The sales of existing homes and condos in Florida increased in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with the same period the previous year, according to a report from Florida Realtors, but Gulf Coast communities saw some variance from that trend.
Statewide, existing home sales were up 7% and existing condo sales increased 4% in that quarter, with the biggest changes coming from South Florida.
On the Gulf Coast, the Sarasota-Bradenton market posted the biggest gain in sales of single-family existing home sales compared with the fourth quarter a year ago. Sales increased 9%, with 2,526 sales compared to 2,311. Prices declined, however, with a 2% drop in the median sales price from $150,900 to $148,400. In the same market, the opposite was true for existing condominium sales, according to the report. Condo sales decreased 9%, to 833 sold in the fourth quarter compared to 902 sold during that quarter a year ago, while the median price increased to $114,900, an increase of 2% over the same quarter a year ago.
The Fort-Myers-Cape Coral market saw the largest decline in the number of existing single-family sales during that time, but the largest gain in prices. Sales decreased 16%, from 3,303 homes sold to 2,783. Prices during the same time rose 24%, from a median selling price of $89,500 to $111,100. Sales for existing condos also fell, with a 9% decrease, but median prices increased 2%, to $112,300.
The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater market saw a 4% drop in existing single-family home sales compared with the fourth quarter of 2010, and a 6% drop in median price, to $123,400. For condo sales, sales decreased 1%, but median prices fell 7%, from $83,699 to $77,700.
“The quarterly numbers continue to show the steady improvement of the housing market in Florida,” Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo says in the report. “The upward movement in sales has been pretty much across the state. Prices have stabilized, and in general, the state's economy is improving. With that improvement, we expect continued growth in housing activity.”