ORLANDO, FL - Florida's housing market reported higher median prices and a stable inventory in November, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 17,772 last month, up 10.7 percent over the November 2013 figure.
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $176,000, up 3.5 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis (IDA) department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in November was $140,000, up 7.7 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.
"Florida's housing market hit a milestone in November: For three years now – 36 months in a row – statewide median sales prices rose year-over-year for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties," said 2014 Florida Realtors® President Sherri Meadows, CEO and team leader, Keller Williams, with market centers in Gainesville, Ocala and The Villages. "Realtors across the state continue to report increased buyer interest, while stability and consistency remain key trends for the housing sector.
"Statewide, the inventory (active listings) of single-family homes in November rose 2.3 percent year-over-year, while new townhouse-condo inventory remained stable at about the same level as last year."
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in October 2014 was $208,700, up 5.6 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $205,400. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in October was $450,620; in Massachusetts, it was $325,000; in Maryland, it was $255,094; and in New York, it was $224,000.
Looking at Florida's townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 7,227 last month, down 5.4 percent compared to November 2013. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales last month compared to the previous year: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties declined 55.9 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 46.1 percent. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.
"The real estate market in Florida has settled into a nice sustainable groove," said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo, "We are seeing gradual changes, mostly in the right direction, on all of our metrics. Condo sales are down, but we've only seen four positive months this year, and the decline from last November is modest. There does appear to be a sweet spot in the condo market between $250,000 and $400,000 where sales are strong.
"Distressed sales continue to moderate, driven by continued sharp declines in short sales. We are still concerned about the lack of single-family inventory in homes priced under $200,000 – in part, this may explain the continuing rise in foreclosure sales."
Inventory was at a 5.3-months' supply in November for single-family homes and at a 6.0-months' supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors.
According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.00 percent in November 2014, down from the 4.26 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.
To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Media Center.