Will Florida, which has been at the forefront of both the housing boom and bust, also lead the nation out of recovery?
Early returns are mixed. Florida’s existing home and existing condo sales rose in first quarter 2011 compared to the same period a year earlier, but prices fell significantly, according to the latest housing statistics from Florida Realtors.
Existing home sales increased 13 percent in 1Q 2011 with a total of 44,531 homes sold statewide; during the same period the year before, a total of 39,406 homes changed hands according to Florida Realtors. Statewide sales of existing condos in the first quarter rose 29 percent compared to the year-ago sales figure. In the year-to-year quarterly comparison for existing condo sales, 23,375 units sold statewide in the first quarter compared to 18,170 units in 1Q 2010 for a 29 percent increase.
But the statewide existing-home median sales price was $123,600 for the quarter, down 6 percent from 2010. The statewide existing-condo median sales price was $80,700 in 1Q 2011; a year earlier, it was $96,100, for a decrease of 16 percent.
“Distressed properties are proving to be an ongoing complication in the healing process of Florida’s housing market,” he added. “The foreclosure moratorium and Florida’s overburdened court system have slowed the process of handling foreclosures. Until these properties can move through this process, complete recovery will be difficult to attain,” said Dr. Sean Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness.