Fla.’s housing market continues upswing in 3Q 2013

ORLANDO, Fla. – Nov. 6, 2013 – Florida’s housing market continued to improve in third quarter 2013 with more closed sales, higher median prices, more pending sales and a stabilizing supply of homes for sale compared to the same quarter in 2012, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

“Data from the third quarter of 2013 shows that Florida’s housing market continues to grow and gain strength,” said 2013 Florida Realtors President Dean Asher, broker-owner with Don Asher & Associates Inc. in Orlando. “The housing sector is vital to the state’s economy, and Realtors across the state are reporting increased activity in their markets.

“At 7.0 percent, Florida currently has a lower unemployment rate than the nation, according to the August unemployment figures (the latest state data available.) More jobs will provide more stability for future growth in the state’s housing market and overall economy.”

Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 60,661 in 3Q 2013, up 17.3 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 signed but not yet completed or closed – for existing single-family homes rose 17.9 percent in the third quarter compared to the same period last year. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 3Q 2013 was $175,000, up 18.6 percent from the same quarter a year ago. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

Looking at Florida’s year-to-year comparison for sales of townhouse-condos, a total of 27,200 units sold statewide in the third quarter, up 11.3 percent from the same three-month period in 2012. Pending sales for townhouse-condos in 3Q 2013 increased 12.4 percent compared to a year ago, while the statewide median for townhouse-condo properties was $130,000, up 23.8 percent over the same quarter last year.

In 3Q 2013, the median days on market (the midpoint of the number of days it took for a property to sell that month) was 48 days for single-family homes and 54 days for townhouse-condo properties.

“What’s remarkable for the third quarter data is that all metro areas in Florida show year-over-year increases in both prices and sales for single-family homes, and year-over-year increases in sales for condo-townhome properties,” says Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. “Inventories have begun to pick up a little bit, which may be consistent with cash sales declining as a percentage of overall sales. We’re alert to the fact that it may signal a trend, which could be good for the long-term stabilization and health of Florida’s housing market.”

The inventory for both single-family homes and for townhouse-condo properties stood at a 5.3 months’ supply for the third quarter, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.44 percent for 3Q 2013, up from the previous year’s average of 3.54 percent, according to Freddie Mac.

© 2013 Florida Realtors®