ORLANDO, FL - Florida's housing market reported more closed sales, higher median prices and more pending sales during the first quarter of 2017, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 60,733 in 1Q 2017, up 5.1 percent over the 1Q 2016 figure.
"During the first three months of 2017, traditional sales of single-family homes and condo-townhouses rose in Florida," said 2017 Florida Realtors President Maria Wells, broker-owner with Lifestyle Realty Group in Stuart. "In another positive sign, pending sales for single-family homes rose 1.8 percent year-over-year, while condo-townhouse pending sales rose 4.8 percent. Distressed property sales continued to drop – which underscores solid stability in the state's housing market.
"Buyer demand continues to increase, yet the inventory of homes for sale remains tight in many local markets. That's putting upward pressure on median prices and sometimes results in multiple offers. By working closely with a Realtor who knows local market conditions and trends, consumers have an expert in their corner whether selling or looking to find their dream home."
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 1Q 2017 was $226,000, up 10.7 percent from the same time a year ago, according to data from Florida Realtors Research department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for condo-townhouse properties during the quarter was $167,000, up 9.2 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.
Looking at Florida's condo-townhouse market, statewide closed sales totaled 26,351 during 1Q 2017, up 7.6 percent compared to 1Q 2016. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales – and rising traditional sales – over the three-month period: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties declined 38.8 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 36.3 percent. Meanwhile, traditional sales for condo-townhouse units rose 16 percent and traditional sales for single-family homes increased 15.1 percent year-over-year. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.
"A shortage of both new and existing homes for sale throughout much of the state continues to drive the Florida housing market narrative in 2017," said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O'Connor. "New listings of existing single-family homes in the first quarter were only up one percent relative to the same quarter last year, while the number of closed sales increased by over five percent, thanks in large part to a record-breaking March.
"Homes are also selling faster this year. Half of the single-family homes which sold so far in 2017 went under contract in 50 days or less, which is nearly a 6 percent drop from the 53-day figure reported at this point last year. Based on these figures, it's not altogether surprising that the current supply of single-family homes for resale is down by about 5 percent, year-over-year. The rate of new construction in Florida, meanwhile, is increasing but is still well below its historical norms, so relief is not on the immediate horizon."
In 1Q 2017, the median time to a contract (the midpoint of the number of days it took for a property to receive a sales contract during that time) was 50 days for single-family homes and 55 days for condo-townhouse properties.
Inventory was at a 4.1-months' supply in the first quarter for single-family homes and at a 6.3-months' supply for condo-townhouse properties, according to Florida Realtors.
According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.17 percent for 1Q 2017, significantly higher than the 3.74 percent average recorded during the same quarter a year earlier.
To see the full statewide housing activity reports go to Florida Realtors Media Center.