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FLORIDA HOME SALES SOAR 41 PERCENT IN AUGUST; 12 MSAs INCREASE OVER 40 PERCENT

 ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- State sales of single-family existing homes jumped a remarkable 41 percent in July 1993 compared to August 1992, according to the Florida Association of Realtors (FAR). Twelve Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) recorded increases over 40 percent: Bradenton, Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood-Pompano Beach, Fort Myers-Cape Coral, Fort Pierce, Gainesville, Miami-Hialeah, Naples, Ocala, Sarasota, Tallahassee and West Palm Beach-Boca Raton- Delray Beach.
 "Some of these increases can be attributed to the impact Hurricane Andrew had on the market during the last week of August 1992. However, since we're seeing such high increases in such a variety of MSAs -- even several in North Florida -- it's obvious that the real estate market is simply stronger this year," according to Dale G. Jundt, FAR president.
 Here's a brief look at some of the factors causing sharp increases around Florida:
 -- Leading the way, the Naples MSA experienced a 100 percent increase in sales of single-family, existing homes during August 1993 compared to August 1992. Juanita Hermes, president and owner of Priscilla Murphy Realty Inc. and FAR's district vice president in the area, has seen many out-of-state buyers whose homes have recently sold in the Northeastern and Midwestern U.S.
 -- The Miami-Hialeah MSA recorded an 88 percent increase. According to Terri Kolaska, vice president of Kolaska Associates Inc. and FAR's district vice president, "Low interest rates stimulated the market but our activity has been caused mainly by the rebuilding of homes destroyed by the hurricane.
 -- Sales of single-family, existing homes in the Fort Lauderdale- Hollywood-Pompano Beach MSA jumped 67 percent. Ray Barkett, regional vice president of the Keyes Company and president of the Fort Lauderdale Area Association of Realtors, has seen many buyers who work in Dade County move to Broward County. "The area is very accessible and the commute is now easier and quicker since the completion of a new expressway," he said. Another factor drawing buyers to the area is the reputation of the schools.
 -- Sales rose 64 percent in the Tallahassee MSA where several small companies have recently expanded, according to Anna Gallagher, a broker with Connie Morgan Realty and vice president of the Tallahassee Board of Realtors. Gallagher noted that move-up buyers have been active and their lower-priced homes have increased the inventory in the market.
 -- In the Fort Pierce MSA sales jumped 59 percent in August 1992 compared to year-ago figures. According to Mickey Bradley, president of the St. Lucie County Board of Realtors, the improving local economy has been the driving force for this heavy market activity. Bradley said income levels have risen and unemployment rates are much lower than this time last year. Housing affordability and low interest rates have also been influential factors.
 -- Three main factors contributed to the 56 percent increase in the Bradenton MSA: first-time homebuyers entering the market, active move- up buyers and low interest rates, according to Roger Cramer, a branch manager with Coldwell Banker and FAR's district vice president in the area.
 -- Sales for single-family, existing homes rose 56 percent in the Ocala MSA. This is the eighth consecutive month this area has recorded significant increases over year-ago figures. According to FAR's district vice president, Mike Flynn, low prices in the area have attracted retirees, South Florida residents and renters.
 Although increases under the 50 percent range are overshadowed this month, two are worth noting because of the size of the locations. The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater MSA experienced a 27 percent increase and the Orlando MSA recorded a 22 percent rise in sales of single- family, existing homes over this time last year.
 The following charts show statistics for 18 of Florida's MSAs. The first chart compares the number of single-family existing homes sold by realtors during August 1993 vs. August 1992. The second chart compares median sales prices during the same time period.
 The Florida Association of Realtors, the voice for real estate in Florida, provides programs, services, ongoing education, research and legislative representation to its 60,000 members in 87 local boards/associations throughout Florida.
 SINGLE-FAMILY EXISTING HOMES
 REALTOR SALES
 1992 August 1993 August Pct. Change
 STATEWIDE
 Florida 7,294 10,273 41 pct.
 Metropolitan
 Statistical
 Areas (MSAs)
 Bradenton 86 134 56 pct.
 Daytona Beach 237 350 48 pct.
 Fort Lauderdale-
 Hollywood-Pompano
 Beach 786 1,312 67 pct.
 Fort Myers-
 Cape Coral 238 340 43 pct.
 Fort Pierce 137 218 59 pct.
 Gainesville 142 207 46 pct.
 Jacksonville 542 626 15 pct.
 Lakeland-Winter
 Haven 147 175 19 pct.
 Melbourne-
 Titusville-Palm
 Bay 327 329 1 pct.
 Miami-Hialeah 553 1,042 88 pct.
 Naples 66 132 100 pct.
 Ocala 106 165 56 pct.
 Orlando 771 940 22 pct.
 Pensacola 291 299 3 pct.
 Sarasota 272 392 44 pct.
 Tallahassee 112 184 64 pct.
 Tampa-St. Petersburg-
 Clearwater 1,587 2,017 27 pct.
 West Palm Beach-
 Boca Raton-Delray
 Beach 541 819 51 pct.
 SINGLE-FAMILY EXISTING HOMES
 MEDIAN SALES PRICE
 1992 August 1993 August Pct. Change
 STATEWIDE
 Florida $83,200 $86,700 4 pct.
 Metropolitan
 Statistical
 Areas (MSAs):
 Bradenton $90,000 $86,400 - 4 pct.
 Daytona Beach $65,800 $70,500 7 pct.
 Fort Lauderdale-
 Hollywood-Pompano
 Beach $98,700 $102,500 4 pct.
 Fort Myers-Cape
 Coral $81,400 $88,300 8 pct.
 Fort Pierce $81,000 $81,900 1 pct.
 Gainesville $76,100 $86,900 14 pct.
 Jacksonville $82,600 $80,700 - 2 pct.
 Lakeland-Winter
 Haven $70,600 $69,600 - 1 pct.
 Melbourne-Titusville-
 Palm Bay $73,500 $76,300 4 pct.
 Miami-Hialeah $93,300 $99,900 7 pct.
 Naples $156,000 $126,000 - 19 pct.
 Ocala $56,700 $60,500 7 pct.
 Orlando $87,400 $89,500 2 pct.
 Pensacola $72,600 $73,300 1 pct.
 Sarasota $95,700 $95,600 0 pct.
 Tallahassee $91,400 $95,600 5 pct.
 Tampa-St. Petersburg-
 Clearwater $73,500 $76,100 4 pct.
 West Palm Beach-
 Boca Raton-Delray
 Beach $129,800 $123,600 - 5 pct.
 Based on a survey of MLS sales levels from Florida's realtor boards/associations.
 MSAs are defined by the 1980 Census.
 SOURCE: Florida Association of Realtors.
 -0- 9/27/93
 CONTACT: Jeff Zipper, vice president, communications of the Florida Association of Realtors, 407-438-1400, ext. 2314/


CO: Florida Association of Realtors ST: Florida IN: SU:

AW-JB -- FL003 -- 5889 09/27/93 11:13 EDT
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