Florida Home Resales Gain 11 Percent in March, says Florida Association of Realtors

Apr 25, 2001, 01:00 ET from Florida Association of Realtors

    ORLANDO, Fla., April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida's housing market roared
 like a lion in March, with home resales increasing 11 percent over the same
 month last year. Statewide, a total of 15,347 single-family, existing homes
 sold last month compared to 13,863 homes sold in March 2000, according to the
 Florida Association of Realtors (FAR).
     Additionally, the statewide median sales price of homes sold during March
 rose 7 percent over the same time period a year ago, reaching a high of
 $121,600 compared to $113,600 last year.  In March 1996, the statewide median
 sales price was $89,300, which translates to a 36.1 percent increase over the
 five-year-period, FAR records show.
     Markets across the state are continuing to report brisk sales, rapid
 turnarounds and low -- but increasing -- inventory.  The average interest rate
 for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 6.95 percent last month, a significant
 drop from the 8.24 percent rate in March 2000.  FAR's sales figures reflect
 closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are
 written.
     The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
 led the state's larger cities in the number of homes sold last month with a
 total of 2,802, compared to 2,760 homes sold a year ago -- a 2 percent gain.
 The median sales price of those homes rose 10 percent, reaching
 $109,700 compared to $99,600 in March 2000.
     Laurie Powell Neiman, president of the Greater Clearwater Association of
 Realtors and broker-owner of Marie Powell Realty GMAC Real Estate in Port
 Richey, says home value and affordability are driving the Tampa Bay area's
 strong resales market.
     "I believe that our market values here are lower and you can purchase more
 home for your money," she says.  "Even though Pinellas and Hillsborough
 counties are seeing rising home prices, they're still not as high as on the
 East Coast and in many other parts of the state."
     Some of the other large Florida MSAs reporting higher home sales last
 month include: Orlando, where 2,325 homes sold for a 19 percent increase; West
 Palm Beach-Boca Raton, where 1,597 homes sold for a 4 percent increase; and
 Fort Lauderdale, where 1,180 homes sold for a 4 percent increase over March
 2000 sales.  The median sales price also rose in the three MSAs -- a gain of
 7 percent, 5 percent and 11 percent, respectively.
     As for smaller MSAs in Florida, Fort Pierce-Port St. Lucie was among the
 stronger markets, reporting 535 homes sold last month compared to 435 a year
 ago for a 23 percent increase.  The median sales price rose 20 percent,
 reaching $108,000 from $89,900 in March 2000.
     Sandy Bradley, president of the St. Lucie Association of Realtors and
 broker-salesperson with RE/MAX 100 Riverside Inc., cites low interest rates,
 affordable homes and a central location as factors in the area's strong
 housing market.
     "There's also a lack of single-family rentals, which is helping to fuel
 the resales market," she says.  "We're also currently pulling in a lot of
 people from south Palm Beach County looking to buy in the area.  About 90
 percent of our residents live here and work somewhere else, because our homes
 are more affordable."
     Five other smaller MSAs in the state reported double-digit increases when
 comparing housing sales last month to March 2000.  Those are: Punta Gorda,
 with 507 homes sold for a 125 percent increase; Gainesville, where 151 homes
 sold for a 51 percent increase; Fort Walton Beach, with 263 homes sold for a
 25 percent increase; Tallahassee, with 248 homes sold for a 22 percent
 increase; and Lakeland-Winter Haven, with 222 homes sold for a 17 percent
 increase over March 2000 figures.
     A chart showing statistics for Florida and its 20 MSAs is below.  The
 chart compares the volume of existing, single-family home sales and median
 sales prices in March 2001 to March 2000, based on Realtor transactions.
     The Florida Association of Realtors(FAR), the voice for real estate in
 Florida, provides programs, services, continuing education, research and
 legislative representation to its 65,000 members in 71 boards/associations.
 
                     Florida Association of Realtors (FAR)
                       Florida Sales Report - March 2001
                         Single-Family, Existing Homes
 
                            Realtor Sales             Median Sales Price
     Statewide &
     Metropolitan
     Statistical        March    March     %       March       March      %
     Areas (MSAs)        2001    2000     Chge      2001        2000     Chge
 
     STATEWIDE         15,347  13,863     11%    $121,600     $113,600    7%
     Daytona Beach (1)    600     410      46     $88,000      $81,900     7
     Fort Lauderdale    1,180   1,139       4    $159,700     $144,500    11
     Fort Myers-
      Cape Coral          622     449      39    $116,700     $103,000    13
     Fort Pierce-
      Port St. Lucie      535     435      23    $108,000      $89,900    20
     Fort Walton Beach    263     210      25    $118,300     $115,400     3
     Gainesville          151     100      51    $105,800     $103,800     2
     Jacksonville (2)     927     956      -3    $102,000      $95,900     6
     Lakeland-
      Winter Haven (3)    222     189      17     $85,000      $80,800     5
     Melbourne-
      Titusville-
      Palm Bay            277     258       7     $91,700      $85,000     8
     Miami              1,057   1,080      -2    $154,800     $135,900    14
     Naples               335     321       4    $234,000     $304,400   -23
     Ocala (4)            N/A     N/A     N/A         N/A          N/A   N/A
     Orlando            2,325   1,951      19    $115,600     $108,000     7
     Panama City          145     148      -2    $111,300     $116,300    -4
     Pensacola            382     470     -19    $101,400      $97,400     4
     Punta Gorda          507     225     125    $109,200      $74,000    48
     Sarasota-
      Bradenton (5)       359     422     -15    $185,800     $153,700    21
     Tallahassee          248     204      22    $126,800     $124,700     2
     Tampa-
      St. Petersburg-
      Clearwater (6)    2,802   2,760       2    $109,700      $99,600    10
     West Palm Beach-
      Boca Raton        1,597   1,540       4    $140,000     $133,300     5
 
     (1) Data for New Smyrna Beach was not available.
     (2) Nassau County data was not available; historical data for St.
         Augustine was not available.
     (3) East Polk County and Bartow historical data was not available.
     (4) Ocala data was not available.
     (5) Data for Manatee County, Venice and Englewood was not available.
     (6) Hernando County data was not available.
 
      This information is based on a survey of MLS sales levels from Florida's
 Realtor boards/associations. MSAs are defined by the 1990 Census.
 
     Source: Florida Association of Realtors and the University of Florida Real
 Estate Research Center.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X87851374
 
 

SOURCE Florida Association of Realtors
    ORLANDO, Fla., April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida's housing market roared
 like a lion in March, with home resales increasing 11 percent over the same
 month last year. Statewide, a total of 15,347 single-family, existing homes
 sold last month compared to 13,863 homes sold in March 2000, according to the
 Florida Association of Realtors (FAR).
     Additionally, the statewide median sales price of homes sold during March
 rose 7 percent over the same time period a year ago, reaching a high of
 $121,600 compared to $113,600 last year.  In March 1996, the statewide median
 sales price was $89,300, which translates to a 36.1 percent increase over the
 five-year-period, FAR records show.
     Markets across the state are continuing to report brisk sales, rapid
 turnarounds and low -- but increasing -- inventory.  The average interest rate
 for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 6.95 percent last month, a significant
 drop from the 8.24 percent rate in March 2000.  FAR's sales figures reflect
 closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are
 written.
     The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
 led the state's larger cities in the number of homes sold last month with a
 total of 2,802, compared to 2,760 homes sold a year ago -- a 2 percent gain.
 The median sales price of those homes rose 10 percent, reaching
 $109,700 compared to $99,600 in March 2000.
     Laurie Powell Neiman, president of the Greater Clearwater Association of
 Realtors and broker-owner of Marie Powell Realty GMAC Real Estate in Port
 Richey, says home value and affordability are driving the Tampa Bay area's
 strong resales market.
     "I believe that our market values here are lower and you can purchase more
 home for your money," she says.  "Even though Pinellas and Hillsborough
 counties are seeing rising home prices, they're still not as high as on the
 East Coast and in many other parts of the state."
     Some of the other large Florida MSAs reporting higher home sales last
 month include: Orlando, where 2,325 homes sold for a 19 percent increase; West
 Palm Beach-Boca Raton, where 1,597 homes sold for a 4 percent increase; and
 Fort Lauderdale, where 1,180 homes sold for a 4 percent increase over March
 2000 sales.  The median sales price also rose in the three MSAs -- a gain of
 7 percent, 5 percent and 11 percent, respectively.
     As for smaller MSAs in Florida, Fort Pierce-Port St. Lucie was among the
 stronger markets, reporting 535 homes sold last month compared to 435 a year
 ago for a 23 percent increase.  The median sales price rose 20 percent,
 reaching $108,000 from $89,900 in March 2000.
     Sandy Bradley, president of the St. Lucie Association of Realtors and
 broker-salesperson with RE/MAX 100 Riverside Inc., cites low interest rates,
 affordable homes and a central location as factors in the area's strong
 housing market.
     "There's also a lack of single-family rentals, which is helping to fuel
 the resales market," she says.  "We're also currently pulling in a lot of
 people from south Palm Beach County looking to buy in the area.  About 90
 percent of our residents live here and work somewhere else, because our homes
 are more affordable."
     Five other smaller MSAs in the state reported double-digit increases when
 comparing housing sales last month to March 2000.  Those are: Punta Gorda,
 with 507 homes sold for a 125 percent increase; Gainesville, where 151 homes
 sold for a 51 percent increase; Fort Walton Beach, with 263 homes sold for a
 25 percent increase; Tallahassee, with 248 homes sold for a 22 percent
 increase; and Lakeland-Winter Haven, with 222 homes sold for a 17 percent
 increase over March 2000 figures.
     A chart showing statistics for Florida and its 20 MSAs is below.  The
 chart compares the volume of existing, single-family home sales and median
 sales prices in March 2001 to March 2000, based on Realtor transactions.
     The Florida Association of Realtors(FAR), the voice for real estate in
 Florida, provides programs, services, continuing education, research and
 legislative representation to its 65,000 members in 71 boards/associations.
 
                     Florida Association of Realtors (FAR)
                       Florida Sales Report - March 2001
                         Single-Family, Existing Homes
 
                            Realtor Sales             Median Sales Price
     Statewide &
     Metropolitan
     Statistical        March    March     %       March       March      %
     Areas (MSAs)        2001    2000     Chge      2001        2000     Chge
 
     STATEWIDE         15,347  13,863     11%    $121,600     $113,600    7%
     Daytona Beach (1)    600     410      46     $88,000      $81,900     7
     Fort Lauderdale    1,180   1,139       4    $159,700     $144,500    11
     Fort Myers-
      Cape Coral          622     449      39    $116,700     $103,000    13
     Fort Pierce-
      Port St. Lucie      535     435      23    $108,000      $89,900    20
     Fort Walton Beach    263     210      25    $118,300     $115,400     3
     Gainesville          151     100      51    $105,800     $103,800     2
     Jacksonville (2)     927     956      -3    $102,000      $95,900     6
     Lakeland-
      Winter Haven (3)    222     189      17     $85,000      $80,800     5
     Melbourne-
      Titusville-
      Palm Bay            277     258       7     $91,700      $85,000     8
     Miami              1,057   1,080      -2    $154,800     $135,900    14
     Naples               335     321       4    $234,000     $304,400   -23
     Ocala (4)            N/A     N/A     N/A         N/A          N/A   N/A
     Orlando            2,325   1,951      19    $115,600     $108,000     7
     Panama City          145     148      -2    $111,300     $116,300    -4
     Pensacola            382     470     -19    $101,400      $97,400     4
     Punta Gorda          507     225     125    $109,200      $74,000    48
     Sarasota-
      Bradenton (5)       359     422     -15    $185,800     $153,700    21
     Tallahassee          248     204      22    $126,800     $124,700     2
     Tampa-
      St. Petersburg-
      Clearwater (6)    2,802   2,760       2    $109,700      $99,600    10
     West Palm Beach-
      Boca Raton        1,597   1,540       4    $140,000     $133,300     5
 
     (1) Data for New Smyrna Beach was not available.
     (2) Nassau County data was not available; historical data for St.
         Augustine was not available.
     (3) East Polk County and Bartow historical data was not available.
     (4) Ocala data was not available.
     (5) Data for Manatee County, Venice and Englewood was not available.
     (6) Hernando County data was not available.
 
      This information is based on a survey of MLS sales levels from Florida's
 Realtor boards/associations. MSAs are defined by the 1990 Census.
 
     Source: Florida Association of Realtors and the University of Florida Real
 Estate Research Center.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X87851374
 
 SOURCE  Florida Association of Realtors