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Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Home prices up 11 percent


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The average price of a single-family home in Hernando County shot up 11 percent in May, from $101,000 to $112,000.

Marisa Brewer, broker with Preferred Property Associates, said people who had been sitting on higher-priced homes are now listing their homes and many of those are selling.

Add those $250,000 sales to the mix and it doesn’t take long for the average price to shoot up, she said.

The average home price has not been this high since May 2009, when it was $118,000, according to the Hernando County Association of Realtors’ multi-listing service.

Brewer describes the current housing state as “stable;” not deteriorating but not showing any large improvement from April.

“We’re definitely heading in the right direction and it seems to have stabilized,” Brewer said. “Now if we can just get the appraisal value to catch up with the contract value.”

In May there were 306 sales of single-family homes, compared to 307 in April.

The number of county home foreclosure sales in May was 77, up from 60 in April.

There were 27 short sales in May, up from 19 in April. The average time on the market was 93 days, down from 105 in April.

The good news was tempered somewhat by a report issued Thursday by RealtyTrac that one out of every 160 homes in Hernando County is experiencing foreclosure activity, second only to Miami-Dade.

A 20 percent monthly increase in foreclosure activity pushed Florida’s foreclosure rate to the highest among the states in May, up from the No. 2 ranking in April, said RealtyTrac.

One in every 302 Florida housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month, nearly three times the national average.

Florida foreclosure starts jumped 39 percent from a two-year low in April, but were still down 17 percent from a year ago, RealtyTrac said.

However, Clerk of the Court Don Barbee questions the data analysis from the RealtyTrac report. His office reports that foreclosure filings are down.

The clerk’s office had 164 residential foreclosure filings in May and the total so far this year is 729, down from 951 at this time last year.

“Our numbers never seem to match up with RealtyTrac,” Barbee said.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors, said a familiar pattern is developing.

“The housing market continues to squeak out gains from already very positive conditions,” Yun said in a press release. “Pending contracts so far this year easily correspond to higher closed home sales in 2013.”

Total existing-home sales nationwide are expected to rise above 7 percent to about 5 million this year.

“Because of inventory shortages, higher home sales will push up home values to the highest level in five years,” Yun said.

The national median existing-home price should increase close to 8 percent and exceed $190,000 in 2013.

(352) 544-5290

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