Fla.’s housing market reflects changing conditions in Nov. 2013

ORLANDO, Fla. – Dec. 19, 2013 – Florida’s housing market reported higher median prices, more new listings and a stabilizing supply of homes for sale, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

“As Florida’s economy gains strength, it signals new trends for the housing market,” said 2013 Florida Realtors President Dean Asher, broker-owner with Don Asher & Associates Inc. in Orlando. “In November, we marked 24 months – 2 years – of consecutive gains in statewide median sales prices, year-over-year, for both single-family homes and for townhouse-condo properties. With prices rising and many homeowners seeing renewed equity in their homes, we’re seeing less distressed sales.

“On average, home sellers received about 94 percent of their asking price in November. These favorable conditions are encouraging more traditional home sellers to list their properties, which in turn is boosting inventory levels slightly from the previous month.”

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $169,900, up 13.3 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 November was $131,299, up 17.2 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 October 2013 was $199,500, up 12.7 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $199,200. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in October was $427,290; in Massachusetts, it was $320,000; in Maryland, it was $256,651; and in New York, it was $230,276.

Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes eased slightly in November to 16,620, down 1.2 percent compared to the year-ago figure. Closed sales of condos and townhomes last month totaled 7,576, down 7.1 percent compared to November 2012.

However, the closed sales data reflects fewer short sales and cash-only sales in November: Traditional sales in Florida rose 10.9 percent for single-family homes and 2.8 percent for condo-townhome properties. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

“November’s data reflects changes in the dynamics of Florida’s housing market,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. “While traditional sales and those financed by mortgages are up, there was a decline in both short sales and cash-only sales. This suggests that the investor presence, which had been so strong in the market, may be diminishing. It signals a continued return to what we would consider a more traditional market.”

Meanwhile, new listings for existing single-family homes last month rose 14.8 percent and new listings for condos and townhomes rose 5.4 percent over November 2012 figures, according to Florida Realtors. Inventory was at a 5.6-months’ supply in November for single-family homes and at a 5.8-months’ supply for townhouse-condo properties.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.26 percent in November 2013, up from the 3.35 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.

To see the full statewide housing activity reports, visit the research page on Florida Realtors’ website.

© 2013 Florida Realtors®

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