Fla.'s Housing Market Continues Positive Trends in Jan. 2014 - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Fla.'s Housing Market Continues Positive Trends in Jan. 2014

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SOURCE Florida Realtors

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida's housing market reported more closed sales, higher median prices, more new listings, fewer days on the market and the continued stabilization of inventory in January, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 15,000 last month, up 10.2 percent over the January 2013 figure.

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"Price increases are continuing to improve home equity in areas across the state, and combined with still-low interest rates, it's creating a great opportunity for sellers," said 2014 Florida Realtors® President Sherri Meadows, CEO and team leader, Keller Williams, with market centers in Gainesville, Ocala and the Villages. "We're seeing homeowners ready to take that next step and list their properties for sale: Statewide, new listings for single-family homes in January rose 13.8 percent year-over-year, while new townhouse-condo listings rose 7.4 percent.

"And here at the start of a new year, January marked 26 consecutive months that we've seen increases in statewide median sales prices for both single family homes and town home-condo properties, year-over-year."

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $162,500, up 12.1 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in January was $131,000, up 17 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in December 2013 was $197,900, up 9.8 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $198,600. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in December was $438,040; in Massachusetts, it was $320,000; in Maryland, it was $255,183; and in New York, it was $236,875.

Looking at Florida's townhome-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 7,377 last month, up 9.3 percent compared to January 2013. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales in January: Traditional sales in Florida rose 20.4 percent for single-family homes and 16.9 percent for condo-townhome properties. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

"The figures released this month are characteristic of a market that has reached balance," said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. "While sales and prices continue to rise, the most striking characteristic of the market is the stability of inventory as measured in months. It appears that the rate at which properties are coming on the market is closely matched by sales. In addition, rising prices have cut down on the availability of short sales and these have been dropping consistently."

Inventory was at a 5.6-months' supply in January for single-family homes and at a 6-months' supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.43 percent in January 2014, up from the 3.41 percent average recorded during the same month 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 January 2014 data report PDFs under Market Data at: http://media.floridarealtors.org/market-data

Florida Realtors®, formerly known as the Florida Association of Realtors®, serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 127,000 members in 61 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.

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