Soft economy yet to block home buyers

November 15, 2002

California, Florida, Illinois report year-over-year increases; Massachusetts sees cooling

Inman News Features

The weak economy has yet to daunt buyers from snapping up homes in California, Florida and Illinois during the third quarter compared with year-ago sales, but buyers in Massachusetts held back as statewide sales saw a modest decline.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California amounted to 532,460 for the third quarter at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, a 3.1 percent increase from 516,490 in the third quarter last year, according to the California Association of Realtors.

The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California hit a new record during the third quarter, rising 19.3 percent to $323.870 compared with last year.

The Florida Association of Realtors reported an 8 percent increase in statewide sales during the third quarter when 40,881 homes changed hands compared with the same quarter last year when 37,917 homes were sold.

The statewide median sales price in third quarter also climbed 8 percent to $141,300 compared with a year ago when it was $131,200.

Sales of existing, single-family homes in Illinois increased 3.6 percent during the third quarter when 33,191 homes were sold compared with the same period last year when 32,038 homes were sold, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors.

The statewide median price of an existing, single-family home was $167,100, up 6.1 percent from $157,500 during the third quarter a year ago.

The Massachusetts Association of Realtors reported a 4.6 percent drop in home sales in the third quarter compared with the same period a year ago. The total of homes sold during the quarter was at 13,263 compared with 13,902 last year.

MAR President David Drinkwater said that despite the modest retreat by home buyers, all the main ingredients for a strong market remain in place.

The statewide average selling price for detached single-family homes increased 12.3 percent during the third quarter to $365,553 compared with last year's average price of $325,556.

Copyright: Inman News Service

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