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ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 22, 2014 â€“ Florida’s housing market saw higher median prices and a rising inventory in August, according to the latest housing data released by Florida RealtorsÂ®.
Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 21,594 last month, up 4.2 percent over the August 2013 figure.
“For several months now, stability and consistency are key trends we’re seeing in Florida’s housing market, as the state’s jobs outlook remains steady and the economy continues to grow,” says 2014 Florida Realtors President Sherri Meadows, CEO and team leader, Keller Williams, with market centers in Gainesville, Ocala and The Villages. “The statewide inventory (active listings) for single-family homes last month rose 13 percent year-over-year, while the townhouse-condo inventory of active listings rose 8.9 percent.
“And once again, statewide median sales prices rose year-over-year for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties in August â€“ a trend we’ve been seeing for 33 months in a row.”
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $181,000, up 3.4 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis (IDA) department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in August was $135,000, up 3.8 percent over the year-ago figure. 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 July 2014 was $223,900, up 5.1 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $215,700. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in July was $464,750; in Massachusetts, it was $360,000; in Maryland, it was $278,626; and in New York, it was $239,000.
In Florida’s townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 8,848 last month, down 8.8 percent compared to August 2013. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales last month compared to the previous year: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties declined 60.4 percent.
In the single-family home market, short sales dropped 49.1 percent year-to-year. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.
“In August, the annual growth rate of Florida home prices continued to converge toward a level typical of what we observed back in the housing market’s stable, pre-boom days,” says Florida Realtors Research Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor. “The fact that we continue to see price growth is an encouraging sign that more and more traditional owner-occupant homebuyers are emerging to keep demand strong in the face of a diminished investor presence in the market.”
Inventory was at a 5.5-months’ supply in August for single-family homes and at a 5.7-months’ supply for townhouse-condo properties.
According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.12 percent in August 2014, down from the 4.46 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.