November Saw Gains in Florida’s Housing Market Despite Pandemic

In November, Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, more new pending sales, higher median prices and more new listings compared to a year ago, despite the ongoing pandemic, according to Florida Realtors latest housing data. Single-family existing home sales rose 22.9 percent compared to a year ago.

“Our homes are more important than ever, becoming the hub of our daily lives as we continue to take steps to safeguard our health, our families and our communities in the face of the ongoing pandemic,” said Florida Realtors President Barry Grooms, a realtor and co-owner of Florida Suncoast Real Estate in Bradenton. “With high demand, Florida’s housing market continues to gain momentum and provide support for the state’s economy.”

“Realtors are available in every community to help guide buyers and sellers through today’s challenging market conditions of buyer demand and a shortage of homes for sale,” he added.

In November, closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 26,406, up 22.9 percent year-over-year, while existing condo-townhouse sales totaled 11,003, up 30.2 percent over November 2019. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

The statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and condo-townhouse properties rose year-over-year in November for 107 consecutive months. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $305,000, up 14.1 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 $228,000, up 16.9 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor noted that November’s closed sales registered the highest percent year-over-year increase of any month this year, except for October’s 26.9 percent year-over-year rise.

“This growth in sales remained very broad-based in November, with all 22 of Florida’s metro areas seeing positive year-over-year gains,” he said. “The question remains, though, how long can we keep up this pace? Mortgage rates remain at all-time lows and demand will likely remain strong in the coming months, but inventory levels – particularly for single-family homes – remain far below normal levels. As of the end of November, our statewide inventory of single-family homes was down 41.3 percent compared to a year ago. Even listings of properties north of a million dollars, where we’ve had more inventory, are down by almost 25 percent.”

This lack of supply continues to keep home prices elevated because of strong competition for the properties that are on the market, O’Connor explained.

“In November, the median price among closed sales of single-family homes was $305,000, which matches October’s figure but still represents a 14.1 percent year-over-year increase,” he said. “Some of this figure represents a shift in the mix of the types of homes that are selling – we’ve seen a greater share of luxury home sales this year because the inventory shortage hasn’t hit this segment of the market as hard. However, a substantial amount of this increase is entirely due to the lack of supply in the face of strong demand resulting in greater competition among prospective home buyers.”

Meanwhile, inventory hasn’t been quite as much of an issue in the condo/townhouse category, O’Connor said. Still, statewide, that category was down 14.5 percent year-over-year at the end of November.

New listings statewide increased year-over-year in both property type categories in November, by just 0.3 percent for single-family existing homes and by 4.2 percent for condo and townhouse units.

On the supply side of the market, inventory (active listings) remains constrained, particularly in the single-family existing home category, which was at a very limited 2-months’ supply in November. Condo-townhouse inventory was at a 4.7-months’ supply.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.77 percent in November 2020, significantly lower than the 3.70 percent averaged during the same month a year earlier.

 

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