Florida Real Estate noted some positive movement in local housing markets in June, with an upswing in the statewide median price reported for both existing home sales and condominium sales over May 2008, according to the latest housing statistics released by the Florida Association of Realtors® (FAR).

The statewide existing-home median price in June was $205,500, up 1 percent from May’s median price of $203,300. The median price of an existing condo last month was $183,700, also up 1 percent from May’s figure of $181,800.

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Pending sales highest in a year, indicating improving market for summer
Overall property sales in the local market for March 2008 topped 500 for the first time in
eight months, according to statistics pulled from the Sarasota MLS system. There were
514 property sales reported in the Sarasota MLS, easily topping the February 2008 sales
of 423.
There were 344 single family homes sold by SAR members in March 2008, along with
170 condominium units. This compares to 294 single family sales in February and 129
condominium sales, which means March saw an overall increase of 21.7 percent over
February.
Single family homes saw a small decline in the median sale price, from $285,000 in
February 2008 down to $266,750 in March 2008 – a 6.3 percent decline. But
condominiums saw a small increase in the median sale price from $230,500 in February
2008 to $235,000 in March 2008.
“Once again, the local Sarasota market is proving its resilience, even as the state and
national housing market statistics continue to show weakness,” said Helen Sosso, 2008
SAR President. “It is remarkable how our local real estate practitioners are weathering
this downturn, and proving once again the value of a professional Realtor® during
difficult times. As we’ve been saying for more than a year, this is a prime buyer’s market,
with historically low interest rates, moderating prices, and an incredible, high quality
inventory of homes on the market.”
One of the continuing bright spots in the March 2008 report was the strength in pending
sales, which stood at 674 – the highest level in the past year. In March 2007 pending
sales were at 706. Pending sales have been edging upward since December 2007, when
there were 374 pending sales.
Pending sales counts the number of signed contracts in a month, and is a leading indicator
of sales activity. There is a direct correlation between pending sales and closed sales that
are reported in the following month or two.
Inventory levels were lower in March 2008 at 10,025 single family homes, compared to
10,596 in March 2007, and down slightly from February 2008, when there were 10,035.
Condominium levels also decreased from the March 2007 level of 6,180 to 5,702 in
March 2008, but up slightly from the February 2008 level of 5,588.
The days on market, which translates to the average time it took to sell a property, was at
152 days for single family homes, slightly higher than the 144 days in March 2007, but
lower than the 160 days in February 2008. Average days on the market for condos was
181, a healthy drop from the 199 days reported in March 2007, and much lower than the
219 days in February 2008. The days on market reflects a quicker pace of sales, meaning
the size of the current inventory should begin to decline going forward.
The local Sarasota-Bradenton MSA continued to fare better than the overall state. The
MSA was down by 15 percent for single family home sales and 17 percent for
condominiums, comparing March 2008 to March 2007. For the overall state, single
family homes declined 26 percent comparing March 2008 to March 2007, and
condominium sales were down 24 percent month to month.
In fact, the smaller Sarasota-Bradenton market again sold more overall properties than
the Miami market. There were 1,022 overall sales reported for the local MSA, compared
to only 609 in Miami.
The median sale price dropped by 18 percent for single family homes, and by 32 percent
for condominiums in the MSA. This compares to 15 percent and 20 percent statewide in
the two categories, respectively.

Sarasota Association of Realtors®