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Palm Coast Monday, Aug. 17, 2020 1 month ago

Higher prices, fewer sales, as COVID impacts Florida real estate

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Florida sales are down 19% compared with the second quarter of 2019.
by: Guest Writer

by: Marla Martin

Florida Realtors Communications Manager

Florida’s housing market reflected the impact of coronavirus pandemic and economic turmoil in the second quarter of 2020, particularly during April and May: higher median prices and more pending inventory, but fewer closed sales and fewer new listings compared to 2Q 2019, according to the latest housing data from Florida Realtors.

Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 68,675 in 2Q 2020, down 19.2% from the 2Q 2019 level; closed sales of condo-townhouse properties totaled 22,571, down 33.9% compared to 2Q 2019. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

Quarterly data figures normally offer a good look into prevailing economic and market trends, according to Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor. “This year, however, has been a notable exception, with the state of the housing market shifting rapidly from week to week,” he said.

O’Connor added: “For example, we were only down a little over 4% year-over-year in new pending sales of single-family homes during the second quarter, but this masks the fact that we were down 35% (new pending single-family home sales) in April, only to see a phenomenal bounce-back recovery of 2.3% in May and over 23% in June.

“All indications are that Florida will continue to see home sales surge through the end of the summer, with our biggest near-term issue being a severe lack of single-family inventory.”

 

Price up 4.7%

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 2Q 2020 was $277,500, up 4.7% 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 $207,000, up 6.2% over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

“With mid-year inventory levels down over 27% compared to last year, the scarcity of homes on the market will continue to propel prices upward,” O’Connor said. “Price growth has remained so strong throughout the pandemic that at the mid-point of the year, Florida had already seen close to $50 billion worth of closed single-family home sales, less than 2% off from last year’s pace.”

 

37 days

In 2Q 2020, 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 50 days for condo-townhouse properties.

Inventory was at a 2.8-months’ supply in the first quarter for single-family homes and at a 5.7-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 3.23% for 2Q 2020, down from the 4.0% 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 2Q 2020 data report PDFs under Market Data at: http://media.floridarealtors.org/market-data.

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