According to new data from Florida Realtors, the State of Florida's housing market reported increased sales, higher median prices, more pending sales and gains in inventory (active listings) in May compared to a year ago. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 30,742 last month, up 9.6% over May 2018.
"Low interest rates continue to fuel buyer demand in Florida's housing market," said 2019 Florida Realtors President Eric Sain. "In May, new pending sales for existing single-family homes were up 5% year-over-year, while pending sales for existing condo-townhouse properties rose slightly (0.5%). Inventory levels have steadily improved, which offers more choices for homebuyers. Statewide, single-family inventory (active listings) last month rose 4% over May 2018, while condo-townhouse inventory increased 4.8%.
"For expert advice and peace of mind, buyers and sellers should consult a local Realtor to learn more about area market conditions."
In May, statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and condo-townhouse properties rose year-over-year for the 89th consecutive month. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $266,000, up 4.3% 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 $195,000, up 3.7% over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.
Looking at Florida's condo-townhouse market in May, statewide closed sales totaled 12,217, up 1.6% compared to a year ago. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.
"May turned out to be our highest single-family home sales' monthly total for any single month over at least the past 10 years," said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O'Connor. "What's more, this growth was widespread, with sales increasing in 21 of the state's 22 metropolitan areas.
"This resurgence in single-family home sales is largely being driven by a single factor, which is that mortgage interest rates have been declining sharply since late last year. It's worth noting, for instance, that all-cash single-family home sales were actually only up 1.5% in May, whereas transactions involving financing were up over 12%."
According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.07% in May 2019, down from the 4.59% averaged during the same month a year earlier.