Florida’s real estate scene could be on the rebound, according to new report

by | Aug 23, 2021

Florida’s housing market continues to see a major reawakening despite the ongoing pandemic, according to a new housing report released on Monday.

Florida Realtors, the state’s largest trade association, released its latest housing data today. The new data showed the state’s real estate scene could be experiencing a rebound, with the group finding higher median prices, more new listings and a rise in all-cash sales compared to a year ago.

In an accompanying press release, Florida Realtors said the outlook is promising following a difficult 2020.

“In a positive sign for Florida’s housing market, new listings rose year-over-year in July for both single-family homes, up 12.1 percent, and for condo-townhouse properties, up 4.6 percent,” said 2021 Florida Realtors President Cheryl Lambert, broker-owner with Only Way Realty Citrus in Inverness. “Our economic experts also report that active listings (inventory) of single-family homes continued to rise throughout July (from its lowest level), which eventually could be good news for buyers who have been sidelined by the shortage of homes for sale. However, any rebound in inventory is going to be slow, and it will take a long while to get back to the levels we had pre-pandemic.”

Closed sales of single-family homes statewide in July totaled 30,740, a slight decrease of 2.1 percent year-over-year, while existing condo-townhouse sales totaled 13,481, up 21.1 percent over July 2020. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in July was $355,000, up 20.3% from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Last month’s statewide median price for condo-townhouse units was $253,000, up 20.5% over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

According to Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor, the data revealed signs that the state’s housing market is heading on a steady path toward normalcy, at least in some respects.

“The 2.1% drop in closed single-family home sales marks the first time that sales in this category have been down year-over-year at the statewide level since May of 2020, near the beginning of the pandemic,” O’Connor added. “But remember, last year’s spring buying season was effectively postponed until the summer and fall by the pandemic, so the second half of 2020 ended up being the strongest second half for sales in at least 15 years. It’s not too surprising if sales counts over the next few months fail to surpass their totals from one year ago.

“However, looking at 2019 – the last full year of anything resembling a normal market due to COVID-19 – we find that July 2021 single-family home sales were over 9% higher compared to July 2019.”

O’Connor also noted that the share of closed sales that were all-cash purchases rose in July compared to the previous year — an ongoing trend. In July, single-family existing home sales paid in all cash increased by 49.9 percent year-over-year, while all-cash sales of condo-townhouse units rose by 44 percent.

On the supply side of the market, the report found that inventory (active listings) remained extremely tight in July. Single-family existing homes continued at a very low 1.2-months’ supply while condo-townhouse inventory was at a 1.8-months’ supply.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.87 percent in July 2021, down from the 3.02 percent average during the same month a year earlier.

To see the full statewide housing activity reports, click here.


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