ORLANDO, FL - Florida's housing market reported more closed sales and higher median prices in December, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 22,903 last month, up 2.6 percent compared to December 2016.
"Florida's housing market continued to experience tight inventory of for-sale homes in December, and that's definitely impacting the market," said 2018 Florida Realtors President Christine Hansen, broker-owner with Century 21 Hansen Realty in Fort Lauderdale. "Last month, statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties rose year-over-year for 72 months in row. For sellers, that's good news; however, rising prices and tight inventory are putting pressure on first-time homebuyers and those who may be looking for their next 'move-up' home.
"Any consumer looking to buy or sell a home in Florida should consult a local Realtor, who can who can help them understand local market conditions and be prepared to act when the time is right."
In fact, sellers continued to get more of their original asking price at the closing table. Sellers of existing single-family homes in December received 96.3 percent (median percentage) of their original listing price, while those selling townhouse-condo properties received 95.1 percent (median percentage).
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $244,185, up 8 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 properties in December was $180,000, up 7.8 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 2017 was $248,800, up 5.4 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $242,500. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in November was $546,820; in Massachusetts, it was $384,000; in Maryland, it was $280,570; and in New York, it was $254,000.
Looking at Florida's condo-townhouse market, statewide closed sales totaled 9,193 last month, up 6 percent compared to December 2016. Closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and foreclosures last month: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties declined 30.8 percent and foreclosures fell 40.7 percent year-to-year; short sales for single-family homes dropped 30.5 percent and foreclosures fell 44.8 percent year-to-year. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.
"The latest housing data shows that market activity in the final month of 2017 was remarkably normal. On a statewide basis, most of December's housing metrics experienced similar year-over-year changes to those we saw the prior month," said Florida Realtors® Chief Economist Dr. Brad O'Connor. "The only major exception to this is that Floridahomes selling in December largely spent less time on the market compared to those which sold in December of 2016, most likely due to Hurricane Irma effectively shortening the calendar year.
"The median time to contract for single-family homes selling in December 2017 was 41 days, a nearly 9 percent decline from the median time of 45 days in December 2016. Similarly, the median time to contract for condos and townhouses dropped by about 10 percent from 52 days to 47 days."
December's for-sale inventory remained tight with a 3.6-months' supply for single-family homes and a 5.6-months' supply for condo-townhouse properties, according to Florida Realtors.
According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.95 percent in December 2017, down from the 4.20 percent averaged during the same month a year earlier.
To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Media Center.