Official statistics just released for the Florida property market in 2016 confirm the year-long tendency of higher prices and fewer distressed property sales. The single-family home market remained particularly tight and in the Sunshine State, this sector saw double-digit price increases.
Florida Realtors published their findings for the Florida property market in 2016 in mid-February, coinciding almost exactly with figures for the US as a whole from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). In a nutshell, last year saw more properties available for purchase throughout Florida, considerably higher prices and a marked drop in the number of distressed properties on the market.
More demand than supply in Florida property market in 2016
As was the case during 2015, last year saw an imbalance between supply and demand for single family homes in Florida. Sales of this type of property rose by just 0.3 per cent. And despite a 2.2 per cent increase in new listings, inventory levels ended the year at just 3.9 months.
“Buyer interest was high and home sales would likely have been even stronger if there had been enough available for-sale supply to satisfy demand,” said Maria Wells, Florida Realtors President, commenting on the figures.
Prices for single family homes, however, skyrocketed last year by 12.2 per cent to reach a median price of US$219,900. This increase is considerably ahead of the national average (5.7 per cent).
Condo properties in Florida take more moderate track
Unlike single family homes, townhouse and condo properties in Florida posted more moderate figures in 2016. Median prices rose by 6.7 per cent and the supply stood at 6 months, the level considered by property analysts as the sign of a balanced market.
New listings for condos in the Sunshine State rose by 2 per cent last year while sales dropped slightly in comparison with 2015. “This tempered growth in sales was largely due to a shortage of homes for sale at the affordable end of the price spectrum,” said Dr Brad O’Connor, Chief Economist at Florida Realtors.
Sales of Florida distressed properties drop
Another key aspect of the Florida property market in 2016 was the drop in sales of distressed properties. Once the epitome of bank repossessions, Florida no longer takes first place in the national distressed property ranking.
According to O’Connor, this is clearly seen in the marked rise in sales of non-distressed property in Florida. For single family homes, sales went up by almost 14 per cent in 2016 and for condo and townhouse properties, the rise in sales topped 5 per cent. “This increase in ‘traditional’ sales activity is a clear sign of good things to come for Florida’s housing markets in 2017,” he said.
Wells echoed her colleague’s sentiments in comments to the press on the figures for the Florida property market in 2016. “The state’s economy is in growth mode, more jobs are being created and mortgage interest rates remain at historically low levels,” she said. She added that she expects these factors “to spark buyer demand in the coming months”.
US property market in 2016
The NAR also released its figures for 2016 for the US as a whole. Q4 ranked as the best quarter of the year in terms of sales. However, like the Florida property market in 2016, the national market also saw a drop in supply. The 6.3 per cent decrease brought the level to 3.9 months, the lowest since 1999.
Prices for single family homes throughout the US rose by 5.7 per cent last year to reach US$235,000 However, in 31 of the 178 metropolitan areas covered in the NAR property prices rose by double-digit figures.
“Figures for the Florida property market in 2016 show a return to normality,” comments Dies Poppeliers, Managing Director of BRIC Group. “The tightening of supply and affordability offered excellent opportunities for buy-to-let investors last year and we expect this market to strengthen still further in 2017.”
BRIC Group, an investment company specialising in global real estate opportunities, offers US real estate investments including turnkey properties in Florida and Houston, and land plots in Florida. BRIC Group is also developing The Coral resort, in Northeast Brazil, a luxury beachfront resort with land and villa investment opportunities. BRIC Group has been creating wealth for its clients since 1996 and has offices in Brazil, Dubai (consulting office), Hungary, Spain and the US.
(Sources: Florida Realtors, NAR)