Home sale prices continued to rise in February

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Posted March 26, 2024 | Staff report

The Florida Realtors agents’ association released its February 2024 market report, showing that statewide the median single-family home sale price rose to $415,000, a 5.1% year over year increase and townhouses and condo median sales price were $325,000, a 3.2% year over year increase.

Single-Family Market Sector

Ocala/Marion County’s February median sale price reported for single-family homes was $287,900, an increase of 3% over last year.

Brad O’Connor, senior economist for the Florida Realtors, a statewide agents’ reporting and professional trade association, said, “Florida home prices, as well as the number of closed home sales so far through 2024, look a lot like they did at this point a year ago in early 2023. In February, the median sale price for closed single-family home sales in the Sunshine State was $415,000, up just a bit over 5% from a year ago. The number of single-family home sales, meanwhile, was up only a little over 2% compared to last February. So, as was the case in January, not much of a change relative to last year, which is not entirely surprising given that mortgage rates have remained stubbornly high so far in 2024.”

The statewide active listing inventory for single-family homes is just under 85,000, which is an increase of 36.5% over last February.

With new listings back to normal levels over the past few months, the Florida housing market has added some inventory, thus pulling it out of those multi-year lows, according to O’Connor.

“Despite the rapid rise in inventory levels that has resulted from the recent resurgence in new listings,” he said, “inventory levels at the end of February in both property type categories were still well within the ballpark of the pre-pandemic norm that was established roughly from 2013 onward. It will take a lot more inventory to put a significant dent in home prices.”

The association reported the supply of single-family existing homes statewide increased to a 3.9-months’ supply.

“Months’ supply inventory is a useful indicator of market conditions,” the report stated. “The benchmark for a balanced market (favoring neither buyer nor seller) is 5.5 months of inventory. Anything higher is traditionally a buyers’ market, and anything lower is a sellers’ market. “

Statewide, the number of cash sales for single-family homes increased by 3.2%, with a total of 6,020 throughout Florida, which accounted for 31.6% of all sales, nearly one-third of the overall market.

“Cash sales can be a useful indicator,” the report stated, “of the extent to which investors are participating in the market. Investors are far more likely to have the funds to purchase a home available up front, whereas the typical homebuyer requires a mortgage or some other form of financing.”

However, mortgage interest rates typically ranging above 7% have continued to impact potential homebuyers’ ability to qualify for loans and contribute to a lock-in effect among would-be home sellers who bought their homes years ago with a mortgage rate of 3% to 4.5%.

O’Connor said, “While the demand side of the equation is little changed from last year, however, on the supply side, we are seeing significantly more new listings than a year ago. The monthly number of new listings in Florida dropped below normal levels beginning in Fall of 2022, when the mortgage rate lock-in effect really started to take hold, and they remained there for about a full year. But in the latter part of the third quarter of 2023, they returned to normal levels for the remainder of the year.”

Ocala/Marion County saw 665 closings of single-family homes in February, an increase of 18.5% over February 2023.

Townhomes/Condos Market Sector

Locally, the market area of Ocala/Marion County townhouses and condos median sales prices came in at $257,490, a big increase of 24.1% over last year in February.

Statewide, townhouses and condos active inventory is 55,203, a 73.3% increase from February 2023. Overall, the market is moving toward more activity.

“Still, some local markets have actually seen significantly more condo sales so far this year relative to last year. While the largest townhouse and condo markets are generally seeing fewer sales than a year ago, there are bright spots in the more affordable suburban fringe and exurban counties surrounding them,” O’Connor said.

Ocala/Marion County, along with Homosassa Springs, Pensacola and Tallahassee, had the largest percentage of sale increases in this market sector, all over 20%.

Existing townhouse and condo properties statewide were at a 6.3-months’ supply in February, a big increase of 96.9% from February of 2023.

For townhomes and condos, the number of cash sales statewide decreased by 1.3% to 4,130 but represented 55.3% of the market.

Townhomes and condos sales in Ocala/Marion County were reported at 34 total, a 12.8% decrease from February 2023.


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