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Florida property market still on high

Latest figures for Florida property show a market that is continuing to forge ahead. The month of August saw more sales, higher median prices for both single family homes and townhouse/condo properties in Florida and a drop in supply at the lower end of the market.


The single family home market is particularly strong in Florida. The 23,605 sales of this type of property during August represented an 8.6 per cent increase over the year. Median prices reached US$199,900, an increase of 10.3 per cent on August 2014. Prices have now been rising for 45 months in a row. Inventory for single family home properties in Florida fell to 4.3 months.


Townhouse and condos in the Sunshine State are also experiencing continual rises in sales and prices. Year-on-year, the number of sales went up by 4.1 per cent compared to August last year and median prices reached US$150,000, an increase of 10.3 per cent. Inventory levels were slightly better for this type of property, although the current 5.2 months’ supply still remains below the 6-month level that experts consider to be an indication of a balanced market.


Florida properties are also spending less time on agents’ books. In August, the average time spent on the market by single family homes was 45 days, while townhouse/condo properties took 54 days to sell.


A two-speed market

Although both sales and price increases were high, August’s figures represent a decrease on the rate seen during the earlier part of this year. “Home sales in Florida are beginning to moderate,” said Dr John Tuccillo, Chief Economist at Florida Realtors, “and we expect the current pace of growth to be typical for the rest of the year.”


He also pointed out that the Florida property market is moving at two speeds despite the fact that homes are spending less time for sale. Inventory levels for properties priced at over US$300,000 are increasing while the opposite is occurring at the lower end of the market. Dr Tuccillo reports that there’s “significant inventory tightness in the lower price ranges” and adds that this together with the rise in rental rates “poses something of a challenge for companies seeking to relocate to Florida”.


Foreclosures down

A further sign of the return to recovery within the Florida property market can be clearly seen in the latest foreclosure statistics. In August, activity within the foreclosure sector dropped by a massive 33 per cent compared to 12 months earlier. This is the lowest level since April 2007 and means that Florida no longer leads the US foreclosure rate. The state now ranks in fourth position.


Several Florida property hotspots also saw excellent progress in their foreclosure rates. Top of the major market ranking was Miami where foreclosures went down by 37 per cent in the year to August. Orlando recorded an impressive drop of 52 per cent in the number of properties receiving a foreclosure filing while the metro area of Tampa-St Petersburg experienced a 23 per cent decrease, the fourth highest for a metro area in the US.


Source: Florida Realtors, RealtyTrac

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