Local Real Estate Slump Continues

There’s another sign that the housing market is continuing to "right" itself. The Florida Association of Realtors released the August figures for existing single-family homes sales.

Statewide there was a 34 percent decrease from August 2005, but the median home price remained the same, at about $248,400.

Sales of existing condominiums also decreased in August by 41 percent. Unlike the single home homes, the median price of existing condos actually dropped a little, about two percent.

The Panama City market took a bigger hit than most others across the state. Existing family home sales were down 28 percent, and the median price of a home also fell by 33,000 or about 15 percent.

The existing condo sales market was even worse. The number of units sold was down by 52 percent, and the median price fell by more than $100,000, or 26 percent.

Experts say the decline is due to a number of factors, including rising mortgage rates, speculative investors pulling back and many first-time buyers being priced out of some markets during the boom years.

Despite the falling numbers, industry analysts still say 2006 is expected to be the third strongest sales year on record nationally.