ORLANDO, Fla., March 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida's housing market reported increased new listings, rising median prices and fewer all-cash closed sales in February, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 18,159 last month, remaining relatively the same (up 0.4 percent) as the February 2015 figure.
"Realtors across the state are reporting great interest from buyers, but with inventory levels still tight for single-family homes, the search can take time," said 2016 Florida Realtors® President Matey H. Veissi, broker and co-owner of Veissi & Associates in Miami. "New listings increased in February, which is good news for would-be buyers: for existing single-family homes, new listings rose 12.1 percent compared to a year ago; new listings are up 15 percent for townhouse-condo units.
"And the good news for sellers is that they're receiving more of their original asking price at the closing table. Sellers of existing single-family homes in February received 95.3 percent (median percentage) of their original listing price, while those selling townhouse-condo properties received 94.4 percent (median percentage)."
According to Florida Realtors® Chief Economist Dr. Brad O'Connor, the state association is rolling out a new process system with the February housing market data reports.
"Ensuring the accuracy, quality and utility of our housing market statistics is top priority for Florida Realtors' Industry Data and Analysis department and we continue to constantly seek ways to get closer to perfection in these regards," he explained. "This month's report in particular represents the culmination of several months of very hard work by our analytics team. Several new metrics have been added to the reports, plus we've fine-tuned the processes that take in the millions of MLS listings generated daily by Florida's 155,000-plus Realtors and generate our statistics.
"Because these new processes will be used to generate our statistics going forward and because accuracy is paramount to our mission, it was necessary for us to revise our historical data (going back to 2013 when Florida Realtors began utilizing its data system in partnership with local boards and associations) using the new process so that we can maintain a consistent data series. For the most part, these revisions are very minor and the trends we've identified in previous reports are well preserved."
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 February was $150,000, up 5.6 percent over the year-ago figure.
February marked 51 consecutive months that statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and for townhouse-condo properties rose year-over-year. 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 January 2016 was $215,000, up 8.3 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $203,900. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in January was $468,330; in Massachusetts, it was $330,000; in Maryland, it was $244,989; and in New York, it was $235,000.
Looking at Florida's townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 7,658 last month, down 5.4 percent compared to February 2015. However, the closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and cash-only sales in February: Traditional sales in Florida rose 5.1 percent for condo-townhouse properties and 16.6 percent for single-family homes. Closed sales may occur from 30 to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.
"The trends we're seeing in closed sales and new listings have led to two straight months of rising inventory levels (active listings) in both property type categories," O'Connor said. "Single-family home inventory was still 3.8 percent lower than it was at the end of February 2015, but this is still an improvement over January's 7.4 percent year-over-year decline. Year-over-year inventory growth in the condo/townhome market, on the other hand, was strongly positive for a change at 6 percent."
Inventory was at a 4.5-months' supply in February for single-family homes and at a 6.3-months' supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors.
According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.66 percent in February 2016, down from the 3.71 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.
To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Media Center at http://media.floridarealtors.org/ and look under Latest Releases, or download the February 2016 data report PDFs under Market Data at: http://media.floridarealtors.org/market-data
Florida Realtors® serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 155,000 members in 55 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.
Editor's note: Florida Realtors®' Industry Data and Analysis department has rolled out several changes to its housing market data reports, beginning with the February 2016 reports. These changes were implemented in response to suggestions from Florida Realtors members and the Industry Data and Analysis Advisory Board over the past several years along with research and analysis from Florida Realtors' economists.
The calculation method for New Listings has been revised to make it more representative of the actual new supply of existing homes for sale in a market. The new calculation method will only count new listings for properties that were not already on market at any time in the prior 60 days—unless the prior listing resulted in a closed sale. Properties that were immediately re-listed after the expiration of a previous listing agreement won't be counted. For example, if a property's listing expires, is withdrawn, or gets terminated/cancelled, and the property is then re-listed within a couple months, that won't count it as a new listing. But if a property sells and is subsequently re-listed within a couple months, we will count this as a new listing.
A new metric has been added to the reports: Dollar Volume of Sales.
The metric formerly known as Average Percent of Original List Price Received has been replaced with Median Percent of Original List Price Received – which will be more representative of the "typical" value among all home sales. Unlike averages, medians are not heavily influenced by outliers.
The data point Median Days on Market has been replaced with two new metrics: Median Time to Contract and Median Time to Sale. Every Multiple Listing Service (MLS) calculates the days on market differently, making for inconsistent comparisons across different areas. And more importantly, when MLSs upgrade to new systems, analysts have found that the new systems often calculate days on market differently than the old systems, leading to inconsistent measurements over time in the same areas. Therefore, the solution is two use these simple calculations that are consistent across all MLSs and MLS systems:
Median Time to Contract is the median number of days between the original listing date for a property and its pending date, calculated across all sales that closed during the month (or quarter or year, depending on the report type).
Note that the new calculations consider two separate listings of the same property to be part of the same "sale attempt" if the listings are active at any time within 60 days of each other, unless the first listing resulted in a closed sale – this is related to the same concept now uesed in the new calculation for New Listings. This new metric will offer much more accurate sense of how long the typical successfully sold property is on the market before going under contract with its eventual buyers.
Median Time to Sale is the median number of days between the original listing date for a property and its closing date, calculated across all sales that closed during the month (or quarter or year, depending on the report type). It yields a better sense of the typical length of the entire home sale process among successfully closed sales.
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SOURCE Florida Realtors