April home sales rise locally, in Florida and U.S.

MANATEE — Local home and condominium resales soared in April as buyers raced to beat tax credit deadlines, according to data released today.

Sales of existing single-family homes in the Sarasota-Bradenton market rose by 32 percent compared to a year ago, Florida Realtors reported. Prices also were higher, but not by as much: 5 percent.

Local Realtors helped close 1,001 home sales during April, compared to 760 in the same month in 2009. The median sales price — the point where half sold for more and half for less — was $163,600 last month; a year ago, it was $155,900.

Local condo sales soared by 70 percent, from 239 sales in April 2009 to 406 last month. The median sales price rose from $146,500 to $154,100.

Statewide, home resales jumped by 27 percent as buyers rushed to meet the April 30 deadline for two federal homebuyer tax credits. Buyers must have had a signed sales contract by that date and close by June 30 to qualify for the $6,500 or $8,000 credit.

The statewide median sales price was up 1 percent to $140,100, the trade group said.

Nationally, home sales rose by 7.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.77 million, the National Association of Realtors said.

That was the best showing in five months and better than the 5.63 million units economists had expected.