ORLANDO, FL - Florida's housing market reported increased new listings, rising median prices and fewer all-cash closed sales in February, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 18,159 last month, remaining relatively the same (up 0.4 percent) as the February 2015 figure.
"Realtors across the state are reporting great interest from buyers, but with inventory levels still tight for single-family homes, the search can take time," said 2016 Florida Realtors President Matey H. Veissi, broker and co-owner of Veissi & Associates in Miami. "New listings increased in February, which is good news for would-be buyers: for existing single-family homes, new listings rose 12.1 percent compared to a year ago; new listings are up 15 percent for townhouse-condo units.
"And the good news for sellers is that they're receiving more of their original asking price at the closing table. Sellers of existing single-family homes in February received 95.3 percent (median percentage) of their original listing price, while those selling townhouse-condo properties received 94.4 percent (median percentage)."
According to Florida Realtors® Chief Economist Dr. Brad O'Connor, the state association is rolling out a new process system with the February housing market data reports.
"Ensuring the accuracy, quality and utility of our housing market statistics is top priority for Florida Realtors' Industry Data and Analysis department and we continue to constantly seek ways to get closer to perfection in these regards," he explained. "This month's report in particular represents the culmination of several months of very hard work by our analytics team. Several new metrics have been added to the reports, plus we've fine-tuned the processes that take in the millions of MLS listings generated daily by Florida's 155,000-plus Realtors and generate our statistics.
"Because these new processes will be used to generate our statistics going forward and because accuracy is paramount to our mission, it was necessary for us to revise our historical data (going back to 2013 when Florida Realtors began utilizing its data system in partnership with local boards and associations) using the new process so that we can maintain a consistent data series. For the most part, these revisions are very minor and the trends we've identified in previous reports are well preserved."
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $200,000, up 11.1 percent from the previous year, 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 in February was $150,000, up 5.6 percent over the year-ago figure.
February marked 51 consecutive months that statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and for townhouse-condo properties rose year-over-year. 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 January 2016 was $215,000, up 8.3 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $203,900. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in January was $468,330; in Massachusetts, it was $330,000; in Maryland, it was $244,989; and in New York, it was $235,000.
Looking at Florida's townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 7,658 last month, down 5.4 percent compared to February 2015. However, the closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and cash-only sales in February: Traditional sales in Florida rose 5.1 percent for condo-townhouse properties and 16.6 percent for single-family homes. Closed sales may occur from 30 to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.
"The trends we're seeing in closed sales and new listings have led to two straight months of rising inventory levels (active listings) in both property type categories," O'Connor said. "Single-family home inventory was still 3.8 percent lower than it was at the end of February 2015, but this is still an improvement over January's 7.4 percent year-over-year decline. Year-over-year inventory growth in the condo/townhome market, on the other hand, was strongly positive for a change at 6 percent."
Inventory was at a 4.5-months' supply in February for single-family homes and at a 6.3-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 3.66 percent in February 2016, down from the 3.71 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.
To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Media Center.