Thursday, July 26, 2007

SRQ Only 1 of 2 Florida Markets With Sales Increase!

"In area home sales, signs of hope"

In another sign that the Sarasota-Bradenton housing market is recovering faster than most parts of Florida, June home sales climbed 5 percent from the same month last year. Prices were still seeking firmer footing: the median dropped 10 percent. But the June price was on par with the last six months.In the Sarasota-Bradenton area, one of only two Florida markets with June sales increases, home sales continue to run at about the rate of the pre-boom market. "I would not expect median prices to be rising yet as there is still so much inventory, but people are buying and beginning to realize perhaps we are skidding along the bottom," said Penny Hill, the Sarasota-based top national producer for Chase Mortgage. "Skidding along" might be an apt description: Sarasota-Bradenton's median sales price was $292,700 in June, $294,700 in May, $294,800 in April, $291,500 in March and $294,500 in February.

One sign that the recovery in Sarasota-Bradenton may be ahead of the rest of the state: In Miami, 469 existing homes were sold during June, compared to the 797 that sold in Sarasota-Bradenton.

Meanwhile, Charlotte County-North Port saw a 33 percent drop in sales, from 323 homes in June 2006 to 218. Its median price dropped 10 percent, from $222,300 to $199,000. Only Melbourne-Titusville-Palm Bay had a bigger drop at 15 percent. Tallahassee, Ocala and Fort Lauderdale all posted increases -- 4 percent, 3 percent and 1 percent, respectively.Sales in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater market dropped 35 percent.

For the rest of the article by By STEPHEN FRATER and MICHAEL POLLICK in the SHT:

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