ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — 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,” said 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,” said 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.