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Tampa Bay home sales tick up; prices remain flat

Tampa Bay home sales continued to grow while prices generally stayed flat, another rocky step toward recovery for the local housing market.

Total sales last month jumped 13 percent since August 2011 to nearly 3,000 homes across Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties, according to data from My Florida Regional Multiple Listing Service.

Conventional sales and short sales of homes at deep discounts accounted for much of that jump, each climbing about 25 percent in a year, data shows.

But their median prices kept level, with conventional homes pulling in $170,000 and short sales earning $106,000.

Both remain far below the local peak of $240,000 in June 2006.

Sales of foreclosed homes dipped 20 percent since August 2011 to just over 500 homes sold, but prices jumped 14 percent to about $83,000.

Foreclosed homes in good condition that are ready to sell are rare and going fast, bumping up their price, real estate agents said.

The sales numbers are particularly impressive given Tampa Bay's low numbers of houses, townhouses and condos for sale. Hillsborough County had about a three-months supply of homes in July, half the size of what is known as a healthy market, according to the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors.

It's also taking less time to finish a deal for a home, data shows, with the number of days between offer and closing dropping 12 percent since last August. It took about 80 days to close on a conventional or foreclosed home last month.

Short sales, which are often delayed by banks, remained just as slow as last year, taking more than seven months to close.

Drew Harwell can be reached at dharwell@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8252.

Tampa Bay home sales tick up; prices remain flat 09/07/12 [Last modified: Friday, September 7, 2012 9:19pm]
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