Ocala existing home sales up 27%
Realtor cheers tax credit for first-time homebuyers; median prices still falling.
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By Anthony Clark
Published: Friday, September 25, 2009 at 6:30 a.m. Ocala Star Banner
Last Modified: Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 11:46 p.m.
Ocala home resales were up 27 percent in August from the prior year with 262 sales compared with 207, putting the area close to the statewide trend that saw sales increase 28 percent in the same period.
The sales numbers also put Ocala back on a positive month-over-month trend with the second-highest sales total of the year after climbing every month to a high of 311 in June before dropping to 255 in July. The June totals were the most existing single-family homes sold since March 2007, which had 400 sales, according to Florida Realtors, formerly the Florida Association of Realtors.
The median sales price dropped 18 percent, from $130,300 to $107,400.
Statewide sales continued a full year of positive annual sales, while the median price was down 22 percent, from $188,500 to $147,400.
Florida Realtors President Cynthia Shelton, an Orlando broker, said she was encouraged by the positive annual sales trends but that the market still needed time to absorb the housing inventory to help stabilize prices.
“That is why it is critical for Congress to extend the first-time homebuyer tax credit into 2010,” she said.
Buyers are running out of time to take advantage of the $8,000 credit to close by the Nov. 30 deadline.
One in three sales in August were to first-time buyers, The Associated Press reported.
Foreclosures and other financially distressed sellers account for about 30 percent of sales, which is driving down median prices.
U.S. sales dropped unexpectedly by 2.7 percent from July to August after four months of gains, but were still up 3.4 percent from a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The national median price was down 12.5 percent from a year ago, from $203,200 to $177,700.