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Florida’s Existing Home, Condo Sales Soar in December

According to the latest housing data released by ""Florida Realtors"":http://www.floridarealtors.org/, both existing home and condo sales in the Sunshine State increased in December 2009.

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A jump in existing home and condo sales in December was reported in 17 of Florida's metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), and a majority of the state's MSAs reported increased sales for 18 consecutive months.

Marking 16 months of increased sales activity on a year-to-year basis, Florida's existing home sales in December 2009 surged 33 percent from December 2008. In addition, statewide existing home sales activity in December jumped 4.3 percent over sales in November 2009.

Florida Realtors also reported a remarkable increase in statewide sales of existing condo in December. Compared to the same month in 2008, existing condo sales skyrocketed 91 percent, and sales rose 22 percent over the total units sold in November.

According to the latest outlook by the ""National Association of Realtors"":http://www.realtor.org/, home sales are seeing a boost from the federal homebuyer tax credit. With the extension of this credit, Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said there are many more potential buyers who can enter the market in the months ahead.

""Activity should ramp up for another surge in the spring when buyers take advantage of the expanded tax credit, which hopefully will take us into a self-sustaining market in the second half of 2010,"" Yun said. ""In all, 4.4 million households are expected to claim the tax credit before it expires, and balance should be restored to the housing sector with inventories continuing to decline.""

While sales in December increased, prices decreased. Florida's median price for existing homes fell 10 percent year-over-year to $140,000. The median price for existing condos came in at $107,000, marking a decline of 18 percent from December 2008. Housing analysts with NAR said the sales of foreclosures and other distressed properties continue to downwardly distort the median price, as they generally sell at a discount relative to traditional homes.

About Author: Brittany Dunn

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