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Fla.'s Housing Market Ends 2016 With Price Gains, Fewer Sales of Distressed Properties

Florida's housing market wrapped up 2016 with more new listings, higher median prices and fewer sales of distressed properties compared to the year before, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

"This past year was marked by tight housing inventory throughout Florida, particularly in the range of $200,000 and under," said 2017 Florida Realtors® President Maria Wells, broker-owner with Lifestyle Realty Group in Stuart. "Buyer interest was high and home sales likely would have been even stronger if there had been enough available for-sale supply to satisfy demand. Realtors across the state stand ready to help buyers and sellers understand their local housing market trends.

"Florida's economy is in growth mode, more jobs are being created and mortgage interest rates, while rising, remain at historically low levels, which will continue to spark buyer demand in the coming months."

Year-end 2016

Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 268,731 in 2016, up 0.9 percent compared to the 2015 figure, according to data from Florida Realtors research department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations.

New listings for existing single-family homes rose 2.2 percent in 2016 compared to 2015. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 2016 was $219,900, up 12.2 percent from the previous year.

Looking at Florida's year-to-year comparison for sales of townhouse-condos, a total of 107,953 units sold statewide in 2016, down 4.2 percent from 2015. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales statewide in 2016 compared to the previous year: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties declined 38.7 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 35.3 percent.

New listings for townhouse-condos for the year increased 2 percent compared to a year ago. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in 2016 was $160,000, up 6.7 percent over the previous year.

At the end of 2016 and also for 4Q 2016, inventory for single-family homes stood at a 3.9-months' supply, while inventory for townhouse-condo properties was at a 6-months' supply, according to Florida Realtors.

"Throughout 2016, Florida's housing markets consistently exhibited a solid rate of price growth coupled with relatively flat growth in sales compared to the previous year," said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O'Connor. "This tempered growth in sales was largely due to a shortage of homes for sale at the affordable end of the price spectrum – much of which was due to a rapid depletion of Florida's remaining stock of distressed properties.

"Sales of non-distressed single-family homes, on the other hand, were up nearly 14 percent in 2016, and non-distressed condo and townhouse sales were up more than 5 percent. This increase in 'traditional' sales activity is a clear sign of good things to come for Florida's housing markets in 2017."

The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.65 percent for 2016, down from the previous year's average of 3.85 percent, according to Freddie Mac.  Read More

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