Fla.'s Housing Market Continues Positive Track in Dec. 2012

         Fla.'s Housing Market Continues Positive Track in Dec. 2012

PR Newswire

ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 22, 2013

ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Florida's housing market had more
closed sales, higher pending sales, higher median prices and a reduced
inventory of homes for sale in December, according to the latest housing data
released by Florida Realtors®.

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"Florida is an international destination: Owning a home here appeals to people
of all ages from all over the world," said 2013 Florida Realtors President
Dean Asher, broker-owner with Don Asher & Associates Inc. in Orlando.
"Realtors from across the state are reporting increases in home sales and
median prices. As a result of rising demand from investors and other buyers,
there's a shortage of inventory in many markets, and it's putting pressure on
prices."

Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 18,031 in
December, up 15.8 percent compared to the year-ago figure, according to data
from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department in partnership
with local Realtor boards/associations. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90
days after sales contracts are written.

Meanwhile, pending sales – contracts that are signed but not yet completed or
closed – for existing single-family homes last month rose 39.7 percent over
the previous December. The statewide median sales price for single-family
existing homes last month was $154,000, up 14.1 percent from the previous
year.

According to the National Association of Realtors®(NAR), the  national median
sales price for existing single-family homes in November 2012 was $180,600, up
10.1 percent from the previous year. In California, the statewide median sales
price for single-family existing homes in November was $349,300; in
Massachusetts, it was $295,000; in Maryland, it was $246,294; and in New York,
it was $215,000.

The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.
Housing industry analysts note that sales of foreclosures and other distressed
properties downwardly distort the median price because they generally sell at
a discount relative to traditional homes.

Looking at Florida's year-to-year comparison for sales of townhouse-condos, a
total of 8,470 units sold statewide last month, up 8.6 percent compared to
December 2011. Meanwhile, pending sales for townhouse-condos in December
increased 31.8 percent compared to the year-ago figure. The statewide median
for townhouse-condo properties was $117,500, up 26.3 percent over the previous
year. NAR reported that the national median existing condo price in November
2012 was $181,000.

December marks the 12^th consecutive month of higher statewide median sales
prices for both single-family homes and for townhouse-condo units
year-to-year, according to Florida Realtors' data.

The inventory for single-family homes stood at a 5.5-months' supply in
December; inventory for townhouse-condos was at a 6-months' supply, according
to Florida Realtors.

"The market continues to improve, and it's doing so in all parts of the
state," said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. "Of note is
the fact that inventory levels are now clearly consistent with a sellers'
market. When the final year-end statistics are compiled, expect that sales in
2012 will be more than 10 percent higher than they were in 2011. Once again,
all the positive indicators are up significantly. The Florida real estate
market is rapidly improving."

The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.35 percent in
December 2012, down from the 3.96 percent averaged during the same month a
year earlier, according to Freddie Mac.

To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors
Media Center at http://media.floridarealtors.org/ and look under Latest
Releases, or download the December 2012 data report PDFs under Market Data at:
http://media.floridarealtors.org/market-data

Florida Realtors®, formerly known as the Florida Association of Realtors®,
serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs,
services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its
118,000 members in 63 boards/associations. Florida Realtors®Media Center
website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.

SOURCE Florida Realtors

Website: http://www.media.floridarealtors.org
Contact: Marla Martin, Communications Manager, or Jeff Zipper, Vice President
of Communications, +1-407-438-1400, ext. 2326 or 2314
 
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