In March, Florida’s housing market reported increased closed sales, more
pending sales, higher median prices and a reduced inventory of homes for sale,
according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®
“Florida’s housing market continues to demonstrate its recovery – March marks
the 15th consecutive month that the statewide median sales prices for both
single-family homes and for townhouse-condo properties rose year-over-year,
according to Florida Realtors’ data,” said 2013 Florida Realtors President Dean
Asher, broker-owner with Don Asher & Associates Inc. in Orlando. “The
median price is up more than 15 percent for both single-family homes and for
“Meanwhile, buyer demand is increasing, but supply continues to be constrained
in many areas. In March, the median days on market (the midpoint of the number
of days it took for a property to sell that month) was 57 days for
single-family homes and 61 days for townhouses and condos. That means 50
percent of homes on the market in Florida sell in two months or less.”
Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 19,631 in March,
up 9 percent compared to the year-ago figure, according to data from Florida
Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department in partnership with local
Realtor boards/associations. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after
sales contracts are written.
Meanwhile, pending sales – contracts that are signed but not yet completed or
closed – for existing single-family homes last month rose 23.4 percent over the
previous March. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing
homes last month was $160,000, up 15.2 percent from the previous year.
According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the national median
sales price for existing single-family homes in February 2013 was $173,800, up
11.3 percent from the previous year. In California, the statewide median sales
price for single-family existing homes in February was $333,880; in Massachusetts,
it was $278,000; in Maryland, it was $224,048; and in New York, it was
The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.
Housing industry analysts note that sales of foreclosures and other distressed
properties downwardly distort the median price because they generally sell at a
discount relative to traditional homes.
Looking at Florida’s year-to-year comparison for sales of townhouse-condos, a
total of 9,957 units sold statewide last month, up 1.1 percent compared to
March 2012. Meanwhile, pending sales for townhouse-condos last month increased
10.6 percent compared to the year-ago figure. The statewide median for
townhouse-condo properties was $120,000, up 15.9 percent over the previous
year. NAR reported that the national median existing condo price in February
2013 was $172,500.
The inventory for single-family homes stood at a 5.3-months’ supply in March;
inventory for townhouse-condos was at a 5.8-months’ supply, according to
“We continue to be encouraged by the depth and breadth of the housing
recovery,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. “State
numbers are up in virtually all important categories and down where they should
be down. Even with the difficulty of access to financing for households, we
still see the growth in the market continuing for at least the next 18 months.
“Inventory remains an issue, but this is fast becoming a sellers’ market and as
sellers realize this, we expect inventories to rise as we approach the last
quarter of 2103. Over the long term, we need to correct the imbalance between
investors and owner-occupier households that has developed because of financing
issues if the market is to prosper for a long time.”
According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage
averaged 3.57 percent in March 2013, down from the 3.95 percent average during
the same month a year earlier.
To see the full statewide housing activity report, go to Florida Realtors website and
click on the Research page; then look under Latest Housing Data, Statewide
Residential Activity and get the March reports. Or go to Florida Realtors Media Center and download the
March 2013 data report PDFs under Market Data.
Source: © 2013 Florida Realtors® (Monday, April 22, 2013)