Last week, the Florida Association of Realtors reported that State sales of existing homes rose 20% for the month of February compared to the same month last year. At the same time, the National Association of Realtors reported a country-wide sales increase of 5.1% over the number of sales for the same month last year. This was Florida’s sixth straight monthly increase in the year-to-year comparison; it’s a strengthening of the market I’ve been predicting for months, particularly early in 2009 as I’ve watched inventory and mortgage rates slowly drop!

Today, I have even more good news! It seems we’re still moving in the right direction, given that by the middle of last week (March 25) home sales in Manatee County were up 11% over the same period last month, and overall, for January/February ’09 vs. the same two month period in ’08, Manatee County is 8% ahead last year’s unit sales.

The market did show some downward price pressure: Average sales prices of homes for the first three weeks of March were down 5 percent from last year. However, at an average sales price for the month of $324,752, we are still way ahead of the national average.

If you haven’t bought a home yet, you better make a move soon.

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