South Floridians continue to buy homes, despite challenges to finding a mortgage. Broward County saw October sales of existing homes rise 46 percent, to 625 from 428 a year ago. Condo sales increased 30 percent while the median price fell 28 percent, to $115,200. Distressed properties are popular targets among people trying to buy now, says Roger Palermo, a building maintenance supervisor for the city of Pompano Beach. Palermo looked at almost 50 houses and said many needed new roofs and others required major repairs. Most were foreclosures or short sales, in which lenders take less than what’s owed on the mortgages and forgive the remaining debt. Palermo and his fiancée finally bought a two-bedroom house in Boca Raton for $225,000, $34,000 less than the asking price.