December 2012 Market Report

For the Florida housing industry, 2012 has been a good year. Crucial housing statistics have improved steadily. Inventory is down; average days a property is listed for sale is down and the number of pending and closed sales are up. These trends are very encouraging signs for the Sunshine State.

Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 17,779 in October, up 25.3 percent compared to the year-ago figure*. 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) of existing single-family homes last month rose 56.7 percent over the previous October. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in October was $145,000, up 9 percent from a year ago. Meanwhile, pending sales for townhome-condos in October increased 47.1 percent compared to the year-ago figure. The inventory for single-family homes held at a 5.2 month’s supply in October compared to a 20 month supply back in 2008.

“Once again, everything that should be going up in
the market is going up, and everything that should be going down is going down,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. “As impressive as the year-over-year gains for October are, far more impressive are year-to-date gains of 2012 over 2011. They indicate the depth and resilience of this recovery.”

In addition to promising housing numbers, tourism numbers are up from the Panhandle to Miami. Companies are hiring, expanding and relocating throughout the state. And yet, realistically, the blossoming recovery is fragile. The prospect of even more foreclosed homes is casting a shadow over otherwise encouraging signs. Declining tax revenue is still squeezing government budgets, and many municipalities are continuing to waive impact fees to encourage development. Unemployment numbers are still too high around the state. Ultimately, Florida’s recovery will hinge on improvements in the national economy overall. Nonetheless, signs over the past year are, as Mike Reagen of the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce says, “flickers of light on the horizon that things are incrementally getting better.”

—- Single Family Homes    — Townhomes/Condos

Historical Closed Sales by Month

*Source: Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department and vendor partner 10K Research and Marketing.