Existing home sales in Tampa Bay rose a strong 15 percent in August compared to a year ago, but housing prices have yet to rebound to last year's levels.
The median home sales price in the area was $130,000. While that's down 8 percent from the year-ago level of $140,600, it's up from $124,000 in July and continues to build on momentum throughout the year. Home prices had tumbled to a low of $110,000 in January.
"Over the past few months, it appears that home prices have been stabilizing in many local markets across the state," said Patricia Fitzgerald, Florida Realtors president.
The gap between home prices in the bay area and statewide widened slightly. Prices statewide rose to $137,500, up 2 percent from year-ago levels and up nearly 1 percent from July. Statewide, 16,206 homes changed hands, up 15 percent from August 2010.
Nationally, home sales rose 7.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.03 million homes. That's below the 6 million that economists say is consistent with a healthy housing market.