Low prices drive home sales up dramatically in S. Florida

MIAMI — The number of houses for sale in South Florida reached the lowest level in more than a year in December, a sign of rising sales, but prices were still dropping, an indication that the market continues to search for a bottom, according to figures released Monday morning by the Florida Association of Realtors.

Prices in December for single-family homes and condominiums dropped more than 30 percent across South Florida compared to the same month a year ago. In Miami-Dade County single-family homes were off 41 percent and condos down 33 percent. For Broward County, house prices fell 34 percent and condos dropped 43 percent.

As a result, the median price condo in December fetched $176,600 in Miami-Dade and $97,300 in Broward. The median price for single-family homes was $215,500 in Miami-Dade and $217,700 in Broward.

But the falling prices -- driven by foreclosures, short sales and individual sellers slashing prices -- are attracting buyers.

Sales for single-family homes were up 52 percent in Broward County and 28 percent in Miami-Dade compared to December 2007. For condos, Miami-Dade sales leapt 48 percent and 31 percent in Broward.

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