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RISMEDIA, Oct. 15, 2007-A drop in the median home price to $235,000 for the month of September means that the area’s affordability index has improved by more than seven percentage points to 92.40%, reports the Orlando Regional Realtor® Association. (An affordability index of 92.40% means that buyers earning the state-reported median income are 7.60% short of the income necessary to purchase a median-priced home.) Buyers who earn the median income of $51,104 can qualify to purchase one of 6,163 homes in Orange and Seminole counties currently listed in the local multiple listing service (MLS) for $217,140 or less.

The first time home buyer affordability index rested in September at 65.70, also an improvement over August’s 60.70%.

The current $235,000 median price is 3.69% below the August 2007 median of $244,000, and 6.00% below the September 2006 median price of $250,000. The 2007 year-to-date median price of $248,000 remains 0.40% above the 2006 year-to-date median of $247,000.

The number of sales in the Orlando area declined by 55.01% in September 2007 compared to September of last year (924 to 2,054). The number of sales that took place in September 2007 also declined over the number of sales that occurred in August 2007 (1,467). Year-to-date sales for 2007 (13,503 through September) are down by 38.28% over the same period in 2006 (21,878).

The area’s average interest rate was 6.21% in September 2007 – a decline from last month’s rate of 6.60%.

Homes of all types spent an average of 113 days on the market before being sold in September 2007; and the average home sold for 93.55% of its original asking price. In August, those numbers were 108 and 95.02%, respectively.

The majority of single-family homes (177) that changed hands in September 2007 were sold for between $200,000 and $250,000, while another 135 homes were sold for between $250,000 and $300,000. Two-hundred nine homes sold for less than $200,000 in September, and 275 sold for more than $300,000. On the far ends of the scale, 16 homes were sold for $1 million or more while only 2 homes sold for less than $50,000.

Inventory

There are currently 26,310 homes available for purchase through the MLS. Inventory decreased by three homes in September 2007, which means that a nearly equal number of homes entered the market as left the market. August 2007 saw an increase of 295 homes and July 2007 saw an increase of 95. Compared to last year, the September 2007 inventory level is 29.48% higher than in September 2006.

The current inventory level reflects a 28.47-month supply at the current pace of sales.
There are 19,638 single-family homes currently listed in the MLS. Most (7,372) are listed in the $200,000 – $300,000 price range, while another 2,027 are listed in the $300,000 – $350,000 range. Condos currently make up 4,388 offerings in the MLS, while duplexes/town homes/villas make up the remaining 2,284. Most condos (743) are priced at $200,000 to $250,000; most duplexes/town homes/villas (605) also fall into the $200,000 – $250,000 range.

Condos and Town homes/Duplexes/Villas

The sales of condos in the Orlando area declined by 68.0% in September: A total of 115 condos changed hands in September 2007 compared to 365 in September 2006. In a month-to-month comparison, September 2007 condo sales decreased by 30.7% from August 2007 (115 to 166). Most condos (30) that changed hands in September 2007 were sold for between $120,000 and $160,000; followed by 20 condos that were sold for between $160,000 and $180,000. Year-to-date condo sales are down by 56.0% (1,783 condos have been sold so far in 2007 compared to 4,028 by this time last year).

Orlando home buyers purchased 58 duplexes, town homes, and villas in September 2007, which is a 65.0% decline over September 2006 when 165 of these alternative housing types were purchased. Duplex, town home, and villa sales in September 2007 also dropped compared to the number of sales that took place in August 2007 (178). Overall, duplex, town home, and villa sales are down this year by 39%. The majority (20) of duplexes, town homes, and villas sold in September 2007 cost between $200,000 and $250,000.

MSA Numbers

Sales of existing homes within the Orlando MSA (Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties) in September were down by 53.6% when compared to September of last year. Throughout the entire MSA, 1,129 homes were sold in September 2007 compared with 2,435 in September 2006. To date, 16,150 homes have been sold this year while 26,534 homes had been sold as of this time last year (a 39.1% decline).

Seminole County’s September 2007 sales dropped 47.1% below that of September 2006 (266 to 503), while Orange County fell 60.4% (504 to 1,273). Lake County saw a 36.3% decline in the number of sales in September 2007 compared to September 2006 (202 to 317), and Osceola County experienced a 54.1% drop (157 to 342).

Each county’s year-to-date sales percentages are currently as follows:

– Lake: 32.6% below 2006 (2,483 homes sold in 2007 compared to 3,685 in 2006);
– Orange: 40.4% below 2006 (8,031 homes sold in 2007 compared to 13,470 in 2006);
– Osceola: 47.2% below 2006 (2,153 homes sold in 2007 compared to 4,078 in 2006); and
– Seminole: 34.3% below 2006 (3,483 homes sold in 2007 compared to 5,301 in 2006).

For more information, visit www.orlrealtor.com.

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