Florida's housing market reported more new listings, higher median prices and fewer days to a sales contract during the first quarter of 2016, according to the latest housing data released Monday by Florida Realtors®. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 57,913 in 1Q 2016, slightly up (0.3%) over the 1Q 2015 figure.
"In the first three months of 2016, traditional housing sales rose in Florida while distressed property sales continued to decline – which underscores stability in the state's housing sector," said 2016 Florida Realtors® President Matey H. Veissi, broker and co-owner of Veissi & Associates in Miami. "Another positive sign: New listings for single-family homes over the three-month-period rose 4.5% year-over-year, while new condo-townhouse listings rose 6.6%."
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 1Q 2016 was $203,500, up 11.8% from the same time a year ago, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for condo-townhouse properties during the quarter was $153,000, up 5.5% over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.
In the condo-townhouse market, statewide closed sales totaled 24,534 during 1Q 2016, down 6.1% compared to 1Q 2015. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales – and rising traditional sales – over the three-month period: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties declined 36.9% while short sales for single-family homes dropped 33.2%. Meanwhile, traditional sales for condo-townhouse units rose 3.6% and traditional sales for single-family homes increased 15.9% year-over-year. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.
"This quarter marked the fourth consecutive quarter that the median sale price for single-family homes in Florida experienced an annual growth percentage in the double-digits," said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O'Connor. "But I'd caution that the growth rate in the overall median sale price does not directly equate to the growth rate in the value of all homes. In truth, much of the increase in the median price statistic has been a result of the increasing scarcity of distressed homes and other properties that sell in the most affordable price ranges.
"For example, over the past couple of years, the median sale price among non-distressed homes has steadily been growing at a much more modest rate – in 1Q 2016, by just under 3%. This is much more akin to the traditional growth rates we were used to seeing 10 years ago."
In 1Q 2016, the median time to a contract (the midpoint of the number of days it took for a property to receive a sales contract during that time) was 53 days for single-family homes and 54 days for condo-townhouse properties.
Inventory was at a 4.5-months' supply in the first quarter for single-family homes and at a 6.3-months' supply for condo-townhouse properties, according to Florida Realtors.
According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.74% for 1Q 2016, slightly up from the 3.72% average recorded during the same quarter a year earlier.