Florida reports housing market improvement

The Florida real estate market recorded some notable improvements last year as Miami home sales broke records during 2011, reports the Florida Association of Realtors.

The Florida real estate market recorded some notable improvements last year as Miami home sales broke records during 2011, reports the Florida Association of Realtors.

According to the state industry group, Florida home and condo sales increased for the third consecutive year during 2011, as prices continued to edge lower.

A report from Florida Realtors indicated that the sale of single-family home throughout the course of the year increased by 8 percent from 2010, recording 185,291 transaction. In addition, condo sales rose by 15 percent on an annual basis to 87,581.

Meanwhile, as the Sunshine State's housing market continues to see improvements, Florida Realtors president Summer Greene reemphasized that as the state's economy starts a potential rebound, lending requirements are still creating major obstacles for prospective homebuyers in the state.

"To re-energize the housing market and the economic recovery, we need improved access to affordable financing options for qualified buyers and investors," said Greene. 

Additionally, the current national median home price is $166,100, according to the National Association of Realtors. In relevance to this figure, the median price for a home in Florida fell by 3 percent during 2011 to $131,700, while condo prices dipped by 2 percent to $88,300. 

The trade group expects the rate of home sales in Florida to continue it's positive trend into 2012.

"Prices are moderating, but we don't expect too much movement owing to the continuing significance of distressed properties," said Florida Realtors chief economist John Tuccillo.

Meanwhile, local real estate records also indicated that home and condo sales increased in 16 of the state's 19 largest metropolitan areas. This includes Miami, where the Miami Association of Realtors says that during 2011, home sales increased by 36 percent, while condo sales spiked 54 percent.

"Dwindling housing supply in Broward County is indicative of strong demand and points to future market strengthening," said president of the Broward County Board of Governors of the Miami Association of Realtors, Rick Burch. "The presence of international buyers combined with an improving economy and job market will result in further growth and strengthening in Broward County."

According to the local industry group, international buyers played a major role in the consistent improvements seen in the Miami housing market recent. The report showed that international buyers completed 38 percent of all single-family home sales in cash during the year, while it's believed that 90 percent of international buyers completed the transaction in cash during December 2011.



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