Fla.’s housing market: More closed sales, rising prices in June 2015

ORLANDO, Fla. – July 22, 2015 – Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, higher median prices and tightening inventory in June, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Closed sales of existing single-family homes statewide totaled 27,729 last month, up 19.6 percent over June 2014.

“June marked the 43rd month in a row – more than 3½ years – that median sales prices rose year-over-year for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties,” says 2015 Florida Realtors President Andrew Barbar, a broker with Keller Williams Realty Services in Boca Raton. “Florida’s housing market shows positive momentum with a rising influx of people moving to the Sunshine State and a steadily improving jobs outlook – in June, the state’s unemployment rate was 5.5 percent. Statewide, new listings for single-family homes in June rose 10 percent year-over-year, while new townhouse-condo listings rose 5.2 percent.

“Meanwhile, June’s new pending sales for single-family homes increased 10.4 percent from a year ago; new pending sales for townhouse-condo properties rose 2.7 percent.”

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $203,500, up 10 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 June was $152,076, up 7.9 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 (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in May 2015 was $230,300, up 8.6 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $216,400. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in May was $485,830; in Massachusetts, it was $341,000; in Maryland, it was $275,292; and in New York, it was $226,500.

Looking at Florida’s townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales rose last month with a total of 10,991, up 14.6 percent compared to June 2014. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales in June: Short sales for townhouse-condo properties declined 36.1 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 30.4 percent. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

“With the continued growth in both sales and prices in Florida, it raises the question of whether the market is starting to overheat,” says Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. “The decline in inventories to seller-market levels, and the decline in days on market, tend to suggest that possibility as well. But there are mitigating factors here. First of all, the real inventory pressure is in the lowest price tiers, which has been the case for several months. Secondly, going forward, the rise in condo sales and prices will be mitigated by increased supply in the form of condo towers now under construction.

“And finally, the Federal Reserve will soon be raising interest rates, which will have a dampening effect on demand.”

Inventory continues to tighten, with a 4.6-months’ supply in June for single-family homes and a 5.5-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 3.98 percent in June 2015, down from the 4.16 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.

© 2015 Florida Realtors®

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