In Florida: A tale of two housing markets

March 22, 2011 at 2:24 PM
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MIAMI, March 22 (UPI) -- The South Florida housing market is showing signs of heading in two directions with sales climbing, but prices remaining low, housing data shows.

The statistics read like a tale of two housing markets with sales of condominiums in Miami-Dade County rising 58 percent in February compared to the previous year, The Miami Herald reported Tuesday.

At the same time, single-family home sales rose 21 percent. But purchase prices are falling. The median price of a condo sold in February was $94,000, down 23 percent from the same month of 2010. Home prices, with a median price of $147,900, are down 23 percent from a year ago.

In neighboring Broward County, home prices have wobbled, essentially breaking even for the past three months. They rose 9 percent in November, then dropped 4 percent in December and fell 5 percent in February.

But home sellers have noticed a positive trend: the return of buyers who are moving up from a smaller to a larger house, the newspaper said.

"Once we see that the local buyers are feeling the confidence to go out and move into a bigger house, that gets our real estate market moving," said Terri Bersach, president of the Broward board of governors for the Miami Association of Realtors.

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