Existing home sales slide in January, but improve over last year

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Even with prices still on the decline, activity in the Florida existing home sales market slowed last month, but still showed improvement over last year’s levels. Existing home sales in the state rose 28 percent over their year-ago levels in January, making it the 17th month in a row to register a year-over-year increase in activity, according to a report released today from Florida Realtors. But sales fell 30 percent off of their December levels in Miami-Dade County and 37 percent in Broward, the Miami Herald reported. There were 10,465 homes sold in the state at a median closing price of $130,900, according to Florida Realtors, compared to the 8,174 sold in January 2009, when the median price was $151,500. The National Association of Realtors — an affiliate of Florida Realtors — attributed to the price declines to foreclosures and other distressed property sales. Condo sales dipped 30 percent in Miami-Dade and 18 percent in Broward from December, but when compared with last January, condo sales skyrocketed by 81 percent statewide to 4,631 sold units. The median price was $97,300, down from $113,300 during January 2009. “Now is the time for anyone thinking of buying a home in Florida to make that decision,” said Wendell Davis, president of Florida Realtors. “As an added incentive, buyers need to accelerate their plans because a purchase contract must be in place by the end of April to take advantage of the extended and expanded federal tax credit.” TRD