ORLANDO, FL - Florida's housing market wrapped up 2013 with more closed sales, higher pending sales, higher median prices and a reduced inventory of homes for sale compared to the year before, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors.
"Throughout 2013, the state's housing market has demonstrated it's in a solid recovery and gaining strength," 2014 Florida Realtors® President Sherri Meadows, CEO and team leader, Keller Williams, with market centers in Gainesville, Ocala and the Villages. "The positive fundamentals of Florida's housing sector continue into 2014. However, factors remain that could slow an even stronger economic recovery, such as limited inventories of for-sale homes in many areas, overly-restrictive mortgage credit, rising interest rates, and concerns about the cost and availability of property and flood insurance."
Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 227,411 in 2013, up 11.8 percent compared to the 2012 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.
Pending sales – contracts that are signed but not yet completed or closed – for existing single-family homes rose 17.6 percent in 2013 compared to 2012's figure. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 2013 was $168,000, up 15.9 percent from the previous year.
According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the preliminary national median sales price for existing single-family homes for all of 2013 was $197,100, up 11.5 percent from 2012 – and the strongest annual price gain since 2005. In Massachusetts, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes for 2013 was a preliminary $325,000; in New York, it was $227,000; and in Illinois, it was $150,000. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.
Looking at Florida's year-to-year comparison for sales of townhouse-condos, a total of 108,560 units sold statewide in 2013, up 5.1 percent from 2012. Pending sales for townhouse-condos for the year increased 9.7 percent compared to 2012. The statewide median for townhouse-condo properties in 2013 was $128,000, up 20.1 percent over the previous year.
In the fourth quarter, closed sales of single-family existing homes totaled 54,845, up 4.7 percent from 4Q 2012, according to Florida Realtors data. Pending sales of single-family existing homes were down slightly (-2 percent) for the quarter, compared to the same period a year earlier. The statewide single-family existing-home median price in 4Q 2013 was $170,000, up 13.3 percent from the same quarter a year earlier.
Closed sales of townhouse-condos totaled 24,538 in the fourth quarter, down slightly (-2.1 percent) from 4Q 2012; pending sales of townhome-condos also dipped (-7.4 percent) compared to the same quarter a year earlier. The statewide median for townhome-condos in 4Q 2013 was $133,000, up 18.8 percent from 4Q 2012.
At the end of 2013 and also for 4Q 2013, inventory for single-family homes stood at a 5.5-months' supply, while inventory for townhouse-condo properties was at a 5.8-months' supply, according to Florida Realtors.
Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo said, "We have seen all these numbers before in the monthly releases, but looking at them on a quarterly and annual basis allows for a better evaluation of the real estate market. The trends we have seen develop over the year – rising sales and prices, declining percentage of cash sales and stabilizing inventory – are confirmed in these statistics.
"If we compare the fourth quarter statistics to the annual numbers, we get an even clearer picture of the trends. In the last part of the year, for example, cash sales declined faster. This points to the diminishing presence in the market of investors. But overall sales continued to improve, although at a slower rate. This suggests that owner-occupants are replacing, at least in part, the smaller influence of investors."
The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.98 percent for 2013, up from the previous year's average of 3.66 percent, according to Freddie Mac.
To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors to download the 2013, the 4Q 2013 and general statewide metropolitan statistical area (MSA) data report.