Florida's housing market in July: median prices rose while existing home sales sank
Existing home sales dropped 8% due to inventory shortage and rising prices.
ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida’s housing market reported rising median prices and fewer all-cash closed sales in July, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 24,083 last month, down 8 percent from July 2015, reflecting the state’s current shortfall in inventory.
“Florida’s supply of for-sale homes remains tight, which is putting pressure on median prices and having a dampening effect on closed sales,” said 2016 Florida Realtors® President Matey H. Veissi, broker and co-owner of Veissi & Associates in Miami. “But the state’s strong jobs outlook and growing economy are attracting more and more new residents, which provides a solid foundation for the housing market. Florida businesses created 26,500 jobs in July and our population is growing by more than 1,000 new residents each day, according to recent economic reports.”
Home sellers continued to get more of their original asking price at the closing table in July: Sellers of existing single-family homes received 96.4 percent (median percentage) of their original listing price, while those selling townhouse-condo properties received 94.6 percent (median percentage).
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $223,238, up 11.6 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 July was $160,000, up 6.8 percent over the year-ago figure.
In July, statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties rose year-over-year for the 56th month in a row, Veissi noted. 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 June 2016 was $249,800, up 5 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $231,600. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in June was $519,440; in Massachusetts, it was $380,000; in Maryland, it was $291,892; and in New York, it was $248,500.
Looking at Florida’s townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 8,934 last month, down 11.5 percent compared to July 2015. Closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and cash-only sales in July: Short sales for townhouse-condo properties declined 41.1 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 34 percent. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.
“Compared to July of 2015, closed single-family home sales were down in 18 out of Florida’s 22 metro areas this July,” said Florida Realtors® Chief Economist Brad O’Connor. “This translates into a statewide sales decline of 8 percent year-over-year, which is the largest drop we’ve seen for any month in 2016. But a closer look at the data shows the same underlying trend we’ve been seeing all year, which is that these sales declines are occurring almost exclusively in sub-$200,000 price tiers.
“Florida continues to suffer from a drought in the supply of affordable housing for sale, resulting from the gradual exhaustion of the state’s inventory of distressed properties and the lack of new construction in these price ranges. The same story is largely playing out in the markets for condos and townhouses.”
Inventory was at a 4.3-months’ supply in July for single-family homes and at a 5.9-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 3.44 percent in July 2016, significantly lower than the 4.05 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.