ORLANDO, FL - Florida's housing market reported higher median prices and gains in inventory during the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 62,080 in 4Q 2014, up 14.9 percent over the 4Q 2013 figure.
"The positive fundamentals of Florida's housing sector continued in the fourth quarter of 2014," said 2015 Florida Realtors President Andrew Barbar, a broker with Keller Williams Realty Services in Boca Raton. "Our population continues to increase with about 800 people a day moving to the Sunshine State, while Florida's growing economy is creating new jobs and putting residents back to work."
The 4Q 2014 statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $180,000, up 5.9 percent from the same time a year ago, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties during the fourth quarter was $143,000, up 7.9 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.
Statewide, inventory (active listings) for single-family homes over the three-month-period rose 1.2 percent year-over-year, while new townhouse-condo listings remained about the same (up 0.1 percent).
Looking at Florida's townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 26,070 during 4Q 2014, up 4.8 percent compared to 4Q 2013. The closed sales data continued to reflect fewer short sales over the three-month period: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties declined 57 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.
It's a good idea to step back and look at the housing market on occasion from a broader perspective such as a quarterly basis, according to Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo.
"The fourth quarter numbers encapsulate the state of Florida's housing market for all of 2014," Tuccillo said. "Sales are up for both single-family homes and condos, as are prices. The condo market is a bit weaker than the single-family market, in part owing to weaker demand by investors. Inventories in both areas are in what is generally considered a balanced market range. Distressed sales are falling, particularly short sales, as rising prices eliminate many homes as short sale candidates."
Inventory was at a 5.2-months' supply in the fourth quarter for single-family homes and at a 5.9-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 3.97 percent for 4Q 2014, down from the 4.30 percent average recorded during the same quarter a year earlier.
To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Media Center.