FL Housing Market Prices Up Inventory Tightened

Dated: June 24 2015

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Tightening inventory continued to impact Florida's housing market in May, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Realtors across the state reported rising median prices and fewer days on market for both existing single-family homes and for townhouse-condo properties. Closed sales of existing single-family homes statewide totaled 24,789 last month, up 7.7 percent over May 2014.

"The refrain we're hearing from Realtors in many markets is there's not enough for-sale inventory to meet the demand from buyers," said 2015 Florida Realtors President Andrew Barbar, a broker with Keller Williams Realty Services in Boca Raton. "That's putting upward pressure on prices and also leading to properties selling at a quicker pace. Single-family existing homes in May spent a median of 49 days on the market, down 9.3 percent from a year ago; median days on market for townhouse-condo properties was 52, down 5.5 percent from May 2014.

"Sellers currently have a great opportunity in Florida's housing market: Sellers of single-family homes are seeing 94 percent of their asking price at the closing table and townhouse-condo sellers are receiving nearly 93 percent of their asking price."

In May, statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties rose year-over-year for the 42nd month in a row, Barbar noted.

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $200,000, up 11.1 percent from the previous year, 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 in May was $159,000, up 9.7 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®(NAR), thenational median sales price for existing single-family homes in April 2015 was $221,200, up 10 percent from the previous yearthe national median existing condo price was $206,100.In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in April was$481,880; in Massachusetts, it was $326,500; in Maryland, it was $253,959; and in New York, it was $221,000.

Looking at Florida's townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales remained essentially flat last month with a total of 10,549, down 0.1 percent compared to May 2014. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales in May: Short sales for townhouse-condo properties declined 45.1 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 37.7 percent. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

"Florida's real estate market remains robust with strong sales continuing through the bulk of the spring," said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. "The biggest current concern is the decline in inventory. In the past, inventory declines were concentrated in the under $150,000 segment of the market. Now we are seeing declines in all segments priced below $250,000. If builders cannot bring new product to market in these price ranges, there is a real possibility of more rapidly rising prices."

Inventory continues to tighten, with a 4.7-months' supply in May for single-family homes and at a 5.8-months' supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors. Most analysts consider a 6-month supply of inventory as the benchmark for a balanced market between buyers and sellers.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.84 percent in May 2015, down from the 4.19 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.

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Angelo F. Terrizzi Jr.

I am a New England native, born and raised in the Boston area. Growing up, I was always involved with extra-curricular activities through school and church. I spent 30+ years in Business and later in ....

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