Home sale prices continued to rise in March statewide and for the Ocala metro area

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Posted April 24, 2024 | Staff report

The Florida Realtors agents’ association’s March 2024 market report shows that statewide the median single-family home sale price rose to $420,600, a 3.9% year over year increase, and townhouses and condo median sales price were $330,000, a 3.1% year over year increase.

Single-Family Market Sector

Brad O’Connor, senior economist for the statewide agents’ reporting and professional trade association, said, “Home price growth remained fairly calm by recent standards during the month of March. Also, more homes were listed on Florida’s multiple listing services this March than in March 2023, but the year-over-year changes were more modest than what we saw in January and February. New listings of single-family homes were up 7.7% in March, well off the pace of nearly 17% in January and over 28% in February.”

The statewide active listing inventory for single-family homes is just over 86,000, an increase of 40.5% over last March.

“The spring buying season is here, but stubbornly high interest rates continue to present challenges for many prospective homebuyers here in Florida,” O’Connor said. “This slowdown in the rate of new listing growth meant that although inventory increased from the end of February to the end of March, it increased more slowly than it did in most recent prior months. Still, in a normal market, we usually expect inventory levels to decline from the end of February to the end of March. Inventory levels are something we continue to watch closely. Higher inventory levels will provide some relief in terms of affordability over time, as well as provide more choices for prospective buyers.”

The association reported the supply of single-family existing homes statewide increased to a 4.1-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 decreased by 10.5% with a total of 6,981 throughout Florida, which accounted for 29.8% 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.”

2024 Florida Realtors President Gia Arvin, broker-owner with Matchmaker Realty in Gainesville, said, “Persistently high mortgage interest rates hovering well above 6% continue to challenge buyers in Florida, especially first-time buyers. While we are seeing an increase in new listings and in for-sale inventory, home sellers thinking of moving—whether it’s downsizing or needing a larger home—are also impacted by the higher rates when considering their next home purchase.”

The ability to qualify for new loans contributes to a lock-in effect among would-be home sellers who bought their homes some years ago with a mortgage rate of 3% to 4.5%.

Ocala/Marion County’s March median sale price reported for single-family homes was $289,900, an increase of 1.9% over last year, and saw 775 closings of single-family home in March, a slight decrease of .8% from March 2023.


Townhomes/Condos Market Sector

Locally, the market area of Ocala/Marion County townhouses and condos median sales prices came in at $210,000, a slight decrease of 2.3% less than March 2023. A total of 56 closed sales were reported.

Statewide, townhouses and condos active inventory is 57,188, a 77.9% increase from March 2023. Overall, the market is moving toward more activity.

Existing townhouse and condo properties statewide were at a 6.6-months’ supply in March, a large increase of 94.1% from March of 2023.

For townhomes and condos, the number of cash sales statewide was 5,037 a decrease pf 17.2% from March of 2023. Those sales represented 54% of the market.

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