ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 22, 2017 -- Florida's housing market reported more closed sales, higher median prices, increased pending sales and more new listings in January, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 16,779 last month, up 5.2 percent from January 2016.
"Florida's housing market continues to show positive momentum," said 2017 Florida Realtors President Maria Wells, broker-owner with Lifestyle Realty Group in Stuart. "While existing inventory remains tight, Realtors® across the state are reporting interest from both buyers and sellers – and with interest rates expected to rise over the next few months, now is certainly a good time to take action. On the buyer front, new pending sales for existing single family homes in January increased 3.8 percent year-over-year; pending sales for townhouse-condo units increased 6.5 percent. On the sellers' side, new listings for single-family homes rose 7.6 percent year-over-year, while new townhouse-condo listings ticked up 0.9 percent.
"When market conditions are tight, consumers can get ahead by working with a Realtor who's an expert in the local area," Wells said. "A Realtor will have the knowledge needed to help both buyers and sellers through the complex homebuying process."
Home sellers continued to get more of their original asking price at the closing table in January: Sellers of existing single-family homes received 95.6 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 $220,000, up 10.1 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 January was $161,000, up 6.6 percent over the year-ago figure. January marked the 62nd month in a row that statewide median prices for both sectors rose year-over-year. 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 December 2016 was $233,500, up 3.8 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $221,600. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in December was $509,060; in Massachusetts, it was $355,000; in Maryland, it was $269,319; and in New York, it was $240,000.
Looking at Florida's townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 7,209 last month, up 6.2 percent compared to January 2016. Closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and cash-only sales last month: Short sales for townhouse-condo properties declined 47.7 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 36.3 percent. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.
"Florida's markets for existing homes are off to a good start in 2017," said Florida Realtors® Chief Economist Dr. Brad O'Connor. "Throughout much of this housing cycle, growth in single-family home sales has outpaced that of condos and townhouses, but in January – for the first time since November 2015 – this was not the case, though one month's worth of data alone doesn't indicate a long-term trend.
Also, new listings of single-family homes were up in January compared to last year, including in the $150,000 to $250,000 range where inventory is sorely needed throughout the state. That said, inventory was still down overall in this range, as this segment of the market remains in high demand throughout the state."
Inventory dipped to a 4.2-months' supply in January for single-family homes and was at a 6.4-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 4.15 percent in January 2016, up significantly from the 3.87 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.
Florida Realtors® serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 165,000 members in 55 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.