Figures for the Florida property market in October show yet another rise in sales of single family homes and condos, and average selling prices. Based on the latest statistics, analysts believe the housing market is moving in the right direction with many local agents claiming that now is the time to buy.
In the year to October, single family homes in Florida saw a hike of 17.8 per cent in the number of sales. In some parts of the state, this increase was even higher. Such is the case in Tampa where 21 per cent more single family homes have been sold over the last 12 months. In terms of average sales prices for family properties in Florida, these experienced an annual increase of 4.6 per cent bringing the median price up to US$177,000.
Condo sales and prices are also rising. The number of condos sold in Florida in the year to October grew by 7.4 per cent with the average sales prices seeing an increase of 7.7 per cent to reach US$139,900. Again, this scenario was even better in Tampa where condo sales soared by 17 per cent between October 2013 and October 2014. The average price jumped nearly 15 per cent to US$116,000.
At a time of year when the property market in Florida tends to be quieter, the impressive increases in sales and prices have caught many agents by surprise. However, analysts believe it reflects real stability in the housing sector. The latest monthly increases are the 35th in a row, almost the equivalent of three years of steady consolidation of the market.
According to Sherri Meadows, President of Florida Realtors, this is due to the benefits of “more people moving to Florida, a steadily improving jobs outlook and growing economy”. Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo echoes this analysis and says that “everything appears to be moving in the right direction, against a background of moderate and sustainable price changes”.
Many local agents believe this continued strength in the market points to now being the time to buy. Although Florida still has a high incidence of bank repossessions, the stock is dwindling. Year-on-year figures for short sales show dramatic decreases for both single family homes and condos - down 47.6 per cent and 55.6 per cent respectively.
One of the country’s largest property auctioneers, John Dixon & Associates, reported record interest in their recent auctions where Florida property featured highly. “Bidders see a lot of opportunity for building up their real estate portfolios. But they realise time is running out because supplies are running out and demand is still going strong,” said John Dixon, President of the company.
Source: Florida Realtors, Tampa Bay Times