ORLANDO, FL - Florida's housing market reported increased new listings, rising median prices, fewer days to a contract and fewer cash closed sales in April, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors. With inventory still constrained, statewide closed sales eased last month: Single-family home sales totaled 24,144, remaining relatively the same (down 0.6 percent) as April 2015.
"Still-low mortgage interest rates and a strong jobs outlook are positive trends for Florida's housing market," said 2016 Florida Realtors President Matey H. Veissi, broker and co-owner of Veissi & Associates in Miami. "We're also seeing a rising number of new listings added to the market, which is a trend that needs to continue as many areas still face a shortage of supply, particularly for single-family homes. New listings for existing single-family homes rose 3.1 percent compared to a year ago while new listings for townhouse-condo properties rose 3.7 percent."
Meanwhile, sellers continued to get more of their original asking price at the closing table. Sellers of existing single-family homes in April received 95.9 percent (median percentage) of their original listing price, while those selling townhouse-condo properties received 94.5 percent (median percentage).
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $213,000, up 9.2 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 April was $160,000, up 4.4 percent over the year-ago figure.
In April, statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties rose year-over-year for the 53rd month in a row, Veissi noted. 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 March 2016 was $224,300, up 5.8 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $209,600. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in March was $483,280; in Massachusetts, it was $329,505; in Maryland, it was $252,068; and in New York, it was $230,000.
Looking at Florida's townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 10,738 last month, down 5.3 percent compared to April 2015. However, the closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and cash-only sales in April: Short sales for townhouse-condo properties declined 43.2 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 35.9 percent. Closed sales may occur from 30 to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.
"The positive growth we're seeing in sales for homes priced above the $150,000 mark is being offset by a continuing decline of homes for sale in the most affordable price ranges," said Florida Realtors® Chief Economist Brad O'Connor. "This trend is due in part to the ongoing decline in listings and sales of distressed properties. In April, distressed sales accounted for less than 12 percent of all closed Multiple Listing Service (MLS) sales in Florida – the lowest such percentage we've recorded since the initial stages of the downturn last decade."
Inventory was at a 4.5-months' supply in April 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 3.61 percent in April 2016, down from the 3.67 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.
To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Media Center.