Southwest Florida’s housing market continues to show signs of improvement, according to June’s housing reports, which showed an increase in sales, declining inventory levels, and small price changes.
“Residential real estate has finally taken some meaningful strides toward recovery,” the Punta Gorda-Port Charlotte-North Port Association of Realtors stated in a report. “Yes, there have been some head fakes in the past, but there’s real reason to believe that market turnaround awaits.”
In the Charlotte County-North Port area, the association reported a rebound in closed transactions in the single-family home market with 320 sales — 25 more than what was reported in May, when total closed sales equaled 295. Compared with a year ago, last month’s numbers represent a 19.4 percent increase in sales. Pending sales on single-family homes also were higher from last year by 9.4 percent, the association reported.
In the condo market, year-over-year sales also were up by 5 percent, although they dipped in June to 63 from 86 in May. However, pending condo sales were up by a whopping 62.2 percent compared with June 2011.
“This first half of the year, you have to be happy with activity,” said Jim Petche, a broker with Re/Max Harbor Realty in Punta Gorda. “It’s been much better than it has been in the past.”
Housing sales have improved so much that inventory levels have reached the lowest levels in years, reports show. June saw a little more than four months’ worth of housing supply in single-family homes, and just over seven months for condos/townhomes.
Months of inventory represent the time it would take to deplete the current inventory at the current sales rate. Housing experts say that in a healthy market, typical inventory supplies hover between seven and eight months.
Petche credits the upward sales trend to three things: retiring baby boomers moving to Southwest Florida, attractive home prices and low interest rates on conventional loans. “Those are three strong, good factors,” he said.
The average sales price for a single-family home in the Charlotte County area is $143,647, a
slight dip from last month’s $146,782
average price. Still, it’s a
6.6 percent increase over last year. The average sales price for a condo rose for a third straight month to $129,231. In May, the average sales price for a condo was $127,081.
In Sarasota County, the picture looks almost the same: While pending sales dropped in both the condo and single-family categories, closed sales for single-family homes increased to 603 transactions in June from 591
the month prior, and condo sales went from 263 in May to 261 in
That represents an 18.7 percent combined increase from a year ago, according to the Sarasota Association of Realtors. Inventory levels for single-family homes and condos are at a little more than four and a little more than five months, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Sarasota association reported, the median sale price for single-family homes in June was $178,500, down from $185,000 in May. The median sale price for condos was $195,000 in June, up from $180,750 the month before. The median price means half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.
Statewide, closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 18,800 in June, up 5.3 percent compared with the last year’s figure, according to data from Florida Realtors. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $151,000, up 8.2 percent from June 2011.
A total of 9,202 condo units sold statewide last month, up 1.5 percent from those sold in
June 2011. The statewide median price for townhome/condo properties was $110,000, up
15.8 percent over the previous year.
In June, the inventory for single-family homes stood at a six-month supply; inventory for townhome-condo properties was at a shade less than six months, according to Florida Realtors.
According to the National Association of Realtors, nationally homes sales declined 5.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.37 million in June, from an upwardly
revised 4.62 million in May, but are 4.5 percent higher than the 4.18 million-unit level in June 2011.