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Dramatic rise in short-sale closings, median price drive improvements

Wednesday, December 14, 2011  
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The overall median sales price ($115,000) of existing homes in Orlando is 9.52 percent higher this November than in November 2010, buoyed by increases both in the number of closings and in the median price of short sales, reports the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association.

The number of short-sale transactions in November 2011 jumped 39.38 percent compared to November 2010, and the median price of short sales improved by 7.07 percent (to $106,000 from $99,000).

"The increase in completed short-sales transactions is heartening,” says ORRA Chairman Mike McGraw, McGraw Real Estate Services, PL, who adds that short sales currently make up 73 percent of homes awaiting closings. "The very tight current lending conditions plus under-value appraisals are still causing both enormous slowdowns and outright contract cancellations among short sales. The sooner these short sales are processed through the system, the better it will be for the normal-home market.”

The National Association of REALTORS® states that contract failures reported by NAR members jumped to 33 percent in October 2011, compared to 8 percent in October 2010.

"Regardless, an improved median sales price in any category is good for homeowners and home sellers,” continues McGraw, "but it also means that buyers are going to encounter proportionally higher asking prices.”

Since January of this year, Orlando’s overall median price has increased by 21.18 percent.

The median price of "normal” sales closing in November 2011 was $148,000 (a decrease of 7.50 percent compared to November 2010), and normal sales accounted for 40.10 percent of all transactions. The median price for bank-owned sales in November was $81,999 (an increase of 4.12 percent compared to November 2010), and bank-owned sales accounted for 23.23 percent of all transaction.

Members of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association participated in about the same number of sales in November of this year and last: 1,950 and 1,936, respectively.

Sales of foreclosed homes declined 41.92 percent in November 2011 compared to November 2010, while short sales and "normal” sales both increased (by 39.38 percent and 21.62 percent, respectively).

The Orlando average interest has hit a new record low. Buyers who purchased an Orlando area home in November paid average interest rate of 4.10 percent, which is the lowest since the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association began tracking the statistic in January of 1995. The previous record was set in September of this year: 4.19 percent.

Homes of all types spent an average of 99 days on the market before coming under contract in November 2011, and the average home sold for 94.74 percent of its listing price. In November 2010 those numbers were 96 days and 94.13 percent, respectively.

Pendings

Pending sales – those under contract and awaiting closing – are currently at 8,909. The number of pending sales in November 2011 is a barely noticeable 0.99 percent lower than in November 2010.

Short sales made up 73 percent of pending sales in November 2011. "Normal” properties accounted for 15 percent of pendings, while bank-owned accounted for 11 percent. In November 2011, short sales were 64 percent of pendings while normal properties were 14 percent and bank-owned were 23 percent.

Inventory

Current overall inventory is down 33.28 percent compared to November 2010, and up 1.63 percent compared to October 2011.

Current single-family home inventory is down 32.63 percent compared to November 2010, while current condo inventory is down 32.28 percent compared to November 2010.

At the current pace of sales, there is a 5.20-month supply of homes in Orlando’s inventory (up from a 4.68-month supply in October 2011).

Affordability

The Orlando affordability index decreased two percentage points in November, to 253.42 percent, as a result of the increase in median price. (An affordability index of 99 percent means that buyers earning the state-reported median income are 1 percent 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 $54,074 can qualify to purchase one of 5,787 homes in Orange and Seminole counties currently listed in the local multiple listing service for $291,428 or less.

First-time homebuyer affordability in November decreased a bit to 180.21 percent from last month’s 181.61 percent. First-time buyers who earn the reported median income of $36,770 can qualify to purchase one of the 4,194 homes in Orange and Seminole counties currently listed in the local multiple listing service for $176,152 or less.

Condos and Town Homes/Duplexes/Villas

The sales of condos in the Orlando area (286) decreased by 26.85 percent in November when compared to November of 2010 (391).

The most (117) condos in a single price category that changed hands in November were yet again in the $1 - $50,000 price range and account for 40.91 percent of all condo sales. While low-price condos still dominate closings, the number of sold units in this price category have steadily declined from a high of 288 in January.

Orlando homebuyers purchased 204 duplexes, town homes, and villas in November 2011, which a 7.94 percent increase compared to November 2010. Most (37) fell within the $100,000 - $120,000 price range.

MSA Numbers

Sales of existing homes within the entire Orlando MSA (Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties) in November were down by 0.33 percent when compared to November of 2010. Throughout the MSA, 2,410 homes were sold in November 2011 compared with 2,418 in November 2010. To date, sales in the MSA are down 0.87 percent.

Each individual county’s monthly sales comparisons are as follows:

  • Lake: 5.28 percent below November 2010 (287 homes sold in November 2011 compared to 303 in November 2010);
  • Orange: 2.76 percent above November 2010 (1,301 homes sold in November 2011 compared to 1,266 in November 2010);
  • Osceola: 10.87 percent below November 2010 (418 homes sold in November 2011 compared to 469 in November 2010); and
  • Seminole: 6.32 percent above November 2010 (404 sold in November 2011 compared to 380 in November 2010).

This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association and the My Florida Regional Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor MFRMLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association or MFRMLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. Due to late closings, an adjustment is necessary to record those closings posted after our reporting date.

ORRA REALTOR® sales, referred to as the core market, represent all sales by members of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, not necessarily those sales strictly in Orange and Seminole counties. Note that statistics released each month may be revised in the future as new data is received.

Orlando MSA numbers reflect sales of homes located in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, and Lake counties by members of any REALTOR® association, not just members of ORRA.


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