Florida residential real estate picking up steam

Florida's residential real estate market is back on the tracks and chugging along.Sales and prices for the last six months have all been better than the first six months of 2012, while the number of foreclosure and short sales, days on market and inventory are all falling for the same period.Question is, are we on another bullet train that will run out of track or are we chugging along on a track that will retain its pace and viability?The Miami-Herald reports that homes in Key Biscayne are selling for just 8 percent off 2006 prices. Just a stone's throw away in the county, prices are still off as much as 47 percent.New construction on homes has for the first time climbed into the positive from the fall in 2007, yet suppliers like timber companies and land development companies still have a way to go to reach previous levels.Whether pundits say the worst is over or will come again, the market has certainly changed. More regulation, tighter mortgage standards and a lot of people with banged up credit scores will still keep a drag on the market. Members in Congress continue to attempt to bring back the Glass-Steagall Act that requires distance between investment banks and commercial banks.In West Pasco for June, sales for single-family homes and villas were down about 10.5 percent (293) compared to May (398) but still 8 percent better than last year. Similar figures were reported for condos and co-ops. Prices were improved, but 26 percent of sales remain in the under $50,000 range.The average sale price, according to the West Pasco Board of Realtors, was $108,681 in June. The average price for the first six months of this year is $102, 657.Florida Realtors reports the state's median sale price is $175,000, 15 percent higher than the same time last year. Inventory stands at only enough homes on the market for the next four months at the current rate of sale. For West Pasco, this month and last month's inventories are the lowest in the last four years.Foreclosure and short sales continued to fall as a percentage of overall sales and the prices in each category climbed, the foreclosures as much as 16 percent.
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