ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida's housing market wrapped up 2018 with more sales, higher median sale prices and more new listings compared to the year before, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.
"Florida's economy is growing, the jobs outlook remains strong and more people are moving to the Sunshine State," said 2019 Florida Realtors President Eric Sain, a Realtor and district sales manager with Illustrated Properties in Palm Beach. "And, while mortgage interest rates have fluctuated in recent months, they remain at historically low levels. All of these factors are positive signs for the state's housing market in 2019."
Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 277,827 in 2018, up 2.2 percent compared to the 2017 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 2018 was $254,505, up 7.2 percent from the previous year. New listings for existing single-family homes rose 6.5 percent in 2018 compared to 2017.
Looking at Florida's year-to-year comparison for sales of townhouse-condos, a total of 116,706 units sold statewide in 2018, up 4.9 percent from 2017. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and foreclosures statewide in 2018 compared to the previous year: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties declined 37.5 percent and foreclosures dropped 33.9 percent; short sales for single-family homes dropped 41.4 percent while foreclosures declined 39.5 percent.
The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in 2018 was $185,000, up 7.2 percent over the previous year. New listings for townhouse-condos for the year increased 5.9 percent compared to a year ago.
At the end of 2018 and also for 4Q 2018, inventory for single-family homes stood at a 4-months' supply, while inventory for townhouse-condo properties was at a 5.7-months' supply, according to Florida Realtors.
Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O'Connor said Florida's housing data shows that statewide inventory (active listings) is up, comparing year end 2018 to year end 2017.
"It's not a significantly huge increase – active inventory is up 13.3 percent in single-family homes and up 8 percent in condo-townhome properties," he said.
More inventory could help spark sales, bringing back potential buyers who have been waiting on the sidelines.
O'Connor added, "The national housing market forecast (from the National Association of Realtors®) for 2019 expects flat growth, in both the condo and single-family categories. Currently, in our Florida forecast model, we're outpacing the nation in sales and employment growth, so our outlook is probably about 1 percent growth in sales and maybe 3 to 4 percent price growth. Relative to all other areas of the nation, we think Florida is doing really well."
The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.54 percent for 2018, up significantly from the previous year's average of 3.99 percent, according to Freddie Mac.
Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 63,483 in the fourth quarter of 2018, up 0.1 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.
The statewide median sales price for existing single-family homes for the quarter was $255,000, up 6.3 percent from 4Q 2017. New listings for existing single-family homes for the quarter rose 5 percent compared to a year ago.
Looking at Florida's year-to-year comparison for sales of condos-townhouses, a total of 26,069 units sold statewide in 4Q 2018, up 1.9 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 41.2 percent and foreclosures dropped 29.1 percent; short sales for single-family homes dropped 41.6 percent and foreclosures declined 26.5 percent.
The statewide median price for condo-townhouse properties in 4Q 2018 was $184,000, up 5.1 percent over the previous year. New listings for condos-townhouses for the quarter increased 2.9 percent compared to a year ago.
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 Year End 2018 and 4Q 2018 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 187,000 members in 52 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.
SOURCE Florida Realtors