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Florida, One Year After Irma

LuxuryA year after Hurricane Irma swept through Florida, the state saw an uptick in closed sales, pending sales, and median prices, according to data released by Florida Realtors. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 21,087 in September, which is 17 percent up from a year prior.

At the same time, according to Florida Realtors President Christine Hansen, the median time for a home sale to go to contract remained stable in the year-to-year comparison.

“For single-family homes, it was 38 days, the same as a year ago,” said Hansen, who also is a broker-owner with Century 21 Hansen Realty in Fort Lauderdale. “For condo-townhouse properties, it was 46 days, down 2.1 percent.”

According to the report, September was the 81st straight month in which statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and condo-townhouse properties increased year-over-year. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $251,610. That's a 5 percent uptick over the previous year, but still lower than the national average of $267,300—which also was up 5 percent from a year earlier.

The statewide median price for condo-townhouse units in September was $182,500, up 5.5 percent over the year prior. Statewide, Realtors saw 8,492 condo-townhouse sales close in September, a 14.6 percent upturn in that market. At the same time, short sales for condo-townhouses dropped 37 percent and foreclosures fell 5.2 percent year-to-year, while short sales for single-family homes declined 4 percent and foreclosures fell 8 percent year-to-year.

Brad O'Connor, chief economist for Florida Realtors, said that with most areas of the state out of commission for a week or more following Irma, Realtors saw “severely depressed levels of closed sales, new pending sales, and new listings last September.”

He added: "Fortunately, the year-over-year changes we reported for most of Florida Realtors' other metrics—like median price—were not as significantly skewed by the impact of Hurricane Irma.”

End-of-month single-family inventory levels were up for the third consecutive month statewide in September, while condo and townhouse inventory rose by 3 percent.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.63 percent in September 2018, up from the 3.81 percent averaged during the same month a year earlier.

About Author: Scott_Morgan

Scott Morgan is a multi-award-winning journalist and editor based out of Texas. During his 11 years as a newspaper journalist, he wrote more than 4,000 published pieces. He's been recognized for his work since 2001, and his creative writing continues to win acclaim from readers and fellow writers alike. He is also a creative writing teacher and the author of several books, from short fiction to written works about writing.

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