Fla.’s Housing Market: Sales, Median Prices, New Listings Up in Oct.

Florida Realtors’ data: Single-family home sales up 26.9% year-over-year, median sales price up 15.6%; condo sales up 30.3%, median price up 15.9%. Chief Economist O’Connor: Strong and persistent demand, coupled with worsening inventory shortages, continued to drive up home values.

Florida’s housing market continued to be a bright spot for the state’s economy in October, even as the coronavirus pandemic showed no signs of easing. More closed sales, more new pending sales, higher median prices and more new listings were recorded statewide last month compared to October 2019, according to Florida Realtors® latest housing data. Single-family existing home sales rose 26.9% compared to a year ago.

“Housing is an essential need, and there is strong demand from buyers despite the ongoing pandemic – and perhaps even sparked by the fact that our homes have become more important than ever this year,” says 2020 Florida Realtors President Barry Grooms, a Realtor and co-owner of Florida Suncoast Real Estate Inc. in Bradenton. “But increasing constraints on the inventory of for-sale homes in Florida is making it more and more difficult for buyers, and putting pressure on rising prices, which in turn impacts affordability. In October, the statewide inventory for single-family existing homes was at the record low of a 2.1-months’ supply, while the inventory for existing condos ped to a record low of a 4.9-months’ supply.”

In October, closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 29,659, up 26.9% year-over-year, while existing condo-townhouse sales totaled 12,110, up 30.3% over October 2019. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

The statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and condo-townhouse properties rose year-over-year in October for 106 consecutive months. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $305,000, up 15.6% from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Last month’s statewide median price for condo-townhouse units was $221,000, up 15.9% over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

According to Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor, “the strong and persistent level of demand seen throughout the state, coupled with worsening inventory shortages, continued to drive up home values in October.”

He added, “This is probably a good time to remember, however, that while rising median sale prices are almost always indicative of general home price appreciation, they can also be driven upward by a change in the mix of homes that are selling. For example, if starter homes made up a larger share of the homes that sold last year, while luxury homes made up a larger share of those sold this year instead, then of course we’d expect the median – or middle – sale price out of those sales to be pulled upward from last year to this year. And something like this is definitely happening this year, as luxury homes have been selling in abundance relative to last year.”

But that factor is only responsible for part of the rise in median prices, according to O’Connor.

“A good share of these increases is still being driven by good, old-fashioned price appreciation – especially among single-family starter homes, which are increasingly difficult to find on the market,” he said.

New listings statewide increased year-over-year in both property type categories in October, up by 1.6% for single-family existing homes and 3.4% for condo and townhouse units.

On the supply side of the market, inventory (active listings) tightened even more in October.

“Active listings of single-family homes continued to fall throughout October, although the rate of decline was not as steep as we’ve seen in previous months, going back to April,” said O’Connor. “Still, at the end of the October, the statewide inventory of single-family homes was sitting at a multi-year low, close to 39.4% below where it was at the same point in time last year. Condo and townhouse inventory, by contrast, was only down by about 11.8% year-over-year at the end of the month.”

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.83% in October 2020, down from the 3.69% averaged during the same month a year earlier.

 

 

Fla.’s Housing Market in 3Q 2020 Shows Strength Amid Pandemic

Florida Realtors’ data: Single-family home sales up 13.7% year-over-year, condo sales up 13.5%; 3Q median sales price up 13.2% in both categories. Chief Economist O’Connor cites pent-up buyer demand and record-low mortgage rates as “driving factors.”

Florida’s housing market reported strong gains in the third quarter of 2020 even as the coronavirus pandemic continued, with more closed sales, rising median prices, more new listings and more new pending sales compared to 3Q 2019, according to the latest housing data from Florida Realtors®.

Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 89,562 in 3Q 2020, up 13.7% from the 3Q 2019 level; closed sales of condo-townhouse properties totaled 33,523, up 13.5% compared to 3Q 2019. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

Quarterly data figures normally offer a good look into prevailing economic and market trends, according to Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor.

On the heels of a weak spring buying season brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, closed sales of existing homes surged throughout the U.S. in the third quarter of 2020, and Florida was no exception,” he says. “And while the release of pent-up demand from spring certainly played a major role in this resurgence, it’s likely that the most important driving factor has been the record-low mortgage rates we’ve been experiencing.”

O’Connor pointed out that closed sales of Florida single-family homes were up 13.7% year-over-year overall in the third quarter, but all-cash sales were only up 1.7%.

“It appears that owner-occupant buyers and investors alike seem to be taking advantage of these low mortgage rates,” he says. “Condos and townhouse sales, which were hit particularly hard in spring, made a strong recovery in the third quarter as well, rising by 13.5% year-over-year. Across the state, single-family closings were up year-over-year in all 22 Florida metro areas, while condo and townhouse sales only failed to rise in two metros.”

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 3Q 2020 was $299,900, up 13.2% from the same time a year ago, according to data from Florida Realtors Research department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for condo-townhouse properties during the quarter was $215,000, also up 13.2% over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

Supply and demand impacted home prices across the state, O’Connor notes. He explained, “Because new construction and new listings of existing homes are not keeping pace with the current rate of sales, we observed a substantial amount of home price appreciation in the third quarter.”

In 3Q 2020, the median time to a contract (the midpoint of the number of days it took for a property to receive a sales contract during that time) was 29 days for single-family homes and 46 days for condo-townhouse properties.

Inventory was at a 2.2-months’ supply in the third quarter for single-family homes and at a 5.1-months’ supply for condo-townhouse properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.95% for 3Q 2020, significantly lower than the 3.67% average reported during the same quarter a year earlier.

 

Fla.’s Housing Market: More Sales, Rising Median Prices in September

Florida Realtors’ data: Sales, median prices, new pending sales and new listings rose year-over-year. Single-family sales up 22%; condo sales up 25.3% – and in a milestone, 2020 single-family sales over last 9 months beat the same timeframe in 2019, says Chief Economist O’Connor.

In September, Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, more new pending sales, rising median prices and more new listings compared to a year ago despite the ongoing pandemic, according to Florida Realtors® latest housing data. Single-family existing home sales rose 22% compared to September 2019.

“Florida’s housing sector continues to be a bright spot for the state’s economy amid the ongoing pandemic,” says 2020 Florida Realtors President Barry Grooms, a Realtor and co-owner of Florida Suncoast Real Estate Inc. in Bradenton. “September’s market data shows that there are motivated buyers, but the lack of for-sale inventory is affecting their search for their Florida dream home. Statewide inventory for single-family existing homes last month was at the record low of a 2.2-months’ supply. That imbalance of supply and demand could impact the market in the long-term as housing shortages continue to put pressure on prices and affordability.”

Last month’s closed sales of single-family homes statewide rose 22% year-over-year, totaling 28,675, while existing condo-townhouse sales increased 25.3% over September 2019 and totaled 11,290. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

The statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and condo-townhouse properties rose year-over-year in September for 105 consecutive months. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $300,000, up 13.2% from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Last month’s statewide median price for condo-townhouse units was $217,500, up 12.7% over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

According to Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor, the September data reported a significant milestone for 2020: The year-to-date total of closed existing single-family home sales now exceeds the total from the first nine months of 2019.

“Given all that’s occurred this year, it’s hard to believe we’re already in positive territory again, but here we are,” he says. “And all indications are that we will continue to see strong sales this fall as mortgage interest rates will almost certainly remain at or near record lows. New pending sales of single-family homes were very strong in September, rising by 31.4% year-over-year, while new pending sales of condos and townhouses were up a dramatic 43%.”

The national inventory shortage is the biggest constraint to the housing market right now, O’Connor says.

“Builder confidence, as measured by the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, hit an all-time high in September,” he says. “However, the construction industry continues to face challenges such as low labor productivity and skilled labor shortages, high prices on materials, land constraints and the usual mix of regulatory impediments that can make it difficult to produce the types of homes that are in greatest demand – particularly single-family starter homes. In the short- to medium-term, we’re really going to have to rely on new listings of existing homes for more inventory – but even then, since sellers are usually buyers, too, this can only help so much.”

Statewide, new listings rose year-over-year in both property type categories in September, up by 12.1% for single-family existing homes and 21.1% for condo and townhouse units.

On the supply side of the market, inventory (active listings) continues to be tight, especially for single-family existing homes, which were at a 2.2-months’ supply in September. Condo-townhouse inventory was at a 5.1-months’ supply.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.89% in September 2020, down from the 3.61% averaged during the same month a year earlier.

 

 
 

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