The median price of an existing home sold in Lee County plummeted in March to $88,500

The median price of an existing home sold in Lee County plummeted in March to $88,500 — the lowest since it was $78,500 in December 1998.According to statistics released Thursday by the Florida Association of Realtors, the March median was down 58 percent from $212,500 a year earlierMeanwhile, the number of sales in March soared to 1,464 — almost triple the 501 recorded a year earlier.

Transactions include only those in which a Realtor was involved. For condominiums, the median was $126,200, down 36 percent, and the number of sales was 358, up 53 percent.Brett Ellis of ReMax Realty Group said the falling median was in part a result of homes flooding onto the market as banks take back houses in foreclosure and re-sell them.“I’m not sure the overall prices are still trending down but I think there are larger amounts of foreclosures,” many in the lower price range, he said — the result is a lower median price: half the houses sold are more expensive and half less expensive.

The trend could turn around later this year as banks take back more of the more expensive homes, Ellis said. “I see signs in some segments that may already be occurring.”