In the first quarter of 2021, Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, higher median prices and more new pending sales compared to a year ago, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 78,353 in 1Q 2021, up 19.4% from the 1Q 2020 level.
“A year ago, in early March, the first coronavirus cases were confirmed in Florida,” said 2021 Florida Realtors President Cheryl Lambert, broker-owner with Only Way Realty Citrus in Inverness. “Looking back at that first quarter, considering everything that we have all endured with the pandemic, and where we are today in the first quarter of 2021, it’s almost impossible to believe. While we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and follow guidelines to stay safe and protect our communities, Florida’s housing market remains strong.
But, with demand for housing greater than the available supply, it continues to drive home prices higher – and tightens the existing home-market even more.”
In Florida’s condo-townhouse market, statewide closed sales totaled 37,505 during 1Q 2021, up 37% compared to 1Q 2020, according to data from Florida Realtors Research department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 1Q 2021 was $317,500, up 17.6% from the same time a year ago. The statewide median price for condo-townhouse properties during the quarter was $235,422, up 14.8% over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.
Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor took at look at new listings data for 1Q 2021.
“New listings of homes for resale were marginally lower in January and February than they were a year ago before the pandemic, but these were offset by a decent increase in March,” he said. “For the quarter overall, there were only 2.5% fewer new listings of single-family homes than in the first quarter of 2020, and over in the condo and townhouse category, we saw a 5% increase.
“Most people I speak with are surprised to learn that, apart from the first couple months of the pandemic, the pace of new listings has been fairly close to what it was before the pandemic. That’s an understandable reaction, given how low our inventory levels are.”
O’Connor explained, “One way to think about it is to imagine an empty shelf at a supermarket that has been picked clean. It could be the store stopped getting shipments of the product that was on the shelf, but it could also be that demand for this product increased so significantly that – even though shipments have still been coming in – they’re getting snapped up as soon as they’re stocked. That’s what’s happening in the housing market right now. But to keep inventory from continuing to fall, we need to see a significant increase in the normal rate of new listings, and that’s not happening, either.”
Inventory was at a 1.2-months’ supply in the first quarter for single-family homes and at a 2.8-months’ supply for condo-townhouse properties, according to Florida Realtors.
In 1Q 2021, the median time to a contract (the midpoint of the number of days it took for a property to receive a sales contract during that time) was 19 days for single-family homes and 37 days for condo-townhouse properties.
According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.88% for 1Q 2021, down from the 3.51% average recorded during the same quarter a year earlier.
Florida Realtors® serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to about 200,000 members in 51 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.