Florida’s housing market had higher median prices and fewer all-cash sales in December, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 22,332 last month, up 0.8 percent from December 2015.
“The trend of tight housing supply continued to have an impact on Florida’s housing market in December,” says 2017 Florida Realtors President Maria Wells, broker-owner with Lifestyle Realty Group in Stuart. “Last month, statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties rose year-over-year for 61 months in row. While that’s good news for sellers, it’s continuing to put pressure on inventory for first-time homebuyers and those who may be looking for their next ‘move-up’ home.
“And that’s where your local Realtor comes in – he or she will put their expertise to work for you to successfully navigate the complexities of finding the right property in your local real estate market and will make sure you get to the closing table.”
Home sellers continued to get more of their original asking price at the closing table in December: Sellers of existing single-family homes received 96 percent (median percentage) of their original listing price, while those selling townhouse-condo properties received 94.7 percent (median percentage).
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $226,000, up 9.2 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 December was $166,900, up 7.7 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 November 2016 was $236,500, up 6.8 percent from the previous yearthe national median existing condo price was $222,600.In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in November was $501,710; in Massachusetts, it was $365,000; in Maryland, it was $266,164; and in New York, it was $240,000.
Looking at Florida’s townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 8,673 last month, down 5.2 percent compared to December 2015. Closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and cash-only sales last month: Short sales for townhouse-condo properties declined 45 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 39.2 percent. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.
“Florida’s markets for existing homes closed out the year in December with a performance very much in line with what we saw over the previous 11 months of 2016,” says Florida Realtor Chief Economist Brad O’Connor. “At the local level, single family home sales increased in 15 of Florida’s 22 metro areas, while condo and townhouse sales rose in only five of these markets. And, as has been the case all year, the lack of significant sales growth in much of the state has had a lot more to do with a shortfall of supply in key price tiers than with demand.”
Inventory dipped to a 3.9-months’ supply in December for single-family homes and was at a 6-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 4.20 percent in December 2016, up significantly from the 3.96 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.
For the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Research and Statistics on floridarealtors.org. Realtors also have access to local market stats (password protected) on Florida Realtors’ website.