Fla.’s Housing Market: Sales, Median Price, More Rise in June

Florida Realtors’ data: More closed sales, more new listings and higher median prices (up 24.5% for single-family homes, 22.4% for condos) than a year ago. Chief Economist O’Connor: The ratio of buyers to sellers may be easing; as a result, home price growth could begin to cool down in the future. 

Florida’s housing market continued the same trends as previous months with more closed sales, higher median prices and more new listings compared to a year ago, according to Florida Realtors® latest housing data.

“Coming out of a record spring home-buying season, the state’s housing market continued its strong gains in June,” says 2021 Florida Realtors President Cheryl Lambert, broker-owner with Only Way Realty Citrus in Inverness“Of course, the impact of the pandemic last June is still a factor to consider when looking at the comparison data. In a positive sign, new listings for single-family existing homes in June rose 21.6% year-over-year, while new listings for condos-townhouse properties increased 10%. However, while Florida Realtors’ data shows that new listings have remained at fairly typical numbers even throughout most of the pandemic, it hasn’t been at the levels needed to keep up with greater buyer demand.”

Closed sales of single-family homes statewide in June totaled 34,165, up 23.6% year-over-year, while existing condo-townhouse sales totaled 16,155, up 79.6% over June 2020. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in June was $351,000, up 24.5% 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 $256,945, up 22.4% over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor points out that recent data trends indicate the ratio of buyers to sellers may finally be easing a bit. As a result, “Florida’s red-hot rate of home price growth could begin to cool down somewhat in the coming months, although that will also depend on whether interest rates start to trend higher again, as well. For now, though, the numbers continue to astound,” he says.

Another trend to consider, Dr. O’Connor adds, is that over the past few months, the share of closed sales that are all-cash purchases has been on the rise compared to recent norms.

“Over in the single-family category, 31% of closed sales were all-cash this June, compared to 19% a year ago and 22.4% in 2019,” he says. “The last time Florida had more than 31% single-family cash sales in June was in 2015, when the state was still working the last foreclosures from the Great Recession out of the system.”

According to O’Connor, the current rise in cash sales as a percentage of closed sales is tied to two factors, with the first being a bit of a technicality.

He said, “This year, higher-end sales have made up a greater share of closings than in previous years, and those types of sales are historically much more likely to be all-cash sales. About 56% of single-family sales over a million dollars in June were all cash. That’s actually not much different than last June’s share, which was about 55%. But since luxury sales are a greater share of overall sales this year, that’s pushing up the overall cash share.”

The other factor is a rise in the percentage of single-family home sales paid in cash in price tiers below $400,000, O’Connor says. “This indicates a rise in investor activity, so of course Florida Realtors will be watching these numbers closely,” he adds. “The most prevalent price tier where this is occurring depends on the area’s market and its overall price level. The trend started emerging first in the state’s major population centers, but has since expanded to a degree into small- and mid-sized markets, as well.

On the supply side of the market, inventory (active listings) remained extremely tight in June. Single-family existing homes were at a very low 1.2-months’ supply while condo-townhouse inventory was at a 1.8-months’ supply.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.98% in June 2021, down from the 3.16% averaged during the same month a year earlier.

 

 

Fla.’s May Housing Market Strong, Shows 2020 COVID-19 Impact

Florida Realtors’ data: May had more closed sales, more new listings and higher median prices (up 27.7% for single-family homes, 24.1% for condos) than a year ago. 

Florida’s housing market continued to report more closed sales, higher median prices, more new listings and increased pending inventory compared to a year ago, according to Florida Realtors® latest housing data. Note that this month’s May 2020 comparison data reflects the state lockdown and economic uncertainty that occurred last spring during the coronavirus pandemic.


“In May, Florida’s housing market continued to show strong year-over-year gains,” says 2021 Florida Realtors President Cheryl Lambert, broker-owner with Only Way Realty Citrus in Inverness“Of course, in May 2020, Florida remained under lockdown and was feeling the effects of the pandemic. Median prices continue to rise: Part of the reason is that the state is experiencing a greater share of luxury sales in 2021 compared to a year ago, but overall home price appreciation is also a big factor pushing costs higher.”

Closed sales of single-family homes statewide in May totaled 30,985, up 57.9% year-over-year, while existing condo-townhouse sales totaled 15,491, up 155.2% over May 2020. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $344,900, up 27.7% 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 $250,000, up 24.1% over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

May’s housing data offered insight into market trends, according to Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor.

“Florida’s inventory of existing single-family homes listed for resale increased slightly over the course of the month, rising from 31,618 as of the end of April up to 32,021 by May 31,” he says. “While that’s only a little over a 1% increase, it’s significant because this is the first time Florida’s single-family inventory has increased during any month since March of 2020. It comes on the heels of only a very slight month-over-month statewide decline of just 40 single-family active listings (inventory) from March to April. So that’s two consecutive months where the state’s single-family inventory has been relatively stable.

“Of course, we are still down 58.2% compared to a year ago, so we are by no means out of the woods in terms of the housing shortage – but we can at least take this flattening inventory curve as a sign that we might finally be at the start of a long march back toward a balanced market.

O’Connor explains one reason the decline in single-family inventory appears to have stopped is that the number of existing homes being listed for sale each month generally continues to be in line with recent historical norms prior to the pandemic.

“During May, 34,298 single-family homes came onto the market, which is only 179 fewer new listings than in May of 2018, and just 212 more than May of 2019,” he says. “At the same time, the number of single-family homes going under contract each month, which has been well above historical pre-pandemic norms since June of last year, has been slowly but surely trending back toward those norms in each successive month of 2021.

“This reversion toward historical norms in the level of contract signings is a strong indicator that monthly counts of closed single-family home sales will also move back toward more normal levels, and this appears to have started in earnest in May.”

On the supply side of the market, inventory (active listings) remained tightly constrained in May. Single-family existing homes were at a very low 1.1-months’ supply while condo-townhouse inventory was at a 2.0-months’ supply.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.96% in May 2021, down from the 3.23% averaged during the same month a year earlier.

 

 

Fla.’s Housing Market: Sales, Median Prices Up in 1Q 2021

Florida Realtors’ data: Single-family home sales up 19.4% year-over-year, median sales price up 17.6% to $317.5K; condo sales up 37%, median price up 14.8% to $235.4K.

In the first quarter of 2021, Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, higher median prices and more new pending sales compared to a year ago, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 78,353 in 1Q 2021, up 19.4% from the 1Q 2020 level.

A year ago, in early March, the first coronavirus cases were confirmed in Florida,” said 2021 Florida Realtors President Cheryl Lambert, broker-owner with Only Way Realty Citrus in Inverness. “Looking back at that first quarter, considering everything that we have all endured with the pandemic, and where we are today in the first quarter of 2021, it’s almost impossible to believe. While we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and follow guidelines to stay safe and protect our communities, Florida’s housing market remains strong.

But, with demand for housing greater than the available supply, it continues to drive home prices higher – and tightens the existing home-market even more.”

In Florida’s condo-townhouse market, statewide closed sales totaled 37,505 during 1Q 2021, up 37% compared to 1Q 2020, according to data from Florida Realtors Research department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 1Q 2021 was $317,500, up 17.6% from the same time a year ago. The statewide median price for condo-townhouse properties during the quarter was $235,422, up 14.8% over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor took a look at new listings data for 1Q 2021.

“New listings of homes for resale were marginally lower in January and February than they were a year ago before the pandemic, but these were offset by a decent increase in March,” he said. “For the quarter overall, there were only 2.5% fewer new listings of single-family homes than in the first quarter of 2020, and over in the condo and townhouse category, we saw a 5% increase.

“Most people I speak with are surprised to learn that, apart from the first couple months of the pandemic, the pace of new listings has been fairly close to what it was before the pandemic. That’s an understandable reaction, given how low our inventory levels are.”

O’Connor explained, “One way to think about it is to imagine an empty shelf at a supermarket that has been picked clean. It could be the store stopped getting shipments of the product that was on the shelf, but it could also be that demand for this product increased so significantly that – even though shipments have still been coming in – they’re getting snapped up as soon as they’re stocked. That’s what’s happening in the housing market right now. But to keep inventory from continuing to fall, we need to see a significant increase in the normal rate of new listings, and that’s not happening, either.”

Inventory was at a 1.2-months’ supply in the first quarter for single-family homes and at a 2.8-months’ supply for condo-townhouse properties, according to Florida Realtors.

In 1Q 2021, 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 19 days for single-family homes and 37 days for condo-townhouse properties.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.88% for 1Q 2021, down from the 3.51% average recorded during the same quarter a year earlier.

 

 

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Fla.’s Housing Market Wraps Up 2020 Strong Despite COVID-19

Florida Realtors’ latest data: Single-family home sales in 2020 up 5.8% year-over-year, median price at $290K up 9.6%. Condo-townhouse sales up 2.5%, median price at $215K, up 12% from 2019. Chief Economist O’Connor: “Sales of Florida homes in the 4Q were very strong.”

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic challenges, Florida’s housing market wrapped up 2020 with more sales, higher median sale prices and more pending inventory compared to the year before, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

“For much of 2020, our homes became the hub for our daily lives, with people working remotely, children taking classes online, and many restaurants and entertainment options on lockdown due to the pandemic,” says 2021 Florida Realtors President Cheryl Lambert, broker-owner with Only Way Realty Citrus in Inverness. “It’s a testament to Florida’s resilient housing market and ongoing buyer demand that home sales at the end of the year topped 2019’s totals. And with mortgage rates still historically low, buyer interest remains high into 2021 – but record low for-sale inventory levels continue to put upward pressure on prices and availability.”

4Q 2020

Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 86,543 in the fourth quarter of 2020, up 23.6% compared to the year-ago figure, according to data from Florida Realtors research department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

“Sales of Florida homes in the fourth quarter were very strong compared to a year ago,” says Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor. “Meanwhile, there’s a constrained supply of inventory (active listings), which we’ve been seeing for some time. That shortage, coupled with the very low mortgage rates that are helping to drive buyer demand, keep pushing home values upward.”

The statewide median sales price for existing single-family homes for 4Q 2020 was $306,000, up 14.6% from 4Q 2019. New pending sales for existing single-family homes for the quarter rose 22.2% compared to a year ago, while new listings were up 3.5% from 4Q 2019.

Looking at Florida’s year-to-year comparison for sales of condo-townhouses, a total of 35,865 units sold statewide in 4Q 2020, up 29.4% compared to the same period a year earlier. The statewide median price for condo-townhouse properties for the quarter was $226,000, up 15% over the previous year. New pending sales for condo-townhouses for 4Q 2020 increased 30.9% compared to a year ago, while new listings were up 5.9% from the same quarter the previous year.

Year End 2020

Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 310,378 at the end of 2020, up 5.8% compared to the 2019 figure, according to Florida Realtors data.

Chief Economist O’Connor noted that by the end of the year, the -off in Florida’s housing market from February into early May – due to COVID-19 – had not only leveled out, but sales outpaced the previous year in both the single-family homes and condo-townhouse categories.

“We’ve seen a substantial increase in the dollar volume of sales in 2020, due to increasing sales, rising prices and a greater share of our sales being among the luxury tiers this year (2020) vs. 2019,” he says. “For all residential property types, we were up 20.3% to over $160 billion (total of $162.3 billion) in dollar volume in sales of existing homes in 2020. Florida totaled $124.6 billion in volume in single-family home sales in 2020, up 22.5% from 2019, while condo-townhouse sales reached $36.2 billion in volume, up 13.7% from the previous year.”

Looking to 2021, O’Connor said he expects the trends from the end of 2020 to continue.

“I think we will continue to have robust sales growth,” he says. “As we get closer to vaccination really making a dent in the threat from COVID-19, we might see more people starting to consider upgrading or changing to a different home to take advantage of interest rates while they remain in the low to mid-3% range – which is what most forecasters currently predict.”

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes at year’s end was $290,000, up 9.6% from the previous year. New pending sales for existing single-family homes rose 9.2% at the end of 2020 compared to the previous year, though new listings for single-family homes ped (-2.8%) from a year ago.

Looking at Florida’s year-to-year comparison for sales of condo-townhouses, a total of 119,336 units sold statewide in 2020, up 2.5% over 2019. The statewide median price for condo-townhouse properties at the end of the year was $215,000, up 12% from year-end 2019. New pending sales for condo-townhouse units for the end of 2020 increased 6.2% compared to a year ago, while new listings for condo-townhouses rose 1.1% from year-end 2019.

At the end of 2020 and also for 4Q 2020, inventory (active listings) for single-family homes stood at a 1.8-months’ supply, while inventory for condo-townhouse properties was at a 4.2-months’ supply, according to Florida Realtors.

The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.11% for 2020, down significantly from the previous year’s average of 3.94%, according to Freddie Mac.

 
 

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