Florida existing home sales up 15% in August from year ago
August existing home and condo sales rose 15% in Florida to 16,206 from 14,131 a year earlier, as prices begin to stabilize in one of the states hit hardest by the housing crisis. The Florida Realtors said the median price for homes sold in Florida in August rose 2% to $137,500 from $134,900 a year ago. Home prices in Florida remain under the national average, which hit $168,400 in August, down 5.4% from last year. "Over the past few months, it appears that home prices have been stabilizing in many local markets across the state," Florida Realtors President Patricia Fitzgerald said. "This is another positive sign that the housing recovery is gaining strength." Earlier Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors said existing home sales rose 7.7% nationwide in August. In terms of condo sales, 7,098 units were sold in Florida last month, compared to 6,041 in August 2010 – a 17% increase. The median condo sales price hit $91,100 last month, a 12% increase from $81,500 last year. A report compiled by MacroMarkets and Pulsenomics said Wednesday significant home price growth will not occur within the next five years. Yet, the report noted some regional and local markets remain relatively strong and stable. Write to Kerri Panchuk.