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Editor’s Note: You may wish to use this information with
today’s release from the National Association of Realtors.

Florida's Existing Home Sales Slower in November 2007

ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 31, 2007 – Mortgage financing issues and higher levels of inventory continued to impact Florida’s housing sector in November. Statewide, sales of existing single-family homes totaled 8,106 last month while 11,609 homes sold in November 2006 for a decrease of 30 percent in the year-to-year comparison, according to the Florida Association of Realtors® (FAR).

The latest market outlook from the National Association of Realtors’® (NAR) predicts that conditions for the mortgage industry will continue to improve in the next few months; however, home sales will continue to reflect disruptions caused by the credit crunch for some time. Keeping the current housing market in perspective, NAR Senior Economist Lawrence Yun says that 2007 will be the fifth highest year on record for existing-home sales. “Now that mortgage conditions have improved, some postponed activity should turn up in existing-home sales over the next couple of months, and I expect sales at fairly stable to slightly higher levels,” he says.

Florida’s median sales price for existing single-family homes last month was $215,800; a year ago, it was $239,800 for a 10 percent decrease. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less. In November 2002, the statewide median sales price for single-family homes was $141,500, for an increase of 52.5 percent over the five-year-period, according to FAR records.

The national median sales price for existing single-family homes in October 2007 was $205,700, down 6.3 percent from a year ago, according to NAR. In California, the statewide median resales price was $497,110 in October; in Massachusetts, it was $330,000; in Maryland, it was $295,116; and in New York, it was $219,250.

Sales of existing condominiums in Florida also decreased last month, with a total of 2,375 condos sold statewide compared to 3,356 in November 2006 for a 29 percent decline, according to FAR. The statewide median sales price for condos last month was $186,700, down 9 percent from November’s 2006’s condo median price of $204,500. NAR reported the national median existing condo price was $223,500 in October 2007.

Last month, interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.21 percent, according to Freddie Mac, down from the average rate of 6.24 percent in November 2006. FAR’s sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

Among the state’s larger markets, the Sarasota-Bradenton Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) reported 556 existing homes sold last month compared to 664 homes sold a year ago for a 16 percent decrease. The market's median sales price for homes was $267,700; it was $280,200 in November 2006 for a 4 percent decrease. A total of 203 existing condos changed hands in the MSA last month, down 6 percent from the 216 condos sold the previous year. The existing condo median sales price in November was $223,800; a year ago, it was $271,400 for an 18 percent decrease.

“We’re getting back to the basics of the housing market – find a buyer and you can make a home sale, as long as the price is reasonable,” says Joe Hembree, president of the Sarasota Association of Realtors and the owner and president of Hembree & Associates Inc. “We’re seeing more interest and having a lot more home showings. People understand they have a lot of choices. Mortgage rates remain historically low and it is a great time to buy.”

Among the state’s smaller markets, the Fort Walton Beach MSA reported a total of 155 homes sold in November compared to 154 homes a year ago for a 1 percent increase. The existing home median sales price was $199,300; a year ago, it was $214,700 for a 7 percent decrease. A total of 36 existing condos sold in the MSA last month compared to 40 condos the previous November for a 10 percent decrease. The market’s existing condo median price was $350,000; a year ago, it was $400,000 for a decrease of 13 percent.

Harry Millsaps, president of the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors and a Realtor with Prudential Coastal Properties Inc., says the area’s beautiful, sugar-white sand beaches attract new residents. “We’ve been enjoying temperatures around 70 degrees and weather that feels like April – it’s going to be very tempting to residents up north in another month or so,” he says. “We’ve noticed an upswing in the market particularly in the last two months. Buyers are noticing that they really can’t beat the current mortgage rates; they remain near historically low levels and are lower than the average rate was last year.”


Two charts showing statistics for Florida and its 20 MSAs are attached. One chart compares the volume of existing, single-family home sales and median sales prices price in November 2007 to November 2006 based on Realtor transactions; the other compares the volume of existing, condominium sales and median sales price in November 2007 to November 2006 based on Realtor transactions.

Single-Family    pdf     html

Condominium    pdf     html

The Florida Association of Realtors®, the voice for real estate in Florida, provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 150,000 members in 67 boards/associations.


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