ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 23, 2010 – Statewide year-to-date existing home sales in Florida showed positive momentum in October: 143,398 single-family existing homes sold for a 7 percent increase over the same period a year ago, though uncertainty over job growth, restrictive credit and foreclosure issues had a dampening effect on housing activity last month, according to industry analysts. The latest housing data released by Florida Realtors® also reported a 33 percent rise in statewide year-to-date condominium sales compared to a year ago, with a total of 59,966 units sold.®.

In the latest industry outlook from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said several factors are slowing the housing market’s recovery, including the recent foreclosure moratorium. “Nonetheless, there appears to be a pent-up demand that eventually will be unleashed as banks resolve their issues with foreclosures and the labor market improves,” he said. “However, tight credit and appraisals coming in below a negotiated price continue to constrain the market.” Yun called for a gradual rise in home sales as buyers respond to historically low mortgage interest rates and favorable affordability conditions.

A total of 5,147 existing condos sold statewide in October compared to 5,398 units sold during the same month a year earlier for a decrease of 5 percent. Nine of Florida’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) reported higher existing condo sales last month, according to Florida Realtors. The statewide existing condo median sales price last month was $82,400; in October 2009 it was $105,200 for a 22 percent decrease. The national median existing condo price was $165,400 in September, according to NAR.

Meanwhile, in the year-to-year comparison for existing home sales, a total of 11,888 single-family existing homes sold statewide last month compared to 14,980 homes sold in October 2009 for a decrease of 21 percent. Florida’s median existing-home sales price in October was $136,600; a year earlier, it was $140,900 for a 3 percent decrease. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

The national median sales price for existing single-family homes in September was $172,600, down 1.9 percent from a year earlier, NAR reported. In California, the statewide median resales price was $309,900 in September; in Massachusetts, it was $295,000; in Maryland, it was $243,134; and in New York, it was $229,102.

In October, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.23 percent, significantly lower than the 4.95 percent average during the same month a year earlier, according to Freddie Mac. Florida Realtors’ sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

Two charts showing statistics for Florida and the state’s MSAs are attached. One chart compares the volume of existing, single-family home sales and median sales prices in October 2010 to October 2009 based on Realtor transactions; the other compares the volume of existing, condominium sales and median sales prices in October 2010 to October 2009 based on Realtor transactions.

Florida Realtors®, formerly known as the Florida Association of Realtors®, serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 115,000 members in 65 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.