Home Sales Jump 34% In Tampa Bay Region

Home sales jumped 34 percent and prices began stabilizing in the Tampa Bay area in November, indicators that the real estate downturn may be ending.

The increase followed a sales leap of 36 percent in October. Since January, Bay area home sales are up 46 percent. Statewide in November, home sales jumped 61 percent, marking 15 months of year-over-year sale increases in Florida.

In November in the Bay area, residents sold 2,282 single-family homes, compared to 1,700 homes in November 2008. Condominium sales in November soared 80 percent higher than a year ago, as buyers snapped up 665 units.

The median sales price in the Bay area fell 7 percent to $139,100, according to the Florida Association of Realtors. While falling prices are not always good for sellers, Realtors see prices stabilizing from larger price declines months ago. The median sales prices in September and October were $137,800 and $137,500, respectively.

"The continued sales increases are great news for Florida and will eventually stabilize home prices in Florida, said Cynthia Shelton, president of the association and a Realtor in Orlando.

The surge in sales was due in part to a federal tax credit for first-time home buyers. That program was originally expiring Nov. 30, but Congress extended it.

Writer: Dave Szymanski
Source: Florida Association of Realtors
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