ORLANDO, Fla., May 25, 2017 – (RealEstateRama) — Rising median prices and constrained inventory remained a prevailing trend in Florida’s housing market in April, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. The trend resulted in a loss of momentum for home sales: Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 23,829 last month, easing slightly (-1.2 percent) when compared to April 2016.
“Low inventory means fewer homes on the market and increased competition for those homes,” said 2017 Florida Realtors President Maria Wells, broker-owner with Lifestyle Realty Group in Stuart. “It puts consumers in a position where they have to be prepared and ready to buy, as many Realtors around the state report seeing more instances of multiple offers. And, without more for-sale homes, median prices will continue to rise due to demand. In April, sellers of existing single-family homes received 96.2 percent (median percentage) of their original listing price, while those selling townhouse-condo properties received 94.7 percent – an indication that the listed price is extremely close to market value.
“Working with a local Realtor enables consumers to have the advice of an expert in their local housing market – someone who can guide them through their home search and help them find the right home that fits their budget and their lifestyle.”
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $234,900, up 10.3 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 April was $172,000, up 7.2 percent over the year-ago figure. April was the 65th 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 March 2017 was $237,800, up 6.6 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $224,700. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in March was $517,020; in Massachusetts, it was $350,000; in Maryland, it was $269,204; and in New York, it was $249,000.
Looking at Florida’s townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 10,292 last month, down 4 percent compared to April 2016. Closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and cash-only sales last month: Short sales for townhouse-condo properties declined 38.5 percent while short sales for single-family homes also dropped 33.8 percent. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.
“Closed sales of single-family homes were down in 14 of Florida’s 22 metro areas compared to last April, and fell by 1.2 percent statewide – but there is no indication that demand is falling off,” said Florida Realtors® Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor. “Rather, all signs continue to point to a market being held back by a shortage of homes for sale. As of the end of April, the statewide inventory of single-family homes for sale was down by nearly 5 percent compared to where it was a year ago.
“Additionally, single-family homes that did sell in April were snapped up as quickly as in any month in recent years. According to Florida Realtors median-time-to-sale metric, half of the single-family homes selling in April of last year went from listing to close in 90 days or less, but this April, that figure fell to 85 days or less – a 5.6 percent decline.”
He noted that the townhouse-condo market has been relatively more balanced than the single-family market from a statewide perspective for several months, but local markets experience more variance in townhouse-condo inventory levels.
April’s inventory remained constricted with a 4-months’ supply for single-family homes and a 6.1-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 4.05 percent in April 2017, up significantly from the 3.61 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.