by Susan Lavery
Despite some earlier concerns about lowered inventory, Florida’s housing market continued its positive trend in August with increased closed sales, higher median prices, more pending sales and a stable supply of homes for sale.
Closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 20,933 statewide in August, up 12.5 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis Department. Meanwhile, pending sales for existing single-family homes rose 17.2 percent over the previous August. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was up 18.6 percent from the previous year.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in July 2013 was $214,000, up 13.5 percent from the previous year. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in July was $433,760; in Massachusetts, it was $350,000; in Maryland, it was $286,758; and in New York, it was $241,947.
The inventory for single-family homes stood at a 5.1-months’ supply in August and inventory for townhouse-condos was at a 5.2-months’ supply, according to Florida Realtors.
According to Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo, “Each month in 2013 has seen a rise year-over-year in new listings for both single family homes and townhouses and condos, with the exception of March for condo/townhomes. Balancing out the growth in closed sales, the increase in new listings has contributed to steady inventory. Single-family-home inventory is now at 5.1 months for August 2013, after holding steady at a 5-months supply in May through July. Condo/townhome inventory remains at a 5.2 months supply for the third month in a row. Combined with a relative decline in cash sales, this suggests that the pressure on inventories that has plagued the Florida market may be easing.”
Mortgage rates have been fluctuating, but rose slightly from the previous year and are now at around the 4.1 percent rate. This is still a bargain for those with good credit and a reasonable down payment, making mortgage payments less than rent on a comparable home in most areas.