Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Home sales plunge in PBC, TCoast


Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, Nov. 23

The lingering effects of two major hurricanes continued to dampen existing home sales in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast last month, but prices continued to soar, the Florida Association of Realtors said Tuesday.

Palm Beach County home sales took the biggest hit in the state, plunging 32 percent in October compared with the same month a year ago, to 984 sales from 1,457 in October 2003.

The median price -- half cost more, half less -- of an existing home in Palm Beach County rose to $335,100, up 36 percent from October 2003's median price of $246,600, the report said.

Treasure Coast sales dropped 22 percent, to 426 from 543 in the same month a year ago, the report said. Statewide, home sales declined 11 percent as buyers struggled with repairs and reinspections of damaged properties, filing insurance claims and other post-hurricane problems.

The median price of an existing home in the Treasure Coast rose 35 percent last month, to $224,800 from $166,700 in October 2003. The area continues to shed its long-held position as an oasis of affordability in a sea of high-rising real estate prices, the report shows.

Nationwide, home sales rose to the fourth-highest level on record, a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.75 million, up 6 percent from a rate of 6.39 million in October 2003, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday.

The median price of an existing home nationwide rose 9 percent for the second month in a row, to $187,000 from $171,800 in October 2003, the national association said.

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