ORLANDO, FL -The impact of Hurricane Irma on Florida's housing market resolved by the end of October, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors. Sales, median prices, new listings and new pending sales rose even as the inventory of for-sale properties remained constrained in many areas. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 20,543 last month, up 2 percent compared to October 2016.
"Home purchases stalled by Hurricane Irma striking Florida in September resumed – and many of those sales closed in October," said 2017 Florida Realtors President Maria Wells, broker-owner with Lifestyle Realty Group in Stuart. "Areas hit hardest by the hurricane will still take time to recover, but in other parts of the state, real estate activity has returned. Sellers were ready to put their homes on the market in October, with new listings for single-family existing homes up 9.8 percent year-over-year; new listings for existing condo-townhouse properties rose 14.6 percent.
"Wherever you are, there is a local Realtor who can help you understand local market conditions and prepare for a successful home sale or home purchase."
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $235,558, up 7.1 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for condo-townhouse properties in October was $170,000, up 5.2 percent over the year-ago figure. October was the 70th month-in-a-row that statewide median prices for both sectors 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 September 2017 was $246,800, up 5.6 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $231,300. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in September was $555,410; in Massachusetts, it was $380,000; in Maryland, it was $277,746; and in New York, it was $257,500.
Looking at Florida's condo-townhouse market, statewide closed sales totaled 8,116 last month, up 2.2 percent compared to October 2016. Closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and foreclosures last month: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties declined 22.5 percent and foreclosures fell 42.8 percent year-to-year; short sales for single-family homes dropped 36.7 percent and foreclosures fell 42.3 percent year-to-year. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.
"Last month, we talked about how it's not uncommon for Florida to see a quick rebound in sales of existing homes the month after a hurricane," said Florida Realtors® Chief Economist Dr. Brad O'Connor. "And, according to the latest data, that's exactly what happened in the Sunshine State in October. Both single-family home and condo-townhouse sales rose, boosted in part by closings that otherwise would have been completed in September if not for delays brought about by Hurricane Irma.
"Because of the length of the home-selling process, we'll likely see some reverberations of Irma's impact statewide for a couple more months, but October's statistics are very encouraging."
October's for-sale inventory remained tight with a 3.8-months' supply for single-family homes and a 5.6-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 3.90 percent in October 2017; it averaged 3.47 percent during the same month a year earlier.
To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Media Center.