Home sale prices increase again in January

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Posted February 28, 2024 | Staff report

The Florida Realtors Association released its January 2024 market report, showing that statewide, the median single-family home sale price rose to $405,000, a 3.8% year over year increase, and townhouses and condo median sales price were $320,000, a 3.2% year over year increase.

The statewide active listing inventory for single-family homes, townhouses, and condos is just over 81,600, which is an increase of 24.8% over last January. The market appears to be getting more active.

Ocala/Marion County’s January median sale price reported for single-family homes was $280,000, up from $278,500 a year before. Local townhouses and condos median sales prices came in at $203,750, up from $192,450 a year before.

“While sales and prices remained fairly similar compared to a year ago, we saw significantly more new listings this January,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor. “New listings of single-family homes were up 16.7% year over year, while new listings of townhouses and condos were up by 31.4%. This is a continuation of a trend we’ve seen over the past few months, and it mostly has to do with abnormally low numbers of new listings in late 2022 and early 2023, mostly due to how fast mortgage rates were rising at that time.”

He noted that while last month’s new listings were well above where they were in January 2023, the numbers were basically in line with pre-pandemic levels in January 2019 and January 2020.

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.

“That’s great news for prospective homebuyers who have been looking for more variety in the market,” he said. “Affordability remains a challenge, but the extra inventory we have now should help to keep further price growth in check for the time being.”

The association reported the supply of single-family existing homes statewide increased to a 3.8-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. “

Existing condo-townhouse properties were at a 5.8-months’ supply in January, an increase of 87.1% from January of 2023.

Statewide, the number of cash sales for single-family homes increased by 3.3% with a total of 4,826 throughout Florida, which was 32.5% of all sales, nearly one-third of the overall market. For townhomes/condos, the number of cash sales increased only by 0.1%, but represented 55.9% of the 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.”

Ocala/Marion County has seen an increase of 5.9% in single-family home closings in over the past twelve months, which is higher than the 3.2% increase experienced statewide. Ocala/Marion County had 595 total closed sales in January, with 553 reported as single-family homes and 42 reported as townhomes/condos.

However, mortgage interest rates above 6% continued to impact potential homebuyers’ purchase power, while also contributing 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%.

“We’re seeing positive signs that for-sale inventory is beginning to increase in many local markets across the state, which should encourage buyers who may have been waiting on the sidelines,” said 2024 Florida Realtors® President Gia Arvin, broker-owner with Matchmaker Realty in Gainesville. “It looks like mortgage rates may be starting to ease, and if that continues, we should see more pent-up demand translate into closed home sales.”


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