Area existing home sales continue to show gains

Published: Monday, January 25, 2010 at 1:18 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 25, 2010 at 1:18 p.m.

Gainesville existing home sales ended 2009 with a fourth straight month of year-over-year gains to close the gap to 5 percent off the pace for 2008, the Florida Realtors reported Monday.

December sales were up 40 percent over December 2008 - from 121 sales to 169 - compared to a 33 percent statewide increase.

For the year, the Gainesville metro area of Alachua and Gilchrist counties finished with 1,828 sales, compared to 1,925 in 2008.

Statewide sales were up 31 percent for the year and Gainesville's 5 percent annual decline was the lowest of 18 metro areas. With a relatively stable economy fueled by government and medical employment, local sales numbers were not inflated by the drastic foreclosures and short sales in most of the state.

Tallahassee - a major government market - was the only other market with negative sales for the year, down 1 percent.

The median sales price in Gainesville was down 10 percent in December, from $180,700 to $163,300, matching the 10 percent state decline from $155,300 to $140,400.

For the year, Gainesville's median price was $168,700 for the year, down 11 percent from 2008's $189,100, while the state median was down 24 percent, from $187,700 to $142,600.

Gainesville's existing condominium sales were by far the worst in the state in 2009, down 44 percent from 578 to 326 sales for the only negative showing in a state that saw sales rise 47 percent over 2008.

The year ended on a positive, however, with a 50 percent increase in December, from 14 to 21, while statewide sales were up 91 percent over December 2008.

Gainesville's median condo price for the year was down 16 percent, from $142,400 to $119,100. The state median was down 34 percent from $164,200 to $108,000.

For December, Gainesville's median price was down 30 percent, from $140,000 to $97,500, while the state median was down 18 percent, from $130,300 to $107,000.

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