WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - South Florida home sales remained strong in May, capping a robust spring buying season.
Sales of existing homes in Broward County hit 1,142, up 6 percent from a year ago, the Florida Realtors said Tuesday. Palm Beach County sales soared 26 percent to 1,115.
It was the third consecutive month that the two counties eclipsed 1,100 sales.
Prices were a different story. Broward median’s price was $188,500, off 17 percent from a year ago. Palm Beach County’s median of $214,100 was down 9 percent from a year earlier. The median means half sold for more and half for less.
Home prices in Broward and Palm Beach counties are expected to keep falling into next year, though the steep declines are likely over, analysts say.
As we wrote Sunday, South Florida brokers say big declines in homes for sale have turned the region into a seller's market. But some analysts wonder if that'll last, pointing to potentially large numbers of foreclosed homes looming in the coming months.
Statewide, existing home sales rose 3 percent in May from a year ago, but sales nationally were about 15 percent below the level in May 2010.
"Although existing home sales are expected to trend up unevenly through next year, unnecessarily tight credit is continuing to restrain the market along with a steady level of low appraisals that result in contract cancellations," Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said in a statement. "A robust economic and housing market recovery cannot occur as long as banks continue to hold onto huge cash reserves."
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