Do you want the good news or the bad news first? The good news is that sales of existing homes are up. The bad news is the reason sales are up is that prices have fallen so far. I guess it depends on if you're a buyer or a seller in this market whether the skies are partly cloudy or just ominous.
Sun Sentinel: “Sales of existing homes rose 47 percent in Broward County in March, to 680 from 463 a year ago, the Florida Association of Realtors said Thursday. The median price plunged 30 percent, to $219,500 from $311,400 last year. In Palm Beach County, sales rose 20 percent, to 685 from 572 a year ago. The median price plunged 29 percent, to $228,100 from $320,200 last year.”
News Chief: “Sales of existing homes in Polk County were up again in March, making it six months out of the past seven that gains have been shown in year-to-year comparisons, according to the Florida Association of Realtors. ‘These sales (in Polk County) are a lot of first-time home buyers and a lot of FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans that had gone away for a while, as in not popular, but now they are,’ said Sarah Armstrong of ERA Merline Parker Realty of Winter Haven. ‘It is because it is less money down - only 3.5 percent down on an FHA loan than on a conventional bank loan. They are not as strict as they used to be.’”
Orlando Sentinel:“University of Central Florida economics professor Sean Snaith said he didn’t expect values to snap back quickly because many homeowners will try to sell once the prices begin to revive. ‘You need to see these price declines start to level off before you could see a return of that market,’ Snaith said. ‘Right now, we’re clearing some of the casualties from the battlefield. . . . That’s why we’re seeing some of these pretty gaudy prices.’”
Herald Tribune: “‘I don’t think this is the time to start stomping around going, ‘Ding-dong, the wicked witch is dead,’ and the foreclosure problem is over,’ said Sean Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness. ‘Until I see prices level out, I’m not going to look at inventory levels to say we’re on the other side of the crisis.’”