The good news is that Florida sales of single family homes for the first quarter of 2009 increased by 25% over the same period last year. The bad news, which is not surprising, is that the median sales price fell overall by 30%. These are major findings of a survey conducted by the Florida Association of Realtors and the University of Florida among Florida MLS boards and associations. It also reveals that the largest realtor sales increase of 141% took place in the Fort Myers-Cape Coral district, where prices dropped by the largest percentage in the State: a 58% median sales drop from $219,200 in the first quarter of 2008 to $92,500 for the same period this year.

How did Manatee County fare? According to the figures reported for the Sarasota-Bradenton area, realtor sales in this Metropolitan Statistical Area remained rather flat, increasing by only 2%, while prices dropped 40% to a median price of $146,900 the first quarter of 2009 as compared to a median price of $245,600 at the end of the first quarter in 2008. Among Realtor boards and associations, Sarasota-Bradenton had the lowest increase in realtor sales, but still fared better than Pensacola, Gainesville and Fort Walton Beach and Tallahassee which experienced a drop of realtor sales by 29%. In terms of median sales pricing, Sarasota-Bradenton’s was among the worst in the state, second only to Fort Myers-Cape Coral, and just ahead of Punta Gorda and Miami, where prices dropped by 38%.

This survey did not take into account new home sales nor residential property other than existing single family units, nor was Data from the Marco Island Association of Realtors available. However, the data is consistent with what we have reported recently and often: pricing is down, and close to the bottom. There’s nowhere but up from here.

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