ORLANDO, Fla., June 25, 2007 – Statewide sales of existing single-family homes in Florida totaled 12,607 in May and were more in line with activity in May 2002 – prior to the housing boom years – than the May 2006 figures of 19,072 homes sold for a 34 percent decrease in the year-to-year comparison, according to the Florida Association of Realtors® (FAR).
Florida’s median sales price for existing single-family homes last month was $237,000; a year ago, it was $250,100 for a 5 percent decrease. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less. In May 2002, the statewide median sales price for single-family homes was $137,100, for an increase of 72.9 percent over the five-year-period, according to FAR records.
In April 2007, the national median sales price for existing single-family homes was $220,500, down 0.9 percent from the previous year, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). In California, the statewide median resales price was $597,640 in April; in Massachusetts, it was $345,000; in Maryland, it was $311,075; and in New York, it was $252,500.
Home sales are projected to move in a relatively narrow range with a gradual upturn becoming more pronounced by the end of 2007, according to NAR’s latest market outlook. “Overall housing levels are historically strong, but sales remain sluggish compared to the recent boom,” says NAR Senior Economist Lawrence Yun. “It’s important to keep in mind that all real estate is local, and many markets are expected to have higher sales and strengthening prices during the second half of this year.”
Sales of existing condominiums in Florida also decreased last month, with a total of 4,090 condos sold statewide compared to 5,671 in May 2006 for a 28 percent decline, according to FAR. The statewide median sales price for condos last month was $202,500, down 4 percent from May 2006’s condo median price of $210,800. NAR reported the national median existing condo price was $223,700 in April 2007.
Last month, interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.26 percent, according to Freddie Mac, lower than the average rate of 6.60 percent in May 2006. FAR’s sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.
Among the state’s larger markets, the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) reported 741 existing homes sold last month compared to 982 homes sold a year ago for a 25 percent decrease. The market's median sales price for homes was $387,800; it was $391,000 in May 2006 for a 1 percent decrease. A total of 613 existing condos changed hands in the MSA last month, up 11 percent from the 552 condos sold the previous year. The existing condo median sales price in May was $217,400; a year ago, it was $218,900 for a 1 percent decrease.
The Palm Beach area draws strong interest from retirees, baby boomers and second-home buyers, says Norma Mirsky, president of the Palm Beach Board of Realtors and broker-owner of Mirsky Realty Group LLC. “The wave of speculative investors seeking a quick profit appears to be gone, and now we have a more normal market with buyers interested in investing in a personal dream and finding a home,” she says. “The Scripps Research Institute is building very quickly and that will bring in 3,000 or more high-tech jobs, which is great for our employment outlook.”
Among the state’s smaller markets, the Fort Walton Beach MSA reported a total of 242 homes sold in May compared to 309 homes a year ago for a 22 percent decrease. The existing home median sales price was $219,700; a year ago, it was $231,700 for a 5 percent decline. A total of 85 existing condos sold in the MSA last month compared to 81 condos the previous May for a 5 percent increase. The market’s existing condo median price was $345,800; a year ago, it was $422,000 for a decrease of 18 percent.
Harry Millsaps, president of the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors and a Realtor with Prudential Coastal Properties Inc., says that the area’s economy remains strong and home sales are returning to a more normal pace. “A lot of high-tech jobs are coming into the Fort Walton Beach area in connection with Eglin Air Force base, which is almost doubling in size due to the military base reorganization and closures,” he says. “Plus, our beautiful sugar-white beaches and friendly, relaxed way of living continue to draw homebuyers to our community.”
Two charts showing statistics for Florida and its 20 MSAs are attached. One chart compares the volume of existing, single-family home sales and median sales prices; the other compares the volume of existing, condominium sales and median sales price in May 2007 to May 2006 based on Realtor transactions.
Single-Family Download May_2007_home_chart.pdf
Condominium Download May_07_condo_chart.pdf
The Florida Association of Realtors (FAR), the voice for real estate in Florida, provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 150,000 members in 68 boards/associations.
© 2007 FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
SOURCE: Press Release from the Florida Association of REALTORs®
John Elwell - REALTOR
Bill Nye Realty, Inc.
Licensed in Florida