Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Is housing strong enough to weather rate hikes?

Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Is housing strong enough to weather rate hikes?

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Florida Home Sales Improve 61% from 2008, says Florida Realtors

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Florida’s home sales in November climbed 61% from 2008, according to a report from Florida Realtors. For the 15th straight month, existing home sales increased on a year-to-year comparison. In November, 14,026 home sold across the state, compared to 8,694 sold in November 2008. The sale of condos increased, as well, climbing 111% from last year. The total sales are not far from peak levels in 2005 when Florida Realtors reported 17,219 statewide home sales that November. Florida’s median sales price did fall 12% from $158,200 a year ago to $139,000 in November. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median sales price for the US was $173,000 in October. The state’s prices are still far from 2005’s peak. That November, Florida Realtors showed a $250,500 median sales price. In 2004, November’s median sales price was $192,400, which shows how quickly the bubble grew. Prices after the burst, however, seem to be inching toward 2004 levels. “The continued, gradual absorption of housing inventory will help stabilize home prices. National research notes that housing affordability is at its peak and the highest on record: Along with still-low mortgage rates, it means that the buying power of a typical family has never been better,” said Cynthia Shelton Florida Realtors’ president. For the second consecutive month, all of Florida’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) reported increased home and condo sales. Of the smaller markets, Tallahassee reported 174 homes sold in November, an increase from 100 a year earlier. That market’s median sales price dropped 5%, however, to $162,000 from $170,000 a year ago. Write to Jon Prior.

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