Florida Housing Market Seeing Higher Inventory Up, Rising Median Prices

Florida’s housing market reported increased inventory (active listings) and higher median prices in September and 3Q 2022 compared to a year ago, despite impacts from Hurricane Ian, which struck southwest Florida on Sept. 28, according to Florida Realtors latest housing data.

Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. O’Connor noted that Ian’s impact on Florida’s housing market started at the end of the week before it made landfall, as successive forecasts predicted a potential major hurricane would make landfall in the state.

“As a result, the data shows a pronounced slowdown in real estate activity, even in areas deemed unlikely to be threatened by the worst impacts of the hurricane, with a drop in both new listings and new pending sales ahead of it,” he said. “Many closings appear to have been delayed, as well. Taking into account weekends and the Labor Day holiday, roughly a quarter of September’s business days were seriously disrupted by Ian, and as a result, we were left with some lackluster market statistics for September.”

Closed sales of single-family homes statewide last month totaled 20,099, down 29 percent year-over-year, while existing condo-townhouse sales totaled 8,406, also down 29 percent over September 2021, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local realtor boards/associations. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

However, O’Connor pointed out, that “part of the reason September’s year-over-year declines in closed sales are high is that during the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021, the Florida real estate market didn’t get the memo that the second half of the year is supposed to be our slow time for closed sales. This is plainly visible if you look at monthly sales data for the past five years. Total closed sales across all property types in 2020 and 2021 remained elevated throughout the second half of both years, whereas here in 2022, we are trending below – but largely in line with – our September sales totals from 2018 and 2019.”

Statewide inventory was higher last month than a year ago for both existing single-family homes, up 74.9 percent, and for condo-townhouse units, up 18 percent, even though some active listings likely were pulled off-market temporarily due to the hurricane, according to O’Connor.

“As we’ve seen over the past few months, the trend of more for-sale inventory continued in September,” said Florida Realtors President Christina Pappas, the vice president of the Keyes Family of Companies in Miami. “In time, more availability of supply will hopefully ease some of the challenges buyers currently face, such as rising interest rates and rising prices. While time to contract is lengthening, homes in Florida continue to go under contract quickly: The median time to contract for single-family existing homes in September was 22 days compared to 10 days during the same month a year ago. The median time to contract for existing condo-townhouse units was 21 days compared to 14 days in September 2021.

“When market conditions fluctuate, having the guidance and expert advice of a realtor who understands the area is more important than ever for buyers and sellers,” Pappas added.

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $403,880, up 13.8 percent from the previous year. Last month’s statewide median price for condo-townhouse units was $307,250, up 20.5 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

The supply of single-family existing homes increased to a 2.5-months’ supply while existing condo-townhouse properties were at a 2.3-months’ supply both in September and for the third quarter.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.11 percent in September 2022, significantly higher than the 2.90 percent average during the same month a year earlier. The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage over 3Q 2022 averaged 5.58 percent.

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