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Regional Spotlight—Florida’s housing market reported higher median prices, more new listings, fewer days on the market and a stable level of inventory in February, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 15,826 last month, up 1.5 percent over the February 2013 figure.

“With a diminishing number of distressed properties listed for sale, the return of more traditional housing market conditions continues to spark sellers’ interest,” says 2014 Florida REALTORS® President Sherri Meadows. “Statewide, new listings for single-family homes in February rose 11.6 percent year-over-year, while new townhouse-condo listings rose 4.2 percent.

“And last month’s statewide data showed rising median sales prices for both single-family homes and townhome-condo properties, year-over-year – for the 27th month in a row.”

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $165,000, up 10 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida REALTORS® Industry Data and Analysis department in partnership with local REALTOR® boards/associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in February was $132,500, up 15.2 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in January 2014 was $188,900, up 10.4 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $188,700. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in January was $410,990; in Massachusetts, it was $320,000; in New York, it was $238,500; and in Maryland, it was $235,872.

Looking at Florida’s townhome-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 7,578 last month, down 6.8 percent compared to February 2013. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales last month: Short sales for condo-townhome properties declined 59.6 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 51.9 percent. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

“The majority of results for the residential market paint a picture of a normal growing market,” says Florida REALTORS® Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. “The weaker results in sales for both single-family homes and townhouses and condos are solely the result of plummeting short sales. This is actually a good sign since short sales are falling because prices are rising, reducing the number of homes that fall into the potential short sales category.”

Inventory was at a 5.7-months’ supply last month for single-family homes and at a 6.1-months’ supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.30 percent in February 2014, up from the 3.53 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.

To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida REALTORS® Media Center at http://media.floridarealtors.org.

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