A 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.