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News & Information: Real Estate News

Orlando inventory hits five-year low; median price rises 13 percent

Monday, April 16, 2012  
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A third consecutive jump in Orlando’s median price plus yet another drop in inventory and a month-to-month increase in sales are strong signs of continuing improvement in Orlando’s housing market, reports the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association.

"These factors also indicate a shift toward favoring sellers, and the downward slide in inventory means a downward slide in the number of choices available to buyers,” explains ORRA Chairman of the Board Stephen Baker, RE/MAX Central Realty. "A great time for buyers to explore their options is during the REALTOR® Nationwide Open House, April 28 – 29, when REALTORS® will be opening scores of their listings to visitors.”

Buyers should look for blue balloons with the REALTOR® "R” trademark in white to find participating open homes. Many homes scheduled to be open April 28 - 29 will also be tagged within the "Property Search” function on www.myfloridahomesmls.com, the consumer website of the Orlando area’s multiple listing service.

The overall median price of Orlando homes has increased 12.75 percent over March 2011’s median price of $102,000, to $115,000. In addition, the March 2012 overall median price is 3.60 percent higher than that recorded in February 2012 ($111,000).

The March 2012 median prices of both bank-owned sales and normal sales increased in comparison to March 2011: bank-owned sales by 5.25 percent (to $84,200 from $80,000) and normal sales by 3.33 percent (to $155,000 from $150,000). The median price of short sales decreased by 0.73 percent (from $102,000 to $102,750).

Members of ORRA participated in 2,327 home sales in March 2012, an increase of 17.82 compared to February 2012 but a decrease of 10.95 percent compared to March 2011. More than 40 percent of March 2012 sales were normal; short sales made up 33.00 percent and foreclosure sales made up 26.51 percent. By comparison, in March 2011 normal sales accounted for 29.16 percent while short sales accounted for 24.34 percent and foreclosures accounted for 46.50 percent.

The average interest rate paid by Orlando homebuyers in March was 3.99 percent. The lowest average interest rate since ORRA began tracking the statistic hit in February 2012, when it was 3.92 percent. A year ago, homebuyers paid an average interest rate of 4.91 percent.

Homes of all types spent an average of 97 days on the market before coming under contract in March 2012, and the average home sold for 94.83 percent of its listing price. In March 2011 those numbers were 103 days and 95.35 percent, respectively.

Pendings

Pending sales – those under contract and awaiting closing – are currently at 9,748. The number of pending sales in March 2012 is 2.50 percent higher than it was in March 2011 (9,510) and 4.28 percent higher than it was in February 2012 (9,348).

Short sales, which take much longer to process from contract to close, made up 69.07 percent of pending sales in March 2012. "Normal” properties accounted for 17.90 percent of pendings, while bank-owned properties accounted for 13.03 percent.

Inventory

The number of existing homes available for purchase in Orlando is continuing a steady decline that began in back in July 2010 at 16,563 and now rests at 8,666. In March 2012, inventory was 30.85 percent less than it was in March 2011.

The inventories of single-family homes and condos are both down: single-family by 31.95 percent and condo by 20.78 percent.

The current inventory combined with the current pace of sales equates to a 3.72-month supply of homes in Orlando, a pace not seen since December of 2005 when it was a 3.58-month supply.

Affordability

The increase in median price has led to a decrease in Orlando’s affordability index: the March index of 257.88 percent is more than 11 percentage points lower than February 2012’s index of 269.16 percent. (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 $54,302 can qualify to purchase one of 4,858 homes in Orange and Seminole counties currently listed in the local multiple listing service for $296,560 or less.

First-time homebuyer affordability in March dipped to 183.38 percent from last month’s 191.40 percent. First-time buyers who earn the reported median income of $36,925 can qualify to purchase one of the 3,551 homes in Orange and Seminole counties currently listed in the local multiple listing service for $179,254 or less.

Condos and Town Homes/Duplexes/Villas

The sales of condos in the Orlando area decreased by 23.20 percent in March when compared to March of 2011 (384 to 500).

The most (155) condos in a single price category that changed hands in March were yet again in the $1 - $50,000 price range and account for 40.36 percent of all condo sales. Orlando homebuyers purchased 232 duplexes, town homes, and villas in March 2012, which is a 4.53 percent decrease compared to March 2011. Most (44) fell within the $100,000 - $120,000 price range; another 33 properties sold for less than $50,000.

MSA Numbers

Sales of existing homes within the entire Orlando MSA (Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties) in March were down by 10.12 percent when compared to March of 2011. Throughout the MSA, 2,993 homes were sold in March 2012 compared with 3,330 in March 2011. To date, sales are down 11.56 percent for all counties combined.

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

Lake: 4.11 percent above March 2011 (431 homes sold in March 2012 compared to 414 in March 2011);
Orange: 12.37 percent below March 2011 (1,509 homes sold in March 2012 compared to 1,722 in March 2011);
Osceola: 18.46 percent below March 2011 (552 homes sold in March 2012 compared to 677 in March 2011); and
Seminole: 3.09 percent below March 2011 (501 sold in March 2012 compared to 517 in March 2011).

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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