ORLANDO, FL - Florida's housing market reported more pending sales, higher median prices and increased inventory (active listings) in March compared to a year ago, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 25,013 last month, about the same level as March 2018.
"Along with low mortgage rates, the pressure on home prices is easing due to increased inventory, which is a positive trend for housing affordability and could encourage some buyers to enter the market," said 2019 Florida Realtors President Eric Sain, a Realtor and district sales manager with Illustrated Properties in Palm Beach. "Statewide, inventory or active listings in March for existing single-family homes rose 9.6 percent year-over-year, while inventory for condo-townhouse properties increased 6.6 percent.
"To better understand local market conditions, buyers and sellers should turn to a local Realtor for expert guidance."
In March, statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and condo-townhouse properties rose year-over-year for the 87th month-in-a-row. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $256,000, up 2 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Last month's statewide median price for condo-townhouse units was $189,500, up 3.6 percent over the year-ago figure. 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 February 2019 was $251,400, up 3.6 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $233,300. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in February was $534,140; in Massachusetts, it was $377,000; in New York, it was $280,000; and in Maryland, it was $273,762.
Looking at Florida's condo-townhouse market in March, statewide closed sales totaled 10,340, down 6.1 percent compared to a year ago. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.
According to Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O'Connor, March is typically a busy month for real estate in Florida and March 2019 was no exception.
"On a statewide basis, more homes typically go under contract in March than in any other month of the year," O'Connor said. "And compared to March of last year, new pending sales of single-family homes this March were up by 2.6 percent to a total of 31,383. In fact, this is the highest number of new pending sales we've seen in any month across the previous 11 years in which Florida Realtors has tracked this statistic.
"New pending sales in the condo and townhouse category, by the way, were also up, rising by one percent from last March's total. Of course, not all homes that go under contract end up as closed sales, but this is a pretty good sign for the market going into spring."
According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.27 percent in March 2019, compared to the 4.44 percent averaged during the same month a year earlier.
To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Media Center.