ORLANDO — The Tampa Bay area joined much of Florida and experienced increased existing home sales in September compared to a year ago, but while the state on average saw an equally positive uptick in existing condo sales, the Bay area did not.
That information and more was made available this week by Florida Realtors, which is based in Orlando.
Statewide sales of single-family, existing homes rose 10 percent, increasing from 13,723 in September 2010 to 15,036 for September of this year. The Tampa Bay Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties, also rose 10 percent, from 2,152 September a year ago to 2,375 this year. Data from Hernando County, which is part of Tampa’s MSA, was not available, officials said.
Median sales prices for single-family, existing homes declined slightly in both the state and the Bay area: The state’s median sales price declined 1 percent, from $135,000 in September of 2010 to $133,900 in September 2011; Bay area prices declined 2 percent, from $130,100 in September 2010 to $126,900 this September. The median is the midpoint: half the homes sold for more, half for less.
Meanwhile, Florida saw a 10 percent gain in existing condo sales, from 6,035 in September of 2010 to 6,666 this September. Median sales prices statewide for condominiums also increased in that time period, from $81,800 to $87,200. The news was different in the Bay area, which saw existing condo sales and their median sales price decline.
There were 752 existing condo sales in the Bay area in September, compared to 777 last September, a 3 percent decrease; the median sales price also dropped, from $84,900 to $80,000, a 6 percent decrease.
Statewide, 15 of Florida’s 19 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) reported higher existing home sales in September; 11 MSAs had higher existing condo sales.
“One of the most overlooked statistical trends in all of real estate is the growth in home sales, both single-family and condo, in the state of Florida,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr.John Tuccillo. “We’ve seen an upward trend in sales since January 2011, and September’s sales were a full 10 percent above September 2010. Even prices, which have been static over the past few months, are well above where they were in January 2011.
“One of the reasons for this is stabilization in the distressed property market. This is not a problem that’s going away, but there’s a degree of certainty that is helping the market.”
According to analysts with the National Association of Realtors (NAR), sales of foreclosures and other distressed properties downwardly distort the median price because they generally sell at a discount relative to traditional homes.
For comparison purposes, here are some other Florida MSA stats:
Lakeland-Winter Haven: Single-family, existing home sales totaled 279 in September, compared to 283 for September 2010, a 1 percent dip. Median sales prices went from $97,200 last year to $103,500, a 6 percent increase. Existing condo sales increased from 18 to 19, representing a 6 percent uptick; median condo sale prices went from $40,000 in September 2010 to $58,800.
Orlando: Single-family, existing home sales totaled 2,160 in September, compared to 2,184, for September 2010, a 1 percent dip. Median sales prices went from $128,400 to $125,200, a 2 percent decrease. Existing condo sales went from 720 in September last year to 444 this year, a 38 percent drop. However, median condo sale prices increased, from $49,900 to $60,500.
Sarasota-Bradenton: Single-family, existing home sales increased 7 percent, from 760 in September 2010 to 816 this past September. During that same comparison period, median sales price increased 4 percent, from $151,000 to $156,800. Existing condo sales decreased 4 percent, from 241 in September 2010 to 232 this year. The median sales price for condominiums went from $134,100 to $120,900, a 10 percent drop.
“Historically low mortgage rates and stabilizing home prices all across Florida’s local housing markets continue to attract potential buyers – housing affordability conditions are very favorable right now,” said 2011 Florida Realtors President Patricia Fitzgerald.
However, Fitzgerald, a manager/broker-associate with Illustrated Properties in Hobe Sound and Mariner Sands Country Club in Stuart, did express this concern: “Financially qualified buyers are still being denied home loans because of overly restrictive lending requirements, and that’s a significant obstacle to the housing recovery.”
NOTE: According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.11 percent in September, down from the 4.35 percent average during the same month a year earlier. Florida Realtors’ sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.
For August numbers, click here.