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Tampa Bay Home Sales & Median Prices Increase in July

Tampa Bay home sales and prices continued to climb last month, revealing hints of a housing recovery gaining steam statewide.

Local home sales jumped 12 percent last month over July 2011, Florida Realtors said Wednesday. Home sales in Florida and nationwide rose over the same time period about 10 percent, National Association of Realtors data show.

Conventional sales — not foreclosures or short sales — led the way locally with a 10 percent jump in price to $155,000 over the last year. Record-low mortgage interest rates are helping to spur demand, but low housing inventories and challenges in finding lending are making it tough for some to buy.

Statewide pending sales — homes under contract but not yet closed — grew since the previous year by more than 40 percent. "It's definitely a positive indicator for the future of the market," Tuccillo said.

Also slowing the market is the low number of homes for sale, which has continued to drop as homeowners hesitate to sell or banks delay in listing repossessed homes.

Tampa Bay's housing inventory slid last month to a five-month supply, a 33 percent drop since July 2012. Florida's supply also sunk to about five months, a 41 percent drop.

The national median home price — $187,300, or 9 percent higher than a year prior — has risen five months in a row, a feat last seen in early 2006.

One third of the homes bought in July nationwide were on the market less than a month.

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