According to new data from Florida Realtors, Florida's housing market reported more closed sales, rising median prices and more new listings in October 2018 compared to a year ago. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 22,272 last month, up 8.5 percent compared to October 2017.
"Florida's housing market showed a rise in new listings in October, which is a good sign for potential homebuyers," said 2018 Florida Realtors President Christine Hansen, broker-owner with Century 21 Hansen Realty in Fort Lauderdale. "New listings for existing single-family homes rose 9.5 percent compared to a year ago and new listings for condo-townhouse properties increased 7.9 percent from last October.
"At the same time, the median time for a sale to go to contract is getting shorter: For single-family homes, it was 40 days, down 7 percent from the same time last year; for condo-townhouse properties, it was 44 days, down 12 percent. With such a quick turnaround time to contract, buyers and sellers can benefit from the expertise of a Realtor who understands their local markets."
October marked 82 consecutive months (more than six and a half years) that statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and condo-townhouse properties increased year-over-year. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $253,853, up 7.6 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for condo-townhouse units in October was $180,000, up 5.9 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.
According to the National Association of Realtors, the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in September 2018 was $260,500, up 4.6 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $239,200. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in September was $578,850; in Massachusetts, it was $390,000; in Maryland, it was $287,700; and in New York, it was $270,000.
Looking at Florida's condo-townhouse market, statewide closed sales totaled 9,270 last month, up 14.1 percent compared to a year ago. Closed sales data continued to reflect fewer short sales and foreclosures in October: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties dropped 45.2 percent and foreclosures fell 28.2 percent year-to-year; while short sales for single-family homes declined 31.5 percent and foreclosures fell 21 percent year-to-year. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.
"Closed sales of single-family homes were up 8.5 percent in October compared to last year, thanks in large part to a level of inventory that has been on the rise since July," said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O'Connor. "As of the end of the October, in fact, the inventory of active single-family home listings was up 9.8 percent year-over-year. If this trend continues into the new year, and should mortgage rates continue to climb as well, we might eventually see less vigorous price growth - but for now, price growth remains robust.
"Inventory levels in the condo-townhouse category have also been on the rise as of late, with active condo and townhouse listings up almost 5.4 percent statewide compared to last year. This rise in inventory has been good for sales, as Florida Realtors' data shows."