The Florida Association of Realtors numbers are in for the month of December, and they paint a very rosy picture for residential sales, marking the 16th straight month that sales activity has increased! Existing home sales in the State rose 33 percent last month compared to December 2008, with a 91 percent increase in existing condos! Median sales prices, however, continued to decline—10% less this December as opposed to last December. (The median is the midpoint at which half the homes sold for less and half sold for more.)

Manatee County fared almost on par with the Statewide figures: sales of residential properties increased by 30 percent, and condo sales more than doubled for a 140 percent increase. Our median sales prices continued to decline as well; however, single family home median prices declined by only 2 percent, while the median condo price declined by 7 percent, well above the State average.

Although foreclosures and other distressed properties continue to downwardly distort the median price because they sell at a discount relative to traditional residences, there’s still good news for us from sales growth in general. And, let’s not forget: as long as interest rates continue to remain favorable and as long as consumers return to the housing market, prices won’t continue to drop forever. Don’t miss the bandwagon by holding out too much longer.

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