Florida’s Housing Market Continues Positive Track In July

ORLANDO, Fla. – Aug. 26, 2013 – Florida’s housing market gained momentum in July, with more closed sales, more pending sales, higher median prices and a shrinking inventory of homes for sale, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

“We’re seeing double-digit gains in statewide closed sales, new listings, pending sales and higher median prices,” said 2013 Florida Realtors President Dean Asher, broker-owner with Don Asher & Associates Inc. in Orlando. “And these increases are happening in both the single-family and the townhome-condo markets. July marks the 19th consecutive month that we’ve seen the statewide single-family home median sales price increase year-over-year. Florida’s housing market is growing and that’s good news for our economy.”

Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 21,238 in July, up 20.9 percent compared to the year-ago figure, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

Meanwhile, pending sales – contracts that are signed but not yet completed or closed – for existing single-family homes last month rose 25.9 percent over the previous July. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $177,500, up 18.7 percent from the previous year.

According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in July 2013 was $214,000, up 13.5 percent from the previous year. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in July was $433,760; in Maryland, it was $286,758; and in New York, it was $241,947.

The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less. Housing industry analysts note that sales of foreclosures and other distressed properties downwardly distort the median price because they generally sell at a discount relative to traditional homes.

Looking at Florida’s year-to-year comparison for sales of townhouse-condos, a total of 9,430 units sold statewide last month, up 16.8 percent from July 2012. Meanwhile, pending sales for townhouse-condos last month increased 20.7 percent compared to the year-ago figure. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties was $128,000, up 21.9 percent over the previous year. NAR reported that the national median existing condo price in July 2013 was $209,600.

The inventory for single-family homes stood at a 5-months’ supply in July; inventory for townhouse-condos was at a 5.2-months’ supply, according to Florida Realtors.

“Once again, the market is continuing its steady improvement. There are, however, some straws in the wind that would suggest that the inventory crunch may be easing,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. “Specifically, new listings have been up, year over year, for all of 2013. This suggests that sellers are more eager to place their homes on the market. In addition, the months’ supply of inventory numbers have remained fairly static for the past three months, suggesting we may be reaching the bottom of the inventory decline.”

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.37 percent in July 2013, up from the 3.55 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.

© 2013 Florida Realtors® Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online 8/27/13 with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.http://realtormag.realtor.org