Home Sales, Median Prices Continue to Surge in Florida

Florida’s housing market continued to flourish in November, a report from the Florida Realtors showed.

The Florida Realtors released a report last week which showed more single-family home sales and higher median prices last month when compared to November 2018. There were also more pending sales and pending inventory last month compared to a year ago.

Single-family home sales were up almost 21,850 single-family last month, up 6.1 percent when compared to November 2018.

“The November data shows that many homebuyers are eager to find the Florida home of their dreams – but demand and a tight inventory in many local areas continues to put pressure on prices,” said Florida Realtors President Eric Sain, a realtor and district sales manager with Illustrated Properties in Palm Beach. “Last month, new pending sales rose 14.4 percent for single-family existing homes while new pending sales for condo-townhouse units increased 8.6 percent.

“For guidance and expert advice on current conditions in their local markets, consumers should turn to a realtor for guidance and expert advice,” Sain added.

November marked the 95th month in a row where statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and condo-townhouse properties rose year-over-year.

“The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $265,000, up 3.9 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local realtor boards/associations. Last month’s statewide median price for condo-townhouse units was $195,000, up 5.4 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less,” the Florida Realtors noted.

Still, condo and townhouse sales in Florida took a little bit of a stumble with statewide closed sales at 8,101 in October, down 6.3 percent from October 2018.

Dr. Brad O’Connor, the chief economist for the Florida Realtors, said the lack of housing supply is starting to have an impact.

“By the end of the month, the statewide inventory of on-market single-family homes was down 10.5 percent compared to a year ago, while the number of listed condos and townhouses was down just over 7 percent,” O’Connor said. “These declines were not driven by market conditions in any particular part of the state, either. Single-family inventory was down year-over-year in all but two of Florida’s 22 metro areas, while condo and townhouse inventory declined to varying degrees in all but three of these areas.”

O’Connor pointed out that mortgage rates were starting to rise at rates that haven’t been seen since 2011.

“This shift, along with other factors, brought about greater listing activity from homeowners and investors, and resulted in the state’s first real upward trend in inventory since 2013,” O’Connor said. “But then mortgage rates started to decline again at the end of the year and into this year – which means that in current year-over-year comparisons, today’s inventory is being measured against last year’s brief inventory surge, which is why the one-year drop seems so steep.

“The main takeaway is that we had a one-year reprieve from a worsening inventory shortage, but that reprieve is now over. The underlying fundamentals of the shortage – insufficient new construction and a lack of listing activity from existing homeowners – are still with us and will be for some time to come,” he added.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

 

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