Tuesday, October 21, 2014

U.S., Florida Home Prices Up In September

U.S. existing-home sales rose in September to their highest annual pace of the year, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).  All major regions except for the Midwest experienced gains in September.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 2.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.17 million in September from 5.05 million in August.  Sales are now at their highest pace of 2014, but still remain 1.7% below the 5.26 million-unit level from last September.

According to NAR, the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in August 2014 was $220,600, up 5.2% from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $213,900.  

Cash Sales

All-cash sales were 24% of transactions in September, up slightly from August (23%) but down from 33% in September of last year.  Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 14% of homes in September, up from 12% last month but below September 2013 (19%).

First Time Home Buyers

The percent share of first-time buyers continues to underperform historically, remaining at 29 percent for the third consecutive month. First-time buyers have represented less than 30 percent of all buyers in 17 of the past 18 months.

Foreclosures and Short Sales

Distressed homes – foreclosures and short sales – increased slightly in September to 10% from 8% in August, but are down from 14% a year ago.  Seven percent of September sales were foreclosures and 3% were short sales.  Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 14% below market value in September (same as in August), while short sales were discounted 14% (10% in August).     


Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, higher median prices, increased new listings and a rise in inventory in September, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 20,792 last month, up 13.5% over the September 2013 figure.

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $180,000, up 5.9% 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 September was $142,700, up 9.8% 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 8,622 last month, up 2% compared to September 2013.  The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales last month compared to the previous year:  Short sales for condo-townhouse properties in the Sunshine State declined 57.9% while short sales for single-family homes dropped 48%. 

“The stability that has characterized the housing market in Florida continued in September but at a higher level of activity,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. “Both single-family and townhouse and condo sales were up, but so were new listings and pending sales.  Despite this, inventory, as measured in months, remained about the same in a range that indicates a balanced market. So, more houses are coming on the market and more people are buying."

Brevard County

On Florida's Space Coast, sales of existing single-family homes rose 25.7% from a year ago, and the median prices of those sold rose 8.3% to $129,900.  

Brevard County's closed sales of townhouse-condos were up 6.5% year-over-year, and the median prices of those sold rose 12.9% to $118,500.