Make us your home page

Bay area home sales inch up as prices plummet

With bargain-priced foreclosure properties enticing wary buyers, home sales in the Tampa Bay area rose again in November.

The Florida Association of Realtors recorded 1,701 single-family home sales last month compared with 1,644 a year earlier.

That 3 percent gain in the number of sales was helped by a 21 percent drop in home prices.

The bay area's median sales price last month was $149,800, the first time local prices have broken into the 140s since April 2004.

About a third of home sales in the region qualify as distressed, meaning the properties are bank-owned or teetering toward foreclosure.

The big-foreclosures-equals-brisk-sales formula was even more pronounced in Cape Coral-Fort Myers. The annual price plunge there was 53 percent. Fort Myers' homes sold for a median price of $106,100 compared with $228,000 a year earlier. In Punta Gorda, a typical home sold for $97,700 in November.

That marks a return to 1999-2000 prices. If there's a positive side, the number of sales in Fort Myers soared 64 percent year to year.

Statewide, sales inched up 4 percent in November on the back of a 27 percent plunge in prices. Nationally, home sales fell 8.6 percent to an annual rate of 4.49-million in November. U.S. prices retreated 13 percent, the biggest year-to-year drop since 1968.

In a separate report from the Commerce Department, new-home sales fell 2.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 407,000 in November. It was the weakest performance for new homes since the early 1990s.

National Association of Realtors economist Lawrence Yun used the occasion to push for further federal stimulus. Absent government subsidies to boost sales and "unclog the mortgage pipeline," falling prices could curtail consumer spending and drive up foreclosures, Yun said.

"Without home price stabilization, there will not be an economic recovery," he said.

Bay area home sales inch up as prices plummet 12/23/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 1:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Walmart expands grocery delivery service to Tampa


    TAMPA — Walmart is expanding its grocery delivery service to Tampa, the company announced Monday. Five locations will offer delivery for online grocery orders.

    Walmart is expanding its grocery delivery to Tampa, the company announced Monday. | [Times file photo]
  2. Marina at Hudson Beach poised to become 24-unit condominium-hotel


    HUDSON — One of the mainstay businesses at Hudson Beach is poised for redevelopment into a 24-unit condominium-hotel.

  3. Have your say Tampa Bay on the region's future transit options

    Mass Transit

    TAMPA — It's time, yet again, for Tampa Bay residents to tell officials what kind of transit options they want for their region.

    The Cross-Bay Ferry docks at the Tampa Convention Center on its maiden voyage on Nov. 1, 2016. A regional premium transit study will determine whether a ferry, or other options such as express buses or light rail, would be a good addition to Tampa Bay. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]
  4. SOCom seeks civilian drone pilots to develop new technology through ThunderDrone


    TAMPA — For the last three years, Nicole Abbett has been using drones as part of her photography business, with clients like the city of Tampa and construction companies.

    Josh Newby, 31, Palm Harbor, of Tampa Drones fly's a drone in England Brothers park, Pinellas Park, 8/25/16. As drone popularity increases as a hobby and business, local governments are navigating a legal grey area- where, when, and how should drone flights be allowed?
  5. New apartment complex delivers unique floor plans


    RIVERVIEW — A new luxury apartment community has opened in the Progress Village area touting itself as a distinct living option just 10 miles from downtown Tampa.

    Alta at Magnolia Park dubs its new apartment community, that opened earlier this year in Riverview, a modern and distinct option for living just 10 miles from downtown Tampa.