“Sales up again, median price ties yearly high”

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August was a good month for the local Brevard County Florida real estate market.

Sales rose 11.5 percent over the year to match the second-highest volume of 2013.

Also increasing was the median sale price — the point at which half the homes sell for less, half for more. That figure was $130,000, matching the yearly high so far.

Brevard County figures for single-family homes and condos were released Thursday by FloridaRealtors, an Orlando-based organization that compiles sales data throughout the Sunshine State.

August data show the rebound in real estate is solidifying, fueled by tight inventories, but also a federal monetary policy that is keeping mortgage rates at historically low levels.

“We’ve already had double-digit increases in sales this year, so I think our inventories are going to go low, and interest rates may go up slightly,” said Rebecca Sparks, owner of the 25-year-old Apollo Realty in Cocoa Beach. “But I think we’re going to finish 2013 with a bang and start 2014 off just as strong as we finish 2013.”

Key points of the Brevard market from the FloridaRealtor report are:

• Pending sales — when the buyers and sellers reach an agreement and are close to finalizing a housing transaction— were up 27 percent in August over the year.

• Average days on the market remained at 37 days.

• The months supply of inventory fell 13.3 percent to 4.1 from 4.8.

• People paying in cash rose 14.1 percent to 348 from 305 a year earlier.

Nationwide, the housing news also was positive.

Existing-home sales increased in August and reached the highest level in 6½years, while the median price shows nine consecutive months of double-digit year-over-year increases, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Total existing-home sales— which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops — rose 1.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million in August from 5.39 million in July, and are 13.2 percent higher than the 4.84 million-unit level in August 2012.

Sales are at the highest pace since February 2007, when they hit 5.79 million, and have remained above year-ago levels for the past 26 months.