More condos being sold in Florida as house transactions fall
Sales of existing condominiums in Florida rose 11% in November, but existing home sales for the single-family market dipped 15%, according to the latest report from Florida Realtors.
Some 13 of Florida’s metro areas reported higher existing condo sales in November but prices are still falling. The statewide existing condo median sales price was $88,200, down 16% from $104,500 a year ago.
A total of 11,900 single family existing homes were sold compared to 13,961 homes sold in November 2009. Florida’s median existing home sales price in November was $132,700, down 5% from $139,300 a year ago.
The National Association of Realtors says in its latest bulletin that there should be a gradual improvement in property sales in 2011 but a temporary halt to foreclosures in Florida and other states has delayed closings and impacted sales activity. Florida Realtors’ sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.
It is hoped that overseas buyers will be looking at real estate in Florida as being a good bargain in the first few months of 2011 and this could boost sales in the state. Florida is popular with British and European buyers who have been returning to the market, attracted by low prices.
Florida has been particularly badly hit by the sales slump in property prices and is consistently mentioned in real estate reports because of it high number of foreclosures. Other hard hit states, such as Arizona, are seeing an uptake. For example, property sales in the Phoenix area increased 2% in November from the previous month, a time when sales are usually on the decline, according to real estate data provider MDA DataQuick.
There were 7,127 new and existing homes and condos sold during the month. Since 1994, home sales fell an average 7.3% from October to November in Phoenix. But this year’s gain shows some buyers are taking advantage of more affordable homes and historically low mortgage rates.
However, Phoenix home sales remain down 16.6% from a year ago, taking median home prices down with it for the fifth consecutive month. Buyers paid a median $127,500 for all new and resold homes in November, down 10.7% from a year ago and down 1% from October. More than 36% of all homes sold for less than $100,000, up from 27% the year before.
Home sales in the Las Vegas region continued to fall in November as investors and first time homebuyers dominated the market. A total of 3,693 new and resale houses and condos sold in the Las Vegas metropolitan area in November, down 6.8% from October and down 22.9% from a year ago, the figures also show.
New home sales suffered the biggest drop in November, down 15.6% from October and 42.2% compared to November 2009. This is the slowest November DataQuick has recorded for new home sales since they started recording and distributing data in 1994.
Existing single family home sales fell 7.3% from October and 20.9% from one year ago. Condos resales were down 14.4% from October and 14.1% from the same period in 2009.
RealtyTrac recently reported that November foreclosure filings fell 21% nationwide because of lender reviews of foreclosure affidavits that sparked foreclosure suspensions in several states. Nevada posted the nation’s highest foreclosure rate for the 47th straight month despite a 20% decrease in November, according to the data firm.