Florida’s housing market continued to show strong gains in the second quarter with more closed sales, rising median prices and more new listings compared to that period 2020, according to the latest housing data from Florida Realtors. Florida’s lockdown order due to the COVID-19 pandemic took effect April 1, 2020.
“Florida usually has a very strong spring homebuying season, but due to the pandemic, last year was clearly a major exception to the rule,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Brad O’Connor. “This year, though, we were back in business – and then some. Second quarter closed sales of existing single-family homes increased by 43.3 percent year-over-year (totaling 98,414), and were up nearly 16 percent compared to the 2Q 2019. Sales growth in the condo and townhouse resale market was even stronger, rising 117 percent (a total of 48,976 sales) compared to last year and up by almost 44 percent compared to two years ago.”
Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 2Q 2020 was $345,000, up 24.3 percent from the same time a year ago, according to data from the Florida Realtors research department in partnership with local realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for condo-townhouse properties during the quarter was $250,000, up 20.8 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.
“Florida home prices always tend to rise the most during the first half of the year, but even taking that into consideration, price growth this year has still been well in excess of recent norms. Falling mortgage rates last year allowed buyers to make bids on higher-priced homes. The competition this created among buyers is what’s driven prices up so much,” O’Connor said.
However, so far this year, mortgage rates – while still low – are no longer falling, he noted.
“This will have the gradual effect of pricing more prospective buyers out of the market, which will reduce the level of competition until price growth falls back to a more normal pace,” he said. “This transition will also be aided by recent increases in the number of homes being listed for resale. New listings of single-family homes in 2Q 2021 were up 24.2 percent versus a year ago and over 8 percent compared to 2019. In the condo and townhouse category, new listings were up 27 percent compared to 2020 and over 15 percent compared to 2019.”
In the second quarter of 2021, the median time to a contract (the midpoint of the number of days it took for a property to receive a sales contract during that time) was nine days for single-family homes and 20 days for condo-townhouse properties.
Inventory was at a 1.1-months’ supply in the first quarter for single-family homes and at a 1.7-months’ supply for condo-townhouse properties, according to Florida Realtors.
According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.0 percent for the second quarter of 2021, down from the 3.23 percent average recorded during the same quarter a year earlier.