New data released by Florida Realtors revealed that the Sunshine State’s housing market saw an increase in median prices and inventory during the second quarter of 2019.
“Low mortgage rates drove a major improvement in sales in the second quarter, which was more than enough to compensate for the rocky start we had at the beginning of the year,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor. “So, right now, we are on pace with our initial forecasts for 2019. Prices will continue to rise at a more traditional pace, and we will need to keep an eye on single-family inventory levels, as they are reverting to their lows of last year.”
According to Florida Realtors, there were over 85,000 closed sales of single-family homes across the state, a 4.6 percent increase from the same period a year ago. However, closed sales of condo-townhouse properties were just over 34,000, a 1.4 percent drop since 2018.
While total sales were mixed, the median price for both homes and condo-townhouse properties increased. Median home prices rose to $265,000, a 3.3 percent increase from 2018, while the midpoint for condo-townhouses was $195,000, a 2.9 percent jump.
“Median sales prices for both existing single-family homes and for condo-townhouse properties rose in Florida during the second quarter – and that’s a trend we’ve been experiencing for quite some time,” said Eric Sain, president of Florida Realtors.
“Florida continues to attract new residents and businesses. In fact, our population is growing by about 906 new residents every day, or more than 300,000 people a year – that’s like adding a city about the size of Orlando every year, according to a recent report from state economists. This population growth, a current unemployment rate of 3.4% and a favorable jobs outlook continue to keep Florida’s economy strong.”
The strong second quarter wasn’t limited to just Florida.
According to the National Association of Realtors, prices for single-family homes rose in 91 percent of metro areas.
The national median home price spiked to $279,600, a 4.3 percent increase from the prior year.
“New home construction is greatly needed, however home construction fell in the first half of the year,” said National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “This leads to continuing tight inventory conditions, especially at more affordable price points. Home prices are mildly reaccelerating as a result.”
While the total inventory available was about the same as it was in Q2 of 2018, Yun believes there are some issues on the horizon that could hamper home buying.
“Housing unaffordability will hinder sales irrespective of the local job market conditions. This is evident in the very expensive markets as home prices are either topping off or slightly falling,” Yun said. “The exceptionally low mortgage rates will help with housing affordability over the short run. But if the low interest rates are due to weakening economic confidence, as reflected from a correction in the stock market, then the low rates will not help with job growth and will eventually hinder home buying and home construction.”
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