Sales of existing single-family homes in Florida rose 44 percent in fourth quarter 2009 compared to the same period a year earlier, according to the latest housing statistics from Florida Realtors®. A total of 43,926 existing homes sold statewide in 4Q 2009; during the same period the year before, a total of 30,610 existing homes sold. It marks the sixth consecutive quarter that Florida has seen higher existing year-to-year home sales, according to the state association.

Statewide sales of existing condominiums in the fourth quarter rose 93 percent compared to the same time the previous year. This marks the fifth consecutive quarter for increased statewide sales in both the existing home and condo markets compared to year-ago levels.

To gain insight into…

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I guess when Governor Charlie Crist said in 2007, that he wanted taxes to “drop like a rock”, he was not kidding! Florida property taxes dropped by $2.28 billion, or 7.5 percent, over the past three years because of tax-cutting measures approved by the Legislature and voters!

What initially prompted the tax cut was that the overall property tax collections nearly doubled from 2000 through 2006, triggering an outcry from taxpayers that resulted in the tax-cutting measures that started in 2007. Later that year a law was passed to roll back and cap property taxes and then put a constitutional amendment on the January 2008 ballot that voters adopted for additional tax savings.

One reason property taxes haven’t dropped even more is because of the Save…

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