Prices fall in South Florida and home sales increase

South Florida home sales rose in the second quarter as prices continued to fall compared to the same year-ago period, according to a report released Wednesday by the Florida Association of Realtors. In the meantime, more homeowners slipped underwater on their mortgages, putting them at risk of foreclosure, new figures show.

Building on a months-long trend that analysts say is a sign of improved health in the housing market, existing home sales surged by 75 percent in Miami-Dade and 35 percent in Broward as steep price declines, low interest rates and tax incentives continue to drive demand.

In both counties, values suffered. The median sales price fell by 35 percent in Miami-Dade to $195,000 and to $195,500 in Broward. Statewide home sales were up by 23 percent, while the median was off 29 percent to $143,600. The median price refers to the price at which half the homes sold for more and half for less.

Since the start of the year, however, month-to-month price declines have appeared to stabilize.

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