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ORLANDO-Condominium sales in Florida are on the upswing lately, while pricing for units remains roughly one-third less than they sold for a year ago, according to the latest numbers from the Florida Association of Realtors. Nearly 4,700 existing condos were sold statewide in August, up 45% from the same month last year, yet the median price declined 32% to $107,500.

Eighteen metropolitan areas throughout the Sunshine State showed gains in condo sales last month, while a majority of markets have posted increased sales for 14 consecutive months. Sales prices also appear to have flattened when factoring out foreclosures and distressed properties.

“The condo market is still a bit slower, but it’s coming around,” Cynthia Shelton, Florida Realtors president, tells GlobeSt.com. “It’s a matter of supply and demand, and it’s a great time to own a condo on the beach when you never thought you could afford one.”

Shelton, who is also director of investment sales with Colliers Arnold in Orlando, adds that there are no worries about condo prices falling out of the six-figure range. “The only real concern we’ve had is with common-area expenses and who pays them,” she says.

Fort Lauderdale led the state in August condo sales with 883 units, up 61% over the year, while the median sale price fell 36% to $85,100. The West Palm Beach-Boca Raton metro area posted 651 units sold for a 35% over-the-year increase, yet prices there fell 15% over that time to $112,200.

Among Florida’s other major metro areas, Miami sold 567 condos last month, up 17% over the year, while the median price declined 31% to $144,700. Tampa-St. Petersburg sold 553 units for a 15% increase, while its median price fell 26% to $104,700.

Jacksonville sold 145 units, 75% more than a year ago, as its price fell 22% to $112,400. Daytona Beach posted 27% more condo sales at 135, while its median price surprisingly remained stable over the year at $184,300.

In comparison, Florida sold 28% more existing single-family homes in August than a year ago, totaling 13,850 houses, while the median price fell 22% to $147,400. Nationwide, home sales fell nearly 3% over the past year, with the median price falling 22% to $147,400.

Shelton says extending the $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers into next year is necessary to help absorb excess housing inventory. Otherwise, buyers will need to act quickly to keep from missing the current Nov. 30 deadline, she says.

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