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Homes sales for October up 76% in Martin, St. Lucie

TCPalm - 11/24/2008 12:00:00 AM
by Nadia Vanderhoof

Existing home sales in Martin and St. Lucie counties increased a whopping 76 percent in October while prices dropped to their lowest levels in more than five years, a housing report showed Monday.

In the Fort Pierce-Port St. Lucie Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Stuart, sales of single-family homes increased 76 percent to 383 units from 258 a year earlier, according to the Florida Association of Realtors.

The median sales figure plunged 33 percent to $134,600 from $201,000 a year earlier. Prices were last this low in July 2002, when the Realtors association said the median price of a home was $133,200.

The association said 64 existing condominiums were sold in the region last month, up 39 percent and the 46 units that sold a year earlier. The median sales price dropped 53 percent to $105,000 from $225,000 last year.

A separate report from the Indian River County Realtors Association showed 122 existing single-family homes were sold in October, down from 129 a year earlier. The median sales price was $146,500, down from $193,105 during the same period last year.

Realtors sold 19 condos in October, down from 28 units a year earlier. The median unit price was $112,000, more than $150,000 less than the October 2007 price of $267,500.

The Realtor Association of Martin County released its own report Monday stating that sales of existing homes rose slightly to 93 units in October from 90 a year earlier. The median price dropped to $180,000 from $225,000 last year.

Martin Realtors sold 29 condos in October, unchanged from the same period last year. The median condo price was $155,000, down from $210,000.

“This continues to reflect the large percentage of business coming from short sales and foreclosures,” said Vincent Laviano, president of Realty Executives-Treasure Coast and president of the Realtor Association of Martin County. “I personally see this as buying opportunity.”