According to the latest housing data by Florida Realtors, Florida's housing market reported higher median prices and rising inventory during the first quarter of 2019.
Rising prices continue to put pressure on many homebuyers despite gains in the inventory of for-sale homes: Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 59,505 in 1Q 2019, down 1.2% from the 1Q 2018 level.
"Continuing a trend that we've been seeing for quite a while, median sales prices for both existing single-family homes and for condo-townhouse properties rose in Florida during the first three months of 2019," said 2019 Florida Realtors President Eric Sain.
"The state's population continues to increase, our jobs outlook is strong and the economy is growing. In fact, Florida continues to be ranked as the second-best state in the U.S. to do business, according to the 2019 survey of CEOs from Chief Executive magazine."
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 1Q 2019 was $253,000, up 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 $185,575, up 3.1% 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, statewide closed sales totaled 25,060 during 1Q 2019, down 7.3% compared to 1Q 2018. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.
"There was a little hiccup in sales in both December and January due to a temporary rise in mortgage rates, but rates have since fallen to just above 4% again, which helped to spur sales in February and March," said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O'Connor. "This effect will likely continue into the second quarter as folks continue to realize this might be their last chance to upgrade, downsize or buy their first home while rates are near historical lows.
"Price growth, in the meantime, will continue to be less pronounced in 2019 than in recent years, as inventory levels across multiple price tiers continue to trend upward."
In 1Q 2019, 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 51 days for single-family homes and 53 days for condo-townhouse properties.
Inventory was at a 4.2-months' supply in the first quarter for single-family homes and at a 6.3-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 4.37 percent for 1Q 2019, up from the 4.27 percent average recorded during the same quarter a year earlier.