Housing sales and taxes
Alice may have fallen down the rabbit hole of real estate several years ago, but she hasn't given up trying to climb back out. But, unfortunately for Alice, she decided not to move to Florida when she had the opportunity, because if she had she would be starting to see light at the end of the rabbit hole.
According to the Florida Association of Realtors, Florida's existing house and existing condo sales continued to show gains in the third quarter of 2011 compared to the same period last year. Existing home sales rose 12 percent in the third quarter of 2011 with a total of 46,759 homes sold statewide compared to the same period last year. Statewide sales of existing condos in the third quarter rose 13 percent compared to last year.
The median home sales price for the state continues to remain stable at $136,000 compared to $135,900 for the third quarter of last year. The median selling price for condos in the state increased 7 percent from $83,700 to $89,600.
Florida Realtors' Chief Economist, Dr. John Tuccillo said, "The quarterly numbers confirm the general improvement in Florida's housing market in both sales and prices that we've been seeing since January 2011." He went on to say, "The Florida market is improving, and it has been for some time – it's just improving more slowly than initial expectations."
Single family sale prices for Manatee County in October 2010 compared to October 2011 also show improvement. The median price of sold single family homes was up 2.4 percent from $156,160 in October 2010 compared to $159,900 in October of 2011. For sale prices for the month are also up 14.2 percent as are under contract prices at 1.8 percent. However, condo sale prices in Manatee County remain depressed with the median for October of 2010 at $110,250 and the median for this year at $77,900
Florida may be starting to get back on its feet, but the rest of the country is still struggling. According to the National Association of Relators, home prices fell in nearly three-quarters of metropolitan areas during the third quarter of the year, resulting in the national median price dropping 4.7 percent.
Mobile, Ala., Phoenix, Ariz. and Allentown, Pa., topped the list of the areas with the biggest loss in prices from a year earlier, all showing a 17 percent or more drop. Some economists are forecasting that nationally prices will further decline by 3 percent this year and could take several more years before any recovery.
Poor Alice she could be lounging on the beach watching her appreciation starting to grow instead of staring at the Arizona sagebrush blowing past her declining equity. It can never be said enough, if you're thinking of buying property in the state of Florida for retirement, second home or investment, do it now. Just ask Alice.
On another note, tax notices are out. Don't forget about the discounts offered by Manatee County – 4 percent if paid in November, 3 percent if paid in December, 2 percent if paid in January and 1 percent if paid in February. If your lender pays your taxes, check and make sure he or she takes advantage of these discounts.
Happy Thanksgiving .