Foreclosures in Hialeah contributed substantially to the continued fall in pre-owned home prices in South Florida as Hialeah, the second largest city in the region, posted the highest rate of price decrease among cities in the area in January.

The sales price median for existing homes in Hialeah dropped by 37.6 percent in January this year to $116,655 compared to the median in January last year, according to a California research firm.

The second biggest rate of price decrease for a single-family house for sale was posted by West Palm Beach, where the median price dropped by 30.48 percent to $238,600 in January this year from the January 2009 median of $343,200.

In Miami, the rate of price decrease in January this year was 12 percent, dropping from $208,100 to $183,400 over a one-year period.

Fort Lauderdale posted the smallest rate of price decrease, posting only a six-percent drop rate from $191,000 to $180,000 over one year.

The average price of foreclosures in Hialeah in January dropped to $114,641 as the inventory of foreclosure homes for sale rose to 4,750 units in January. Foreclosure postings stepped up to one posting for every 219 households during the month.

Investors can find cheap homes for sale in South Florida as prices dropped not only in the single-family subsector, but also in the condo subsector. Fort Lauderdale had the biggest price decrease rate compared to Miami and West Palm Beach, posting an 18.2-percent drop rate from $85,000 to $69,500 over a one-year period.

West Palm Beach posted a 13.96-percent drop rate from $108,900 in January last year to $93,700 in January this year. The median for condos in Miami dropped from $149,100 to $141,700.

Due in part to the attractive prices, sales of pre-owned homes increased compared to sales in January last year in South Florida, with West Palm Beach posting the biggest increase in sales. A total of 546 single-family homes were sold in West Palm Beach, a 48-percent jump from the 369 homes sold in January last year.

In Miami, total single-family sales climbed up from 407 units in January last year to 436 units in January this year. Fort Lauderdale sold a total of 492 units, up from 467 homes sold in January last year.

With about 4,700 foreclosures in Hialeah available for sale in February at an average price of $114,641, the Hialeah housing market has been putting a significant downward pressure on price levels in South Florida.

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