More Floridians launching new careers in recovering housing market

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - There are new signs of recovery in south Florida's long battered housing market. More locals are taking a fresh look at the housing industry - even banking their livelihoods in what was a messy market not long ago.

"I thought to myself, 'Why aren't I doing this?'." At age 45, Jason Siegel is ready to drop his bartending and catering job to launch an all-new career selling south Florida real estate.

"So many people are coming here, there's so much development still that I'm looking forward and seeing there's a big boom," said Siegel, who was among dozens of others getting industry training taking the first steps to what they hope is a lucrative career. "I feel it's on an upswing," he said. "I really do."

Ben G. Schachter heads up the Signature School of Real Estate, through parent company Quad Realty Investments, Inc .

Schachter's team is working to recruit new agents and brokers in order to take advantage of what he sees as a 'real estate rebound'.

"We're seeing serious people come to this market, bringing their dollars and cents, move their families, relocate their businesses and make permanent investments here in Florida," he said. His advice to real estate rookies is to "be realistic. In this business, you're going to take out as much as you put in."

Palm Beach County median home prices last month were at the top spot in the nation for price gains - $169,000 according to a report by ZipRealty. That is a 35% annual increase over December 2011. More positive news could come Tuesday as the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches is expected to release December home sales performance report.

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