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November home sales in central Fla. increase 20 percent compared to 2011

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ORLANDO, Fla. - New numbers show the local housing market is bouncing back a bit.

Home sales in the Orlando area were 20 percent higher last month than they were in November 2011.

Stephen Baker is the chairman of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, which released the latest numbers. He said the most encouraging sign is a 50-percent increase in traditional home sales, meaning most of the homes on the market are no longer short sales or bank-owned properties.

“With an increase in normal sales, you will see an increase in median price, which we saw,” Baker said.

Home prices are hitting a three-year high throughout the region, and sales across Orange, Osceola, Lake and Seminole all rose. But Seminole County saw the biggest jump with nearly 38 percent over the same time last year.

Realtors said many homes are getting multiple offers and selling above asking price, which is convincing many folks who've been on the sidelines to get back in, knowing their home will most likely sell.

 “You might have three visitors come to your house and two of them will write an offer on it,” said Realtor Greg Vazzana.

Some Realtors told WFTV they expect growth to continue into the New Year, especially with interest rates remaining at record lows.

 While home sale prices are climbing, inventory throughout central Florida remains extremely low. The number of single-family homes for sale in November was down 25 percent compared to 2011.