After a busy 2017, it’s more of the same for the Florida property market in 2018 with February marking up the 74th consecutive month of median house price rises in the state. The strong economy and buoyant job creation make up the main drivers behind the continued demand for housing in the Sunshine State. And although February saw brief respite in the inventory with a marginal increase in new listings, the market remains challenging for buyers.
Sales and prices rise
February is traditionally a quiet month for sales in the Florida property market and usually sees a lull in the run-up to the busy spring period. However, this year saw an increase in sales of single-family homes, condos and townhouses. A total of 18,620 single family homes were sold – up 3.3% on February last year – and 8,457 condos and townhouses changed hands, an increase of 6.4% in the year.
Median house prices also continued their upward trend. Since 2011, the Florida property market has seen prices grow every month. February this year was no exception. Those for single-family homes rose by 9.6% to reach US$246,500. This was the highest increase since April last year. For their part, condo and townhouse properties in Florida saw a 7.2% uptick in median prices. The average now stands at US$179,500.
Both rises were in line with the national tendency. Figures released by the National Association of Realtors for the US property market in January point to a 7.5% rise in median house prices. This brought the average single-family sale to US$241,700.
Against a background of strong sales and price rises, the Florida property market remains a challenging one for buyers. “Florida’s economy continues to grow, with more jobs being created,” said Christine Hansen, President of Florida Realtors. However, she pointed out that “many local markets are still facing a tight supply of available homes at a time when buyer demand is rising”.
The statistics reflect the demand. While new listings for single-family homes in Florida went up by 6% in February and those for condos and townhouses by 6.9%, inventory levels remain extremely tight. The current supply for single-family properties stands at just 3.9 months, down 7.1% in the year. While the 6 months’ supply of condos and townhouses is better, it has fallen by 6.3% since last February.
Healthier Florida property market
Until recently, the Sunshine State ranked among the worst in the country for foreclosure statistics. The economic recovery in Florida has reversed this situation. With an unemployment rate of just 3.8% in January, Florida is currently registering one of the highest rates of job creation in the US.
Latest Florida foreclosure statistics reflect the vastly improved state economy. Foreclosure for single-family homes dropped by a giant 51.3% in February. The figure is similar for condos and townhouses.
Meanwhile, the dollar volume within the Florida property market continued to rise. The total of all sales prices topped US$63 billion for single-family homes in February, up 10.9% in the year while the total of US$2.3 billion for condo and townhouse properties translates to an increase of 19%. Property in the Sunshine State has certainly started the year with a bang.
(Source: Florida Realtors)