Figures recently released by Florida Realtors show a changed housing market punctuated by levels that can be likened to the more normal events of the ‘pre-boom’ era of 2002.
Reports illustrate that in 2009, home sales rose statewide 31 percent with a total of 163,148 homes sold compared to 124,168 homes sold in 2008. Florida’s median sales price at year-end 2009 was $142,600. Statewide sales of existing condos increased 47 percent compared to year-end 2008.
Here, in the Tampa Bay area, 2009 home sales were up 21 percent with 28,617 homes sold. Even more impressive is that condo sales were up 40 percent in 2009 over the previous year. Back track to 2002 when approximately 26,000 homes were sold and the median price was $133,300. (Forget about 2005, a time everyone will agree was grossly over-valued when more than 53,000 homes were sold in the Tampa Bay area—more than double that of 2002. Those days were anything but ‘normal’
It is encouraging to note here that December’s median prices finished higher than final figures compiled for 2009, which is a good indication of recovery—possibly as early as spring according to industry analysts. The outlook appears even brighter when taking into consideration the federal tax credit which is scheduled to expire in June. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said an additional 900,000 first-time buyers will qualify for the tax credit beyond the 2 million nationwide who have already purchased. And now 1.5 million repeat buyers are also expected to benefit from the credit.