TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – The numbers are out for Florida home sales in 2011, and the news is good for Miami-Dade. The once-stagnant real estate market is showing signs of vigor, as sales in Miami-Dade outpaced statewide numbers by more than 4 to 1.
According to stats compiled by Florida Realtors, statewide home sales were up by 8 percent in 2011 when compared to the previous year, but in the Miami market, sales jumped 36 percent for the year.
In Broward county, home sales were up but not close to the Miami numbers. Broward sales were up 11 percent over 2010, and in Palm Beach county, sales were up 24 percent.
This is the third time in as many years that sales have grown as Florida continues to rebound from the housing crash that ground the state’s economy to a halt, according to the Realtors stats.
Condominium sales rose 15 percent in 2011, with the median price dropping 2 percent to $88,300. That’s good news for buyers, but for people with condos to sell, the market can still be difficult.
“Our expectation is that recovery will continue through 2012,” said Florida Realtors’ chief economist John Tucillo. “The major obstacle in the market is the inadequate accessibility to financing. Prices are moderating, but we don’t expect too much movement owing to the continuing significance of distressed properties.”
Sixteen of 19 metropolitan areas reported higher existing home sales at the close of 2011 compared to 2010; the same number of areas also reported higher existing condos sales.
While the news was good in South Florida, it was not so rosy in Southwest Florida. That part of the state continued to be dogged with a glut of housing inventory, and the numbers reflected that. Sales for the Fort Meyers areas fell 7 percent in 2011
And in bad news for people who have already seen their property values drop, Realtors said declining home prices have sparked most of the sales.
Median prices in Florida fell by 3 percent for the year, with half of Florida homes selling for $131,700 or less. That’s down from $135,900 in 2010. Realtors caution that both figures are affected by the sale of distressed property, such as sales out of foreclosure, which pulls the median price down.
While Florida has been hard-hit by the real-estate collapse, it outperformed the national average in 2011. Nationally, homes sales in December 3.6 percent higher than December 2010, according to the National Association of Realtors. The December rate continues a trend of year-to-year increases that in return, reflects a strengthening economy, says NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.
The News Service of Florida contributed to this report