ORLANDO, FL - Florida's housing market gained strength in second quarter 2013 with more closed sales, higher median prices, more pending sales and a shrinking supply of homes for sale compared to the same quarter in 2012, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors.
"Data from the second quarter of 2013 shows that Florida's housing market is continuing to improve and the growth is boosting the state's economic recovery," said 2013 Florida Realtors President Dean Asher, broker-owner with Don Asher & Associates Inc. in Orlando. "We are experiencing an extended run of year-over-year gains in existing home sales (18 months as of June) and Realtors across the state are reporting increased activity in their markets. At 7.1 percent, Florida currently has a lower unemployment rate than the nation. As more jobs are created, it's providing a stable foundation for future growth in the state's housing market."
Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 63,173 in 2Q 2013, up 14.7 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 rose 28.5 percent in the second quarter compared to the 2Q 2012 figure. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 2Q 2013 was $170,000, up 14.1 percent from the same quarter a year ago.
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 31,829 units sold statewide in the second quarter, up 7.9 percent from the same three-month period in 2012. Pending sales for townhouse-condos in 2Q 2013 increased 18.8 percent compared to a year ago, while the statewide median for townhouse-condo properties was $129,000, up 16.7 percent over the same quarter last year.
In 2Q 2013, the median days on market (the midpoint of the number of days it took for a property to sell that month) was 51 days for single-family homes and 57 days for townhouse-condo properties.
The inventory for single-family homes stood at a 5-months' supply for the second quarter; inventory for townhouse-condos was at a 5.2-months' supply for the same period, according to Florida Realtors.
Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo said, "For those who have been following the Florida real estate market, there's not much new in these numbers. The market continues its gradual improvement and return to stability. While investors have been the major driving force in the market, we are beginning to see more owner-occupants enter the market. This is an encouraging sign."
According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.69 percent for 2Q 2013, down from the previous year's average of 3.80 percent, according to Freddie Mac.
To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Media Center.