Florida's Housing Market More Stabilized in Q3

Florida's Housing Market More Stabilized in Q3

Residential News » Orlando Edition | By WPJ Staff | November 11, 2014 8:00 AM ET

According to the latest data from the Florida Realtors association, Florida's housing market reported higher median prices and gains in inventory during the third quarter of 2014. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 64,633 in 3Q 2014, up 7.6 percent over the 3Q 2013 figure.
"Florida's housing market continues to show growth and stability over the past three months, with median prices rising and fewer distressed property sales," said 2014 Florida Realtors President Sherri Meadows, CEO and team leader, Keller Williams, with market centers in Gainesville, Ocala and The Villages. "More Florida residents are getting back to work as new jobs are created and our population continues to increase, which boost the state's economy and provide a strong foundation for the housing sector."
The 3Q 2014 statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes rose 4 percent from the same time a year ago, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties during the second quarter was up 6.9 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.
Statewide, new listings for single-family homes over the three-month-period rose 4.4 percent year-over-year, while new townhouse-condo listings slightly dropped by 1 percent.
Looking at Florida's townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 26,506 during 3Q 2014, down 4.6 percent compared to 3Q 2013. The closed sales data continued to reflect fewer short sales over the three-month period: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties declined 59.9 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 50.8 percent. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.
It's a good idea to step back and look at the housing market on occasion from a broader perspective such as a quarterly basis, said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. He added that with so much real estate data available from many different sources, looking at numbers too frequently can sometimes suggest trends when none are there, or mask trends that are actually occurring.
"The third quarter numbers actually confirm what we have seen in the monthly data," Tuccillo said. "The housing market has settled into a stable pattern of activity that is reminiscent of the market before the craziness of the last few years. Sales and prices are up for single- family homes, but at sustainable rates. Inventory is fluctuating in a range that suggests a balanced market. The condo market is reflective of the general decline in new investor purchases in Florida. While prices and sales are strong in most of the state (especially when distressed sales are taken out of the numbers), some metropolitan areas continue to struggle.
"The good news is that this type of progress in the real estate market is likely to continue. We should see continued growth of the market for the rest of 2014 and into 2015."
Inventory was at a 5.4-months' supply in the third quarter for single-family homes and at a 5.8-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 4.14 percent for 3Q 2014, down from the 4.44 percent average recorded during the same quarter a year earlier.

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