LEE HOME SALES NET BIG INCREASE…..
Florida Association of Realtors says we're up 43 percent over last year
Florida's housing market mirrored the national trend in 2008, as mortgage industry troubles, unsettled financial markets, tightened credit and other economic issues impacted sales and prices. By year's end, a total of 124,215 existing homes sold statewide, a decrease of 4 percent compared to 129,855 homes sold statewide in 2007, according to the latest housing data released by the Florida Association of Realtors.
Five of Florida's metropolitan statistical areas reported increased existing home sales for year-end 2008, with the Fort Myers-Cape Coral area showing the largest increase at 43 percent higher than 2007. December marked the sixth consecutive month that a number of Florida markets noted higher sales activity.
Florida's median sales price for existing homes was $187,800 at yearend 2008; a year previously, it was $234,300 for a 20 percent decrease. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.
"Taking steps to energize and stabilize the real estate market is key to economic recovery," says Association President Cynthia Shelton. "Not only do strong housing and commercial property markets generate business, but they are essential to helping families build wealth and stability.
"Research shows that the typical Florida homeowner intends to hold their property for 10 years. In 1998, Florida's statewide median price was $104,700; at the close of 2008, the statewide median price is $187,800."
Economic issues are continuing to affect consumers and thus inhibit the housing market, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. But in NAR's latest housing outlook, he noted that the right economic stimulus package could help.
"With a proper real-estate focused stimulus measure, home sales could rise more than expected, by more than 10 percent to 5.5 million in 2009, and easily begin to stabilize home prices in many parts of the country," Mr. Yun said. "Stable home prices will, in turn, lessen foreclosure pressures and lay the foundations for a solid economic recovery as the nation's 75 million homeowners regain confidence."
Florida Sales Report - Year End 2008 Single-Family, Existing Homes
Ft. Myers-Cape Coral
Fort Walton Beach
*Metropolitan Statistical Areas (1) **Statewide figure includes data from the Naples Area Board of Realtors. (2) Data from the St. Augustine & St. Johns County Board of Realtors for July and for November were not available.