According to reports by the National Association of Realtors and the Florida Association of Realtors, sales of existing homes and condos continued to increase in November, 2011. Existing home sales increased 11% over the same period in 2010 with a total of 12,993 sold statewide. Condo sales increased by 2% over 2010, 5,590 units sold.
Also in the news, Florida had the second best year among all the states, second only to New Mexico, in terms of reducing unemployment over the last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The 98,100 jobs that Florida added over the year put the state third in the nation, behind only California and Texas.
And finally, Florida ranks third in the nation in overall population growth, adding 256,000 citizens between April 1, 2010 and July 1, 2011. Florida is the 4th most populous state with 19.1 million residents.
Continued improvement in the job market and population growth will help Florida to climb out of the housing downturn. In Southwest Florida, housing prices have stabilized over the last year and while there are still bargains out there, the ship has sailed on outright steals. Many homes are selling at full asking price as sellers have come to grips on the new price structure and the lowest priced homes are usually in need of renovation. Buyers can still get a great deal if they have realistic expectations. The key is to shop carefully and have an experienced broker who can help you assess value.