Floridians had something to celebrate this past holiday season, as December sales were up 23.8 percent year-over-year, according to the latest housing data from Florida Realtors
Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 25,557 last month.
“Continued low interest rates are sparking buyer demand across Florida; however, a constrained supply and tight inventory of for-sale homes is putting pressure on home prices to rise,” said 2020 Florida Realtors President Barry Grooms, a Realtor and co-owner of Sarabay Suncoast Realty Inc. in Bradenton. “Existing single-family homes had a 3.4 months’ supply of inventory in December, while condo-townhouse properties showed a 5.2 months’ supply. In a positive sign, new pending sales rose 11.9 percent for single-family existing homes last month and new pending sales for condo-townhouse units increased 8.3 percent.”
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $270,000, up 5.9 percent year-over-year, while the statewide median price for condo-townhouse units was $200,000, up 8.1 percent year-over-year.
According to Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor, the jump was driven in part by a low mortgage rates.
“The average 30-year mortgage rate spent the entire second half of 2019 in the range of 3.5 percent to 3.8 percent, flirting with historical lows,” O’Connor said. “And in the months since the mid-year yield curve scare that spooked the financial markets, the Federal Reserve has dropped the federal funds rate three times, restoring calm to the national economy. Here in Florida, we saw new pending sales for both property types begin surging in October, and now, with the December figures, we see a significant share of those deals successfully closed by year’s end.”
According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.72 percent in December 2019, down from the 4.6 percent averaged during the same month a year earlier.