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RISMEDIA, May 13, 2008-Orlando’s housing market for the second month experienced a month-over-month increase in the number of home sales, an increase in the number of pending sales contracts, and a decrease in the amount of inventory – all indicators of a continued, although admittedly glacially paced, shift toward a market coming into balance between buyers and sellers.

The monthly statistical reports released by the Orlando Regional Realtor® Association also revealed an across-the-board, four-month trend indicating decreases in Orange and Seminole counties’ month-to-month sales comparison percentages. For example, Orange County sales were down by 28% when comparing April 2008 to April 2007; 40.16 for March; 44.28% for February; and 49.23% for January.

The median sales price of a home in the Orlando area decreased by 4.09% ($9,000) from $220,000 in March 2008 to $211,000 in April 2008. The median sales price for April 2008 is 12.85% ($31,100) below that of April 2007 ($242,100).

The decrease in the median home price to $211,000 means that the area’s affordability index increased in April to 108.81%. (An affordability index of 99% means that buyers earning the state-reported median income are 1% short of the income necessary to purchase a median-priced home. Conversely, an affordability index that is over 100 means that median-income earners make more than is necessary to qualify for a median-priced home.) Buyers who earn the reported median income of $51,563 can qualify to purchase one of 9,104 homes in Orange and Seminole counties currently listed in the local multiple listing service (MLS) for $229,589 or less.

The first time homebuyer affordability index increased to 77.38% from March’s 72.78%.

The number of sales in the Orlando area declined by 25.03% in April 2008 compared to April of last year (1,147 to 1,530), but the number of sales that took place in April 2008 did increase by 2.41% compared to the number of sales that occurred in March 2008 (1,120).

There are currently 2,853 homes in the MLS with pending sales contracts (an indicator of future sales activity), up from 2,398 in March and 2,175 in February. The number of homes that came newly under contract in April increased by 333 to 2,012; there were 1,679 homes newly under contract in March and 1,537 in February.

The area’s average interest rate was 5.77% in April 2008, down from 5.94% in March and 5.87 in February.

Homes of all types spent an average of 121 days on the market before being sold in April 2008; the average home sold for 93.14% of its listing price. In April 2007 those numbers were 97 and 95.49%, respectively.

The majority of single-family homes (232) that changed hands in April 2008 were sold in the $200,000 – $250,000 price range. Another 112 homes sold in April for between $250,000 and $300,000. Three hundred thirty-nine homes sold for less than $200,000 in April, and 259 sold for more than $300,000. On the far ends of the scale, 21 homes were sold for $1 million or more while 11 homes sold for less than $50,000.

Inventory

There are currently 25,436 homes available for purchase through the MLS. Inventory decreased by 36 homes in April 2008, which means that 36 more homes left the market than entered the market. Compared to last year, the April 2008 inventory level (25,436) is 4.10% higher than it was in April 2007 (24,435).

The current inventory level reflects a 22.18-month supply at the current pace of sales, which is down from March 2008’s 22.74-month supply and February’s 27.32-month supply

There are 19,051 single-family homes currently listed in the MLS. Most (3,423) are listed in the $200,000 – $250,000 price range. Condos currently make up 4,310 offerings in the MLS, while duplexes/town homes/villas make up the remaining 2,075. Most condos (580) are priced at $120,000 – $140,000, but nearly as many are posted in the $140,000 – $160,000 range (519) and the $200,000 – $250,000 (516) range. The majority of duplexes/town homes/villas (404) are listed in the $200,000 – $250,000 price category.

Condos and Town homes/Duplexes/Villas

The sales of condos in the Orlando area declined by 47.94% in April: A total of 101 condos changed hands in April 2008 compared to 194 in April 2007. In a month-to-month comparison, April 2008 condo sales (101) increased by 12.22% from March 2008 (90).

In April, exactly 20 condos changed hands in both the $100,000 – $120,000 and the $120,000 – $140,000 price categories. In March most (20) condos that sold fell into the $120,000 – $140,000 category, while in February most (16) fell in the $160,000 – $180,000 category.

Orlando home buyers purchased 104 duplexes, town homes, and villas in April 2008, which is a 16.13% decline from April 2007 when 124 of these alternative housing types were purchased. Duplex, town home, and villa sales in April 2008 were down by 5.45% compared to the number of sales that took place in March 2008 (110), a month that saw a 39.24% increase over February. In addition, February sales increased by 46.30% over January.

The majority (24) of duplexes, town homes, and villas sold in April 2008 fell into the $180,000 – $200,000 price category.

MSA Numbers

Sales of existing homes within the Orlando MSA (Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties) in April were down by 24.95% when compared to April of last year. Throughout the entire MSA, 1,375 homes were sold in April 2008 compared with 1,832 in April 2007. Year-to-date, the MSA is down by 36.62%, with 4,839 homes sold far in 2008 compared to 7,635 sold through April 2007.

Seminole County’s April 2008 sales dropped 29.34% below that of April 2007 (277 to 392), while Orange County fell 28.00% (653 to 907). Lake County saw a 13.26% decline in the number of sales in April 2008 compared to April 2007 (242 to 279), and Osceola County experienced a 20.08% drop (203 to 254).

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

Lake: 20.86% below 2007 (899 homes sold to date in 2008 compared to 1,136 in 2007);
Orange: 40.48% below 2007 (2,320 homes sold to date in 2008 compared to 3,898 in 2007);
Osceola: 37.06% below 2007 (669 homes sold to date in 2008 compared to 1,063 in 2007); and
Seminole: 38.17% below 2007 (951 sold to date in 2008 compared to 1,538 in 2007).

For more information, visit www.orlrealtor.com.

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