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Fla.’s Housing Market: Median Prices Up in 3Q 2017

Florida’s housing market in third quarter 2017 showed the impact of Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in the Keys on Sept. 10.

ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 2, 2017 – Florida’s housing market in third quarter 2017 showed the impact of Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in the Keys on Sept. 10. The latest housing data released by Florida Realtors® reported higher median prices year-over-year, but fewer closed sales, pending sales and new listings due to the disruption in September’s market caused by the hurricane. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 67,811 in 3Q 2017, down 5.5 percent over the 3Q 2016 figure.

“Florida’s economic and jobs outlook continued to show momentum in the third quarter, despite the devastation and disruption caused by Hurricane Irma striking our state on Sept. 10,” said 2017 Florida Realtors® President Maria Wells, broker-owner with Lifestyle Realty Group in Stuart. “State officials reported that Florida’s unemployment rate in September was 3.8 percent, which is lower than the U.S. unemployment rate of 4.2 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As expected, September’s housing data reflected the negative impact that the hurricane had on existing home and condominium sales – which of course also factors into the 3Q 2017 numbers.

“To better understand what is happening in their local markets, consumers should work with a Realtor who knows the area and can help them accomplish their goals, whether that goal is buying a first home or selling one they’ve outgrown.”

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 3Q 2017 was $240,000, up 6.7 percent from the same time a year ago, according to data from Florida Realtors Research department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for condo-townhouse properties during the quarter was $172,000, up 7.5 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

Looking at Florida’s condo-townhouse market, statewide closed sales totaled 26,366 during 3Q 2017, down 3.1 percent compared to 3Q 2016. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and foreclosures over the three-month period: Short sales for townhouse-condo properties declined 45.5 percent and foreclosures fell 52.9 percent year-to-year; short sales for single-family homes dropped 45.1 percent and foreclosures fell 49.6 percent year-to-year. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

“Irma clearly left its mark on the third quarter numbers by temporarily halting business activity for a number of days in September,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor. “July and August, on the other hand, were fairly typical months relative to what we’ve been seeing over the past couple of years: modest growth in sales, strong growth in prices and a declining inventory of homes on the lower end of the price spectrum. We’ll see a return to this pattern over the next couple of months.”

In 3Q 2017, 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 37 days for single-family homes and 49 days for condo-townhouse properties.

Inventory was at a 3.8-months’ supply in the second quarter for single-family homes and at a 5.5-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 3.89 percent for 3Q 2017, significantly higher than the 3.45 percent average recorded during the same quarter a year earlier.

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 3Q 2017 data report PDFs under Market Data at: http://media.floridarealtors.org/market-data

SOURCE: http://media.floridarealtors.org/