NAR: First-time buyers steer existing-home sales higher in Sept.
ORLANDO, Fla. – Oct. 20, 2016 – Florida’s housing market had more new listings, higher median prices and fewer all-cash closed sales in September, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.
Tight inventory continues to impact the state’s housing market, noted Florida Realtors Chief Economist Brad O’Connor. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 22,704 last month, slightly down (0.5 percent) from September 2015. Meanwhile, in the townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 8,818 last month, down 3.9 percent year-to-year.
“Florida’s economy continues to grow, resulting in improving jobs and incomes for workers across the state,” says 2016 Florida Realtors President Matey H. Veissi, broker and co-owner of Veissi & Associates in Miami. “In turn, that is generating interest from many would-be buyers who are ready to enter the housing market. However, the latest data shows that a continued lack of inventory – especially in the mid-$200,000-and-under range – is affecting those potential homebuyers, leaving them with limited choices and higher prices as a result.”
Home sellers continued to get more of their original asking price at the closing table in September: Sellers of existing single-family homes received 96.2 percent (median percentage) of their original listing price, while those selling townhouse-condo properties received 94.8 percent (median percentage).
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $222,500, up 11.3 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 September was $160,000, up 6.7 percent over the year-ago figure.
In September, statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties rose year-over-year for the 58th month in a row, Veissi notes. The median is the midpoint: half the homes sold for more, half for less.
According to the National Association of Realtors, the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in August 2016 was $242,200, up 5.3 percent from the previous year the national median existing condo price was $225,100.In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in August was$526,580; in Massachusetts, it was $375,000; in Maryland, it was $278,578; and in New York, it was $257,291.
Closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and cash-only sales in September: Short sales for single-family homes declined 33.8 percent year-to-year, while short sales for townhouse-condo properties dropped 27.2 percent. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.
“Even though the number of Florida single-family home sales in September was essentially the same as last year, the composition of this year’s group was quite different – and in a good way,” says Florida Realtors Chief Economist Brad O’Connor. “Distressed sales made up only 10 percent of single family home sales this September, compared to over 19 percent in September 2015. And only 28 percent of sales were all-cash deals this time around, compared to 34 percent last year.
“If our housing markets are going to return to some semblance of what many might term ‘normalcy,’ it’s vital that both of these trends continue.”
Similar to previous months, inventory was at a 4.2-months’ supply in September for single-family homes and at a 5.8-months’ supply for townhouse-condo properties.
According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.46 percent in September 2016, which was lower than the 3.89 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.
Below are charts for Hernando. Pasco, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties. Look at the county locator map to see what cities are located in the various counties, and then look at the chart for that county to see the inventory drop that supports the increases that are happening in each county.
PLAIN AND SIMPLE DEAL DAYS ARE OVER