(ORLANDO, FL) -- According to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, 4,043 new sales contracts were filed in the month of February, the greatest monthly tally since the organization began recording the statistic in 2005 at the height of Orlando's red-hot market. The number represents a jump of 66.11 percent more new contracts filed in February 2010 than in February 2009 (2,434).
"The new-contract statistic is an important indicator to consider in our current market," explains ORRA Chairman of the Board Kathleen Gallagher McIver, RE/MAX Town & Country Realty, "as it reflects real-time buyer interest. I expect activity in this category to continue to pick up into late spring as buyers take advantage of the tax credit before its April 30 deadline."
The area's pending sales statistic -- also an indicator of future sales activity - is likewise at record high with 117.62 percent more homes (9,462) under contract and awaiting closing in February of this year than in February of last year (4,348). However, the pending sales category is waterlogged with bank-owned and short-sales transactions, which take significantly longer to complete.
The median price of all existing homes combined sold in February 2010 increased 7.06 percent to $109,200 from the $102,000 recorded in January 2010. February 2010's median price is a decrease of 26.71 percent compared to February 2009's median of $149,000.
February's $109,200 median price encompasses all types of sales situations and home types. The median price for "normal" sales is $168,100 (an increase over last month's $165,000). The median price for bank-owned sales is $71,000 (up 1.43 percent from last month's $70,000), and the median price for short sales is $105,000 (down 8.7 percent from last month's $115,000).
Orlando REALTORSÂ® recorded 1,847 closings in February, 39.71 percent more than in February 2009. Of those sales, 552 "normal" sales accounted for 29.89 percent of all sales, while 827 bank-owned and 468 short sales made up 70.11 percent.
The Orlando affordability index decreased to 235.97 percent in February from 249.79 percent in January 2010. (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 $52,877 can qualify to purchase one of 8,953 homes in Orange and Seminole counties currently listed in the local multiple listing service for $240,693 or less.
First-time homebuyer affordability in February decreased 10 percentage points to 167.80 percent. First-time buyers who earn the reported median income of $35,956 can qualify to purchase one of 5,580 homes in Orange and Seminole counties currently listed in the local multiple listing service for $145,485 or less.
Homes of all types spent an average of 93 days on the market before coming under contract in February 2010, and the average home sold for 94.76 percent of its listing price. In February 2009 those numbers were 100 and 93.14 percent, respectively. The area's average interest rate declined in February to 4.96 percent.
There are currently 16,051 homes available for purchase through the MLS. Inventory increased by 140 homes from January 2010, which means that 140 more homes entered the market than left the market. The February 2010 inventory level is 27.59 percent lower than it was in February 2009 (22,168). The current pace of sales translates into 8.69 months of supply; February 2009 recorded 16.77 months of supply.
There are 11,920 single-family homes currently listed in the MLS, a number that is 4,137 (25.76 percent) less than in February of last year. Condos currently make up 2,728 offerings in the MLS, while duplexes/town homes/villas make up the remaining 1,403.
Condos and Town Homes/Duplexes/Villas
The sales of condos in the Orlando area increased by 116.02 percent in February when compared to February of last year, and increased by 10.97 percent when compared to January 2010. A total of 445 condos changed hands in February of this year compared to 206 in February 2009 and 401 in January 2010. To date, condo sales are up 139.66 percent (846 condo sold to date in 2010, compared to 353 by this time in 2009).
The most (236) condos in a single price category that changed hands in February were yet again in the $1 - $50,000 price range, which accounted for 53.03 percent of all condo sales. Two condos sold for more than $250,000 in February.
Orlando homebuyers purchased 150 duplexes, town homes, and villas in February 2010, which is a 21.95 percent increase from February 2009 when 123 of these alternative housing types were purchased. The majority (29) of duplexes, town homes, and villas sold in February 2010 fell into the $100,000 - $120,000 price category. Thirteen duplexes, town homes, and villas sold for less than $50,000 in February, only about half of the number sold in January (24) MSA Numbers
Sales of existing homes within the entire Orlando MSA (Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties) in February were up by 40.27 percent when compared to February of 2009. Throughout the MSA, 2,306 homes were sold in February 2010 compared with 1,644 in February 2009.
Each county's year-to-date sales comparisons are as follows:
Lake: 31.69 percent above 2009 (640 homes sold to date in 2010 compared to 486 in 2009);
Orange: 57.07 percent above 2009 (2,444 homes sold to date in 2010 compared to 1,556 in 2009);
Osceola: 34.31 percent above 2009 (779 homes sold to date in 2010 compared to 580 in 2009); and
Seminole: 50.24 percent above 2009 (631 sold to date in 2010 compared to 420 in 2009).