In the common with the rest of the US, Florida property saw frenzied activity last year. The real estate market was so busy during the second half of the year that Florida registered record price hikes and rock-bottom inventory in Q4. And across all property types. In this article, we look at the trends seen in condos and single-family homes in Florida at the end of 2020, as reported by Florida Realtors.
Sharp uptick in sales
All the fundamentals in Florida property saw big growth in Q4 2020, but nowhere was the increase more obvious than in sales. Purchase of single-family homes in the Sunshine State reached nearly 86,600 over the three-month period. This represents a hike of 23.6%.
Sales were even brisker for condo properties and townhouses in Florida. Buyers purchased nearly 36,000, bringing total sales up by 29.4%.
The figures showed that the Florida property market has more than recovered from the drop-off from February to early May last year. “Sales outpaced the previous year in both the single-family homes and condo-townhouse categories,” noted Brad O’Connor, Chief Economist at Florida Realtors.
Big price hikes
House prices mirrored the surge in sales and went up considerably for both single-family homes and condos in Florida. Single-family homes saw their median price reach US$306,000, an increase of 14.6% on Q4 2019. This is the highest rise since Q4 2017.
Condo and townhouse properties saw their median values go up by 15% to reach US$226,000. This too is the biggest increase in four years and a compelling indication of the high demand in the market.
The strength of demand is also obvious in the figures for the time taken to sell properties. Single-family homes took just 66 days on average to complete between October and December last year. This is 18.5% less than the previous year. Condo sales typically took 79 days, 9.2% less than Q4 2019.
Asking prices for both types of properties were almost equal to their list prices. Sellers of single-family homes in Florida received 98.4% of the asking price. For condo and townhouse properties, the median was 96.1%. Both percentages were higher than a year earlier.
New listings but rock-bottom supply
Unsurprisingly, the surge in demand has led to an acute shortage of supply across the board for Florida property. Statistics show that new listings for single-family homes rose by 3.5% in the last quarter of 2020 while those for condos and townhouses went up by 5.9%.
However, this growth did little to stem falling inventory levels. At the end of 2020, the supply of single-family homes stood at just 1.8 months in Florida, down a dramatic 45.5% in a year. Levels for condo and townhouse properties fared slightly better and ended the year with 4.2 months supply. Nevertheless, this represents over 20% less than in 2019 and is well below the 6-month threshold, considered to be a sign of balanced market.
Outlook for Florida property in 2021
January figures showed a similar pattern for Florida property and analysts expect a phrenetic market this year too.
“2021 began with the same market conditions we saw over the previous months, such as very low mortgage rates, high buyer demand and a lack of inventory,” said Florida Realtors President Cheryl Lambert.
O’Connor agreed and pointed out that the growth in sales in January was “way above our historical average”. He expects it to remain that way for “most, if not all, of 2021”.