MANATEE -- The Bradenton metro area is continuing to see great news in the housing market with the median home price rising to $200,021 during the second quarter.
Florida Realtors released second-quarter sales figures Thursday showing the Bradenton-North Port-Sarasota metro area is seeing a growing trend toward a seller's market.
The value of sold homes jumped 18 percent year-over-year during the same quarter, according to Florida Realtors, and the 3,752 closed sales marks a 16 percent improvement.
"What we're seeing here is a true increase in property values, and there's no doubt about it," said James Adkins, broker-associate with Adkins Florida Group. Those numbers can't be pegged to a seasonal swing either, he added, as Florida's housing market tends to slow mid-year before heating up during the later months.
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"It's a total transformation from where we were to where we're going," Adkins said.
Florida's housing market saw more closed sales, higher median prices, more pending sales and a shrinking supply of homes for sale compared to the same quarter in 2012, according to the latest housing data by Florida Realtors.
"Data from the second quarter of 2013 shows that Florida's housing market is continuing to improve and the growth is boosting the state's economic recovery," said 2013 Florida Realtors President Dean Asher, with Don Asher & Associates Inc. in Orlando. "We are experiencing an extended run of year-over-year gains in existing home sales (18 months as of June) and Realtors across the state are reporting increased activity in their markets. At 7.1 percent, Florida currently has a lower unemployment rate than the nation. As more
jobs are created, it's providing a stable foundation for future growth in the state's housing market."
Adkins compared the latest local numbers to the pre-crash numbers, but remains positive there will not be a large dive.
"As long as people keep their heads cool, we'll be fine," Adkins said. "We live in a perpetual real estate bubble from crest to trough."
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in the second quarter was $170,000, up 14.1 percent from the same quarter a year ago.
"It does shut out some first-time home buyers that can't purchase homes they may have been able to afford two, three years ago, but many blue collar families with one or two working parents can afford a $200,000 mortgage."
The stories on the real estate market have pretty much said the same thing through the past year, showing marked improvement while maintaining a steady pace, according to Florida Realtors' chief economist.
"For those who have been following the Florida real estate market, there's not much new in these numbers. The market continues its gradual improvement and return to stability," said John Tuccillo, who has a doctoral degree in economics from Cornell University. "While investors have been the major driving force in the market, we are beginning to see more owner-occupants enter the market. This is an encouraging sign."
Charles Schelle, business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @ImYourChuck.