According to Florida Realtors, the second-quarter of 2018 saw increased sales, higher median prices and more new listings across a number of Florida's housing markets. Many local markets continued to report a lack of for-sale inventory, which impacts sales and puts pressure on rising median prices. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 80,711 in 2Q 2018, up 1 percent from the 2Q 2017 figure.
"During the second quarter of 2018, Florida's economy and jobs sector continued to grow," said 2018 Florida Realtors President Christine Hansen. "In June, the state's unemployment rate was 3.8 percent while the U.S. unemployment rate was 4.0 percent. On another positive note, Florida's 2Q 2018 homeownership rate was 65.1 percent.
"Despite tight inventory levels, it's encouraging to see that new listings for single-family homes over the quarter rose 4.9 percent year-over-year, while new condo-townhouse listings rose 3.9 percent. If that trend continues, it will hopefully help ease buyer demand and slow the pace of rising prices."
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 2Q 2018 was $256,150, up 6.7 percent 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 $189,900, up 8.5 percent 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 34,376 during 2Q 2018, up 4.7 percent compared to 2Q 2017. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales - and rising traditional sales - over the three-month period: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties declined 41.4 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 45.2 percent. Meanwhile, traditional sales for condo-townhouse units rose 6.8 percent and traditional sales for single-family homes increased 4.3 percent year-over-year. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.
"Through the second quarter, low inventory levels kept the number of single-family sales just barely ahead of last year's pace, whereas a greater selection of condos and townhouses on the market allowed for a nearly 5 percent increase in sales versus last year," said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O'Connor. "Competition for existing homes remains fierce, with over half of successful single-family home sellers in the second quarter getting above 96 percent of their initial listing prices."
He added that 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) dropped during the three-month-period.
"Half of the single-family homes that sold in the second quarter were only on the market for 35 days or less, compared to 39 days or less in the same quarter last year," O'Connor said. "Among condo and townhouse sales, there was a similar-sized drop in this regard, from 50 to 44 days."
Inventory was at a 3.9-months' supply in the second quarter for single-family homes and at a 5.5-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 4.54 percent for 2Q 2018, up from the 3.99 percent recorded during the same quarter a year earlier.