Over 73% of All Homes Sold in Orlando During February Were Distressed Sales

Residential News » Residential Real Estate Edition | By Michael Gerrity | March 15, 2011 10:57 AM ET

According to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association (ORAA), a 5.68 percent year-over-year increase in the number (2,085) of home sales completed in February, helping to whittle Orlando's inventory of unsold homes down to its lowest point since March 2006. The fast-flying condo market alone has 43.40 percent less inventory than this time last year.

"A downward slip in inventory means a downward slip in the number of choices available to homebuyers," explains ORRA Chairman of the Board Mike McGraw, McGraw Real Estate Services, PL. "Nevertheless there is still a wide selection of homes on the market, and the weekend of March 26 - 27 is a great time to explore the options. Orlando's REALTORS® will be celebrating the Florida Open House Weekend by opening scores of their listings to visitors."

Potential buyers should also consider the current level of median home prices in Orlando, a level that was last seen in 1997. The $96,000 overall median price of all existing Orlando area homes sold in February increased a fraction (1.16 percent) from last month, but is 8.57 percent below the February 2010 median price of $105,000.

The lower median prices of bank-owned and short sales, which accounted for 73.48 percent of all sales in February, do continue to exert a downward influence on the overall median price (as do the sales of low-priced condos). The median price for bank-owned sales in February is $74,000 and the median price for short sales is $98,000. The median price for "normal" existing homes - i.e., those that are neither a short sale nor a foreclosure - sold in February is $155,000.

The number (9,223) of homes under contract for purchase in February is a decrease of (2.53 percent) compared to those awaiting closing in February 2010. However, there are (5.08) percent more homes currently under contract than were last month (8,777).

The Orlando affordability index decreased to a still-rocking 274.55 percent in February from January 2011. (An affordability index of 99 percent means that buyers earning the state-reported median income are 1 percent short of the income necessary to purchase a median-priced home. Conversely, an affordability index that is over 100 means that median-income earners make more than is necessary to qualify for a median-priced home.) Buyers who earn the reported median income of $53,561 can qualify to purchase one of 7,929 homes in Orange and Seminole counties currently listed in the local multiple listing service for $263,567 or less.

First-time homebuyer affordability in February decreased to 195.23 percent from last month's 197.98 percent, which can be attributed in part to February's slight rise in median price. First-time buyers who earn the reported median income of $36,421 can qualify to purchase one of 5,643 homes in Orange and Seminole counties currently listed in the local multiple listing service for $159,312 or less.

Homes of all types spent an average of 99 days on the market before coming under contract in February 2011, and the average home sold for 94.47 percent of its listing price. In February 2010 those numbers were 91 days and 94.87 percent, respectively.

The area's average interest rate increased in February 2011 to 4.88 percent, from the 4.84 percent posted in January 2011.


There are 13,480 homes currently available for purchase through the MLS, which is 2,571 homes (16.02 percent) less than were available in February 2010. The current pace of sales translates into 6.47 months of supply; February 2010 recorded 8.14 months of supply.

There are 10,889 single-family homes currently listed in the MLS, a number that is 8.65 percent less than the 11,920 single-family homes listed in February of last year. Condos make up 1,544 offerings in the MLS, while duplexes/town homes/villas make up the remaining 1,047. Orlando's condo inventory is 43.40 percent lower than it was in February 2010.

Condos and Town Homes/Duplexes/Villas

The sales of condos in the Orlando area increased by 2.14 percent in February when compared to February of 2010 and decreased by 10.00 percent compared to January of 2011.

The most (263) condos in a single price category that changed hands in February were yet again in the $1 - $50,000 price range and accounts for 55.14 percent of all condo sales. The next greatest range, representing 10.69 percent of the month's condo sales, is the $50,000 - $60,000 category.

Orlando homebuyers purchased 225 duplexes, town homes, and villas in February 2011, which is a 39.75 percent increase from February 2010, when 161 of these alternative housing types were purchased.

MSA Numbers

Sales of existing homes within the entire Orlando MSA (Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties) in February were up by 10.50 percent when compared to February of 2010. Throughout the MSA, 2,653 homes were sold in February 2011 compared with 2,401 in February 2010. To date, sales in the MSA are up 14.43 percent.

Each individual county's sales comparisons are as follows:

Lake: 9.50 percent below February 2010 (305 homes sold in February 2011 compared to 337 in February 2010);

Orange: 10.31 percent above February 2010 (1,370 homes sold in February 2011 compared to 1,242 in February 2010);

Osceola: 20.82 percent above February 2010 (528 homes sold in February 2011 compared to 437 in January 2010); and

16.88 percent above February 2010 (450 sold in February 2011 compared to 385 in February 2010).

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