ORLANDO – In April, Florida's housing sector reported more closed sales, higher median prices and more new listings from owners ready to enter the market, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.
"Not enough for-sale inventory, especially in the range for first-time homebuyers, is an ongoing challenge for many local housing markets," said 2018 Florida Realtors President Christine Hansen, broker-owner with Century 21 Hansen Realty in Fort Lauderdale. "Pent-up demand continues to put upward pressure on prices. In April, sellers continued to get more of their original asking price at the closing table. Sellers of existing single-family homes last month received 96.6 percent (median percentage) of their original listing price, while those selling townhouse-condo properties received 95 percent (median percentage).
"But there is some positive news for buyers: New listings for single-family homes in April rose 9.8 percent year-over-year, while new townhouse-condo listings increased 8.3 percent. This trend will hopefully continue, which would help ease the too-tight inventory in many areas."
Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 24,804 last month, up 4.1 percent compared to April 2017. Meanwhile, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $253,895, up 8.1 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Thestatewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in April was $190,000, up 10.5 percent over the year-ago figure.
April was the 76th month in a row that the statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties rose year-over-year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. 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 March 2018 was $252,100, up 5.9 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $236,100. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in March was $564,830; in Massachusetts, it was $369,000; in Maryland, it was $283,405; and in New York, it was $260,000.
Looking at Florida's townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 11,236 last month, up 9.2 percent compared to a year ago. Closed sales data reflected dwindling short sales and foreclosures in April: Short sales for townhouse-condo properties dropped 27.5 percent and foreclosures fell 41.8 percent year-to-year; while short sales for single-family homes declined 48.8 percent and foreclosures fell 50.7 percent year-to-year. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.
"More often than not, the pace for Florida's busy spring and summer homebuying season seems to be set in March and April," said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O'Connor. "On the heels of a somewhat slow month of March this year, it's good to see that state existing home sales rebounded quite nicely in April. With last month's sales factored in, we're ahead of last year's pace of single-family home sales by about a half of a percent.
"Demand for single family homes remains strong across the state and this abundance of buyers continues to deplete active inventories and drive up prices."
For-sale inventory in April remained tight, at a 3.8-months' supply for single-family homes and 5.8-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 4.47 percent in March 2018, significantly up from the 4.05 percent averaged during the same month a year earlier.
To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Research & Statistics section on floridarealtors.org. Realtors also have access to local market stats (password protected) on Florida Realtors' website.