ORLANDO, Fla. – Jan. 22, 2019 – Florida’s housing market reported higher median prices and increased inventory (active listings) in December compared to a year ago, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. However, buyer uncertainty from rising mortgage rates and the federal government’s shutdown may have impacted home sales, which were lower than the level of sales a year ago. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 20,633 last month, down 9.9 percent compared to December 2017.
“Florida’s housing sector is continuing to show signs that inventory levels are finally easing in many local markets after being constrained for a long time,” says 2019 Florida Realtors President Eric Sain, =””> statewide median price for condo-townhouse units was $185,000, up 2.8 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in November 2018 was $260,500, up 5 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $554,760; in Massachusetts, it was $395,000; in Colorado, it was $375,000; and in New York, it was $275,000.
Looking at Florida’s condo-townhouse market in December, statewide closed sales totaled 8,156, down 11.4 percent compared to a year ago. Closed sales data continued to show fewer short sales and foreclosures in November: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties declined 39.7 percent and foreclosures fell 33.7 percent year-to-year; while short sales for single-family homes dropped 49.8 percent and foreclosures fell 26.8 percent year-to-year. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.
“Notably, this year-over-year decline in sales for December was felt across the nation, not just in Florida, which is evidence that interest rates played at least some role in dampening the number of closings,” says Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor. “Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates began to ramp up in September and had reached a multi-year high of close to 5 percent by mid-October, which is typically when financed sales closing in December go under contract.”
Interest rates likely will continue to play a role in determining the direction of Florida’s housing markets going forward, O’Conner adds. “Homebuyers considering sitting on the fence until prices come down might want to take note that we’re also likely to see significantly higher mortgage rates by that point. While there has been a slight softening in the pace of home price growth since mid-2018, there are currently no signs that Florida home values will experience any wholesale declines over the next year.”
Potential homebuyers should also note that Florida’s active listings – or inventory levels of for-sale homes – have been trending up across the state, according to O’Connor.
“Statewide, active listings of existing single-family homes have been on the rise since July, which has helped contribute to the softening of price growth, and they continued to climb in December,” he says. “At year’s end, inventory was up over 13 percent compared to the end of 2017. Importantly, inventory levels are now rising across most of the pricing spectrum, including in some of the more affordable ranges.”
According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.64 percent in December 2018, up from the 3.95 percent averaged during the same month a year earlier.
To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Research & Statistics section on floridarealtors.org. Realtors also have access to local market stats (password protected) on Florida Realtors’ website.
SOURCE: © 2019 Florida Realtors®
ORLANDO, Fla. – Aug. 22, 2018 – Florida’s housing market reported more sales, rising median prices and more new listings in July compared to a year ago, though for-sale inventory remains constrained in many markets, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 25,488 last month, up 3.8 percent compared to July 2017.
“In a positive sign for Florida’s housing market and potential buyers, we saw a modest increase in new listings in July,” says 2018 Florida Realtors President Christine Hansen, broker-owner with Century 21 Hansen Realty in Fort Lauderdale. “New listings for existing single-family homes rose 3.1 percent compared to a year ago and new listings for condo-townhouse properties increased 2 percent from last July. Meanwhile, home sellers received more of their original asking price at the closing table. Sellers of existing single-family homes received 96.7 percent (median percentage) of their original listing price, while those selling condo-townhouse properties received 95.3 percent (median percentage).”
July was the 79th month in a row that the statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and condo-townhouse properties rose year-over-year. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $255,000, up 6.3 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for condo-townhouse units in July was $180,000, up 5.3 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.
According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in June 2018 was $279,300, up 5.2 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $258,100. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in June was $602,760; in Massachusetts, it was $430,000; in Maryland, it was $313,254; and in New York, it was $280,000.
Looking at Florida’s condo-townhouse market, statewide closed sales totaled 10,032 last month, up 8.5 percent compared to a year ago. Closed sales data reflected dwindling short sales and foreclosures in July: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties dropped 33 percent and foreclosures fell 26.5 percent year-to-year; while short sales for single-family homes declined 41.6 percent and foreclosures fell 38.3 percent year-to-year. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.
“We are continuing to see signs that the low-inventory situation impacting the single-family home market has finally stopped getting worse, though it remains constrained,” says Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor. “As of the end of July, there were 3.9-months’ supply of single-family inventory in Florida, marking the third straight month where there was no year-over-year change in this metric. We’re still squarely in seller’s market territory, though, and we’re going to need new single-family construction to ramp up even more.
“Half of Florida’s 4.3 million millennials are now in their thirties, and while their employment opportunities have improved drastically in recent years, the state’s housing shortage is locking them out of their best opportunity to build lasting wealth during their prime working years. In the short run, their best bet may be to consider ownership of a multifamily unit like a condo or townhouse, where inventory levels are not nearly as tight in most areas around the state. Statewide, there’s currently a 5.3-months’ supply in the condo-townhouse category, indicating a much more balanced market than what we have with single-family homes.”
According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.53 percent in July 2018, up from the 3.97 percent averaged during the same month a year earlier.
To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Research & Statistics section on floridarealtors.org. Realtors also have access to local market stats (password protected) on Florida Realtors website.
© 2018 Florida Realtors®