ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Florida's housing market wrapped up 2017 with more sales, higher median sale prices and fewer sales of distressed properties compared to the year before, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.
"This past year, the still-tight inventory of homes for sale in Florida couldn't meet growing buyer demand," said 2018 Florida Realtors President Christine Hansen, broker-owner with Century 21 Hansen Realty in Fort Lauderdale. "If supply could have kept pace, home sales likely would have been even stronger in 2017 – and of course, the state also felt the impact of Hurricane Irma that made landfall in the Keys on Sept. 10, 2017.
"Florida's economy is growing, the jobs outlook remains strong and more people are moving to the Sunshine State. And while mortgage interest rates are rising, they are still at favorably low levels. All of these factors are positive signs for the state's housing market in 2018."
Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 271,868 in 2017, up 1.2 percent compared to the 2016 figure, according to data from Florida Realtors research department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations.
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 2017 was $237,500, up 8 percent from the previous year. New pending sales for existing single-family homes rose 0.1 percent in 2017 compared to 2016.
Looking at Florida's year-to-year comparison for sales of townhouse-condos, a total of 111,088 units sold statewide in 2017, up 2.9 percent from 2016. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and foreclosures statewide in 2017 compared to the previous year: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties declined 37.6 percent and foreclosures dropped 49.2 percent; short sales for single-family homes dropped 36.9 percent while foreclosures declined 46.5 percent.
The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in 2017 was $172,500, up 7.8 percent over the previous year. New pending sales for townhouse-condos for the year increased 2.3 percent compared to a year ago.
At the end of 2017 and also for 4Q 2017, inventory for single-family homes stood at a 3.6-months' supply, while inventory for townhouse-condo properties was at a 5.6-months' supply, according to Florida Realtors.
"Overall, 2017 was a strong year for single-family home resales in Florida," said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O'Connor. "New listings of existing homes priced between $200,000 and $600,000 were up in a significant way compared to 2016, but these properties were quickly absorbed thanks to strong buyer demand driven by Florida's booming economy. As a result, mid-range inventory remained somewhat flat on a year-over-year basis, while the number of listings priced below $200,000 continued to decline dramatically.
"Annual sales growth in Florida's resale market for single-family luxury homes nearly ground to a halt in 2016, but this segment experienced a decent uptick in sales in 2017. Fewer new listings and more realistic pricing expectations by sellers were likely contributors to this renewed growth. The housing shortage impacting Florida and the rest of the nation continues to be contained to the lower price tiers, whereas the opposite issue – an overabundance of listings – is having the opposite impact on many local luxury markets."
The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.99 percent for 2017, up significantly from the previous year's average of 3.65 percent, according to Freddie Mac.
Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 63,436 in the fourth quarter of 2017, up 2 percent compared to the year-ago figure, according to data from Florida Realtors research department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.
O'Connor noted, "The fourth quarter figures show that the vast majority of Florida's local housing markets recovered quite quickly from Hurricane Irma. Closed sales were up year-over-year, and prices continued to climb as if nothing happened at all. Inventory continued to fall in the fourth quarter as well, so the longer-term trends in the housing market as of the beginning of 2017 appear to have remained in place at year's end."
The statewide median sales price for existing single-family homes for the quarter was $240,000, up 7.2 percent from 4Q 2016. New pending sales for existing single-family homes for the quarter rose 5.4 percent compared to a year ago, while new listings increased 4 percent.
Looking at Florida's year-to-year comparison for sales of townhouse-condos, a total of 25,544 units sold statewide in 4Q 2017, up 4.7 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and foreclosures statewide in the fourth quarter compared to the same time a year ago: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties declined 24.9 percent and foreclosures dropped 41.8 percent; short sales for single-family homes dropped 34.4 percent and foreclosures declined 44.3 percent.
The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in 4Q 2017 was $175,000, up 6.6 percent over the previous year. New pending sales for townhouse-condos for the quarter increased 8.7 percent compared to a year ago, while new listings rose 6.8 percent.
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 4Q and Year End 2017 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 180,000 members in 54 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.
SOURCE Florida Realtors