Monday, April 25, 2011

Florida's existing home sales surged in March

Florida's existing home sales surged in March, recording the single biggest month since late 2005.

Sales of Florida condos and homes jumped 36 percent last month surpassing the rest of the U.S., according to figures from the Florida Realtors and the National Association of Realtors.

The news comes on the heels of the Times reporting Wednesday that Tampa Bay's existing sales in Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties jumped nearly 32 percent, from 3,258 in February to 4,296 in March.

Median sale prices in the Tampa Bay area increased from February for homes and condos.

The housing market is rebounding, said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. "Existing home sales have risen in six of the past eight months, so we're clearly on a recovery path," he said.

Cash and investors are dominating the real estate market in the United States.

Cash accounted for a record share of 35 percent of sales in March. The cash rates are even higher in several bay area counties. So far in 2011, 59 percent of sales in Pasco were made with cash. Pinellas logged 66 percent.

In Florida, single-family sales jumped 35 percent from February to March, with a median sales price of $126,300.

Condo sales exploded across the state, too. Sales rose 39 percent from 6,984 in February to 9,703 in March, and 24 percent from March 2010.

The worst of the real estate downfall may have passed, experts said.

Credit: St. Pete Times