myers-Cape Coral metropolitan statistical area (MSA) reported a dramatic 33 percent gain in home sales for the quarter with 3,024 homes sold, compared with 2,272 homes sold a year ago. The market's median sales price increased 37 percent to $236,000; a year ago, it was $171,800.

Other larger Florida markets reporting a boost in resales activity for the quarter compared to first quarter 2004 include: Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, where 11,740 homes changed hands for a 16 percent increase; and Jacksonville, where 3,870 homes sold for a 13 percent gain. The median home price also rose in those markets over the same period: in Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, 23 percent to $176,400; and in Jacksonville, 22 percent to $173,400.

Among the state's small-to-medium-size markets, the Pensacola MSA posted a 26 percent increase in resales for the quarter, with 1,477 homes changing hands, compared with 1,173 homes sold a year ago. Over the same period, the market's median home price rose 18 percent to $143,800; a year ago, it was $121,500.

Other smaller markets reporting strong gains in existing-home sales in the first quarter of 2005 include: Gainesville, where 840 homes sold for a 38 percent jump; and Fort Walton Beach, where 1,218 homes sold for a 19 percent increase. The median sales price also rose in those markets: in Fort Walton Beach, 29 percent to $220,300; and in Gainesville, 8 percent to $160,000.

The Florida Association of Realtors has more than 125,000 members in 70 boards/associations.

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