Florida's housing market reported higher median prices, fewer days on the market and a tightening inventory in December, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 23,056 last month, up 2.9 percent over the December 2014 figure.
"Florida's housing market continues to show strength," says 2016 Florida Realtors President Matey H. Veissii. "December marked over four years – 49 months – of consecutive gains in statewide median sales prices, year-over-year, for both single-family homes and for townhouse-condo properties. Mortgage rates remain low, which is encouraging many buyers to make their move now to enter the housing market.
"Properties also are taking less time to sell, which is a trend of interest to sellers as well as buyers," says Veissi. "In December, the median days on market (the midpoint of the number of days it took for a property to sell that month) was 47 days for single-family homes and 49 days for townhouses and condos. That means 50 percent of homes on the market in Florida sell in less than two months."
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $206,500, up 11.6 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 December was $156,500, up 5 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.
Looking at Florida's townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 9,357 last month, down slightly (1.2 percent), compared to December 2014.
However, the closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and cash-only sales in December: Traditional sales in Florida rose 16.3 percent for single-family homes and 7.5 percent for condo-townhouse properties. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.
"Florida's real estate markets remained quite healthy in December," says Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O'Connor. "Closed sales remain strong and prices continue to rise. Inventory levels of single-family homes dropped to an annual low for 2015 at the end of December to just under 100,000 active listings.
"Months' supply of inventory likewise came in low, at 4.3-months supply for single-family homes and 5.4 months for condos and townhomes. At the state level, these figures would imply a seller's market for single family homes and a balanced market for condos and townhomes."
Source: Florida Association of REALTORS®
According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.96 percent in December 2015, up from the 3.86 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.