Fla. Housing Market: Sales, Median Prices, New Listings Up in Feb. 2018

Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, more new listings and higher median prices in February even as for-sale inventory remained tight, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors.

Florida’s economy continues to grow, with more jobs being created – the state’s unemployment rate was 3.9% in January. A strong economy is good for Florida’s housing market. Statewide sales increased in both the existing single-family homes and the townhouse-condo sectors in February, yet many local markets are still facing a tight supply of available homes at a time when buyer demand is rising. Those factors are putting pressure on home prices and affordability.

There is some good news for buyers: In February, new listings for single-family homes rose 6 percent year-over-year, while new townhouse-condo listings increased 6.9 percent.

Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 18,620 last month, up 3.3 percent compared to February 2017. Meanwhile, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $246,500, up 9.6 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in January was $179,500, up 7.2 percent over the year-ago figure.

February marked 74 months-in-a-row that the statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties rose year-over-year. 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 January 2018 was $241,700, up 5.7 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $231,600. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in January was $527,800; in Massachusetts, it was $369,000; in New York, it was $266,000; and in Maryland, it was $264,016.

Looking at Florida’s townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 8,457 last month, up 6.4 percent compared to February 2017. Closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and foreclosures last month: Short sales for townhouse-condo properties declined 24.4 percent and foreclosures fell 51.8 percent year-to-year; short sales for single-family homes dropped 43.3 percent and foreclosures fell 51.3 percent year-to-year. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

The latest figures from Florida Realtors show sales of existing homes rose modestly in February, while sale prices continued to climb at a very brisk pace. Year-over-year sales growth for single family homes checked in at 3.3 percent in February – the largest such gain we’ve seen since last June. That said, given the current nationwide shortage of housing at the more affordable end of the pricing spectrum, as well as the specter of rising mortgage rates, we probably shouldn’t expect to do much better than this over the next several months, at least on a consistent basis.

By contrast, year-over-year sales growth in the statewide townhouse-condo category was quite strong in February, at 6.4 percent. However, local trends may differ, as we’re seeing a lot of variation in condo and townhouse markets across the state.

February’s for-sale inventory remained tight with a 3.9-months’ supply for single-family homes and 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 4.33 percent in February 2018, up from the 4.17 percent averaged during the same month a year earlier.

To learn more about the current real estate market in Florida contact an expert member of the 9 Core Realty team!


Colombian interest in Miami real estate holds steady into 2018

Colombians continued searching for Miami homes in January, according to a new report from the Miami Association of Realtors.

Potential buyers from Colombia again led a ranking of foreign nationals searching for South Florida homes using the association’s website, with 12.6 percent of the total, up from 10.5 percent the previous month. The list also includes Venezuela with 9.5 percent and Canada with 7 percent.

Foreign investment in residential real estate in South Florida totaled $7.1 billion last year, up nearly 15 percent from the previous year’s $6.2 billion. Colombian and Canadian home buyers tied for the third-most international home purchases in South Florida last year with 9 percent, each.

Check out the full list for January:

  1. Colombia: 12.6%
  2. Venezuela 9.5%
  3. Canada 7.0%
  4. Brazil 5.8%
  5. Argentina: 5.0%
  6. India: 4.1%
  7. Peru: 3.9%
  8. Spain: 3.2%
  9. Philippines: 3.1%
  10. Dominican Republic: 2.7%

Within the U.S., those most interested in buying residential real estate in South Florida were from Texas, North Carolina, California, New York and Georgia, according to the report.  If you are interested in investing in Florida land and real estate, contact an expert member of the 9 Core Realty team today!


What is Greenwashing?

If you’re looking for a green, energy-efficient home, you need to be on  guard. That’s because some homes are being marketed as environmentally-friendly and energy-saving when they’re not. The practice is called “greenwashing,” and experts said it’s a growing problem.

With the wave of green living in SWFL, since the opening of Babcock Ranch, many builders are making this claim.  Homes in Babcock Ranch are all green certified. But what does that mean?

A truly green home will take into consideration six elements of green building:

  1. Site
  2. Water efficiency
  3. Energy efficiency
  4. Indoor air quality
  5. Materials
  6. Operations and maintenance

If the house doesn’t meet those six criteria, and the seller is still calling the property “green,” chances are it’s just a marketing ploy, also known as “greenwashing.”

“Greenwashing” is a growing problem, and that’s why house hunters need to do their research. Green is more than just energy efficient. It’s about the whole design and building process. Everything from the air conditioning systems and how energy efficient they are, to where the builders purchase material and where it comes from in the country. If it’s local or somewhere out of state, if it’s less of a carbon footprint, if it’s less of an impact on the environment. Builders look at all the different aspects of construction and how they impact the environment.

That’s why you have to be your own advocate. Don’t be afraid to question the sellers and ask them to put in writing what they have and provide you with documents. You can also find out if a home is certified by ‘The National Green Building Standard’ or the ‘Florida Green Building Coalition.’

If you get a home certified, that kind of gives you an insurance policy that says yes, this builder built my home with all these elements in mind and built it to this particular standard. So, that’s kind of like an insurance policy that you weren’t ‘greenwashed,’ you actually had a home built to a green standard.

Are you ready to build a green home in SWFL? We have the perfect land lot for you! Give 9 Core Realty a call today to learn more!


Luxury sales carrying real estate market

A surge in the sale of luxury properties helped to bolster sales figures for homes in Collier County during January according to a new report from the Naples Area Board of Realtors.

While home sales are down nationwide 4.8 percent as compared to January of last year, in Collier they are up 11 percent with 671 homes sold as compared to 603 in January of 2017. Sales of luxury homes, those above $1 million, skyrocketed with a 123 percent increase over January 2017’s total.

Real estate experts all agree that currently the luxury properties for sale are driving the market. Others speculated that recent changes in tax policy may have motivated high-end buyers to get off the fence and purchase luxury homes that have been sitting on the market for the last few years.

The median price for home sales closed in January went up 19 percent to $375,000 in Collier and pending sales increased by 11 percent.

The overall home market inventory in Collier County dropped 5 percent in January to 6,071 homes compared to 6,393 during the same time last year. A lack of inventory has been one of the factors contributing to rising home prices and rental costs throughout Southwest Florida. The Naples market, however, has had a rise in inventory during recent months, leading it have an 8.2-month supply of inventory as opposed to the 3.4-month figure seen nationwide.

The Naples Beach area has seen a 21 percent decline in inventory for single-family homes, which some analysts say could be due to a rush of speculators purchasing homes in the area.

The January figures were also somewhat skewed by Hurricane Irma, which caused a delay in the sale of a large number of high-end condominiums.

To learn more about the current real estate market in SWFL or to purchase investment land in the area contact a member of the 9 Core Realty team today.