September 21st, 2017 10:48 AM by Ron Mastrodonato
ORLANDO, Fla. – Sept. 20, 2017 – Florida's housing market continued its positive track in August, with more closed sales, increased pending sales, more new listings and rising median prices, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 25,235 last month, up 0.9 percent compared to August 2016.
"Housing market trends we have been seeing for months in Florida continued in August," says 2017 Florida Realtors President Maria Wells, broker-owner with Lifestyle Realty Group in Stuart. "More owners are deciding to enter the market and list their homes for sale, while demand from buyers continues to grow, especially for homes in the $250,000-and-under range. Homes are continuing to sell quickly, though tight inventory is putting pressure on rising median prices and creating affordability challenges for many first-time buyers.
"Any consumer who is looking to buy or sell a home in Florida should consult a local Realtor, who can help them understand local market conditions and be prepared to act when the right home or offer comes along."
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $240,000, up 6.7 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 townhouse-condo properties in August was $170,000, up 6.3 percent over the year-ago figure. August marked the 69th consecutive month 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 July 2017 was $260,600, up 6.3 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $239,800. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in July was $549,460; in Massachusetts, it was $400,000; in Maryland, it was $296,665; and in New York, it was $270,000.
Looking at Florida's townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 9,716 last month, up 2.6 percent compared to August 2016. Closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and foreclosures last month: Short sales for townhouse-condo properties declined 39.4 percent and foreclosures fell 49.1 percent year-to-year; short sales for single-family homes dropped 34.8 percent and foreclosures fell 45.4 percent year-to-year. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.
"As August's data shows, the winding down of the niche market for distressed properties that has existed in Florida over the past several years, along with the general shortage of homes for sale on the more affordable end of the market, has slowed down year-over-year sales growth," said Florida Realtors® Chief Economist Dr. Brad O'Connor. "At the same time, we're seeing strong price growth year-over-year, but it's actually quite modest relative to the double-digit percentage growth we've experienced in recent years."
Inventory continued to tighten in August with a 3.8-months' supply for single-family homes and a 5.4-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 3.88 percent in August 2017; it averaged 3.44 percent during the same month a year earlier.
For the full statewide housing activity reports, go to the Florida Realtors Research & Statistics section on floridarealtors.org. Realtors also have access to local market stats (password protected) on Florida Realtors' website.