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October 2011 Expanded Talking Points
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October 2011 Housing Market – Expanded Talking Points
Released November 14, 2011

Orlando Market Overview


*Orlando home sales (all home types combined) in October 2011 were up 5.89 percent over October 2010.

*Single-family home sales in the Orlando area increased by 18.16 percent in October when compared to October of last year. Condo sales decreased by 26.55 percent; duplex, town home, and villa sales remained exactly the same.

*Of the 2,068 sales in October, 854 "normal” sales accounted for 41.30 percent of all sales, while 500 bank-owned and 714 short sales made up 58.70 percent.

*The number of "normal” sales in October increased by 34.91 percent over October 2010, while short-sales increased 40.83 percent and foreclosures dropped 38.50 percent.

*The 8,937 homes pending closing in October of this year is an increase of 1.36 percent compared to the 8,817 pendings in October of last year.

*Sales of existing homes within the entire Orlando MSA (Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties) in October were up by 4.60 percent when compared to October of 2010. To date, sales in the MSA are down 1.20 percent.

Individual county’s monthly sales comparisons are as follows:

  • Lake: 8.47 percent above October 2010 (320 homes sold in October 2011 compared to 295 in October 2010);
  • Orange: 0.54 percent above October 2010 (1,293 homes sold in October 2011 compared to 1,286 in October 2010);
  • Osceola: 5.86 percent below October 2010 (450 homes sold in October 2011 compared to 478 in October 2010); and
  • Seminole: 28.65 percent above October 2010 (485 sold in October 2011 compared to 377 in October 2010).

Median Price

*The median price of all existing homes combined sold in October 2011, $112,700, is a 7.33 percent increase from the $105,000 median price recorded in October 2010.

*The median price for "normal” existing homes sold in October is $153,000, a decrease of 11.70 percent from the median price of "normal” existing homes in October 2010. The median price for bank-owned sales is $80,000 and the median price for short sales is $95,000.


*There are currently 9,973 homes available for purchase through the MLS. The October 2011 overall inventory level is 35.41 percent lower than it was in October 2010.

*Single-family home inventory is down 33.52 percent; condo inventory is down 38.69 percent.

*The current pace of sales translates into 4.82 months of inventory supply.

*New contracts are down 11.02 percent compared October of 2010.


*The Orlando affordability index decreased to 254.94 percent in October. First-time homebuyer affordability in October decreased to 181.29 percent.

*Homes of all types spent an average of 106 days on the market before coming under contract in October 2011, and the average home sold for 94.66 percent of its listing price.


"October marks the first time since March that sales have indicated a month-over-month improvement. This additional activity can be attributed to a multitude of local factors — such as low interest rates, a higher percentage of "normal” sales, and a steady incline in median price — that are encouraging buyers to take advantage of today extraordinary market conditions.”
-- ORRA Chairman of the Board Mike McGraw, McGraw Real Estate Services

Now is a good time to buy a house in Orlando because…

  • Although many try to forecast when prices will hit bottom, the truth is that no one can predict the bottom of any market until it has already happened.
  • Even within the Orlando market, different areas will "bottom” out at different times. Price fluctuations within each area of the Orlando market also differ.
  • Buyers who hold off purchasing a home because they are waiting for prices to fall further may miss out on the home that they really want. The inventory of homes available for purchase, especially condos, is on a steady decline.
  • Home prices have moderated, interest rates are at 40-year lows and the supply of homes for sale is plentiful. However, inventory has decreased by almost 60 percent since this time three years ago.
  • Currently, about 58 percent of Orlando homes sales are foreclosures and short sales, which are typically priced much lower than "normal” homes. These types of homes sales continue to put downward pressure on the reported median or average sales price.
  • Low interest rates, coupled with price declines, give trade-up buyers a unique opportunity to take advantage of market conditions. What an owner may lose on the sell side can be more than recovered on the buy side.

Florida Market Overview

  • Sales, existing single-family: 15,036 in September 2011 (10 percent increase compared to September 2010).
  • Sales, existing condo: 6,666 in September 2011 (10 percent increase compared to September 2010).
  • Median price, existing single-family: $133,900 in September 2011 (1.00 percent decrease compared to September 2010).
  • Median price, existing condo: $87,200 in September 2011 (7 percent increase compared to September 2010).

National Market Overview

  • Sales, existing single-family: 380,000 million in September 2011 (15.2 percent increase compared to September 2010).
  • Sales, existing condo: 53,000 in September 2011 (10.4 percent increase compared to August 2010).


"Existing-home sales have bounced around this year, staying relatively close to the current level in most months,” he said. "The irony is affordability conditions have improved to historic highs and more creditworthy borrowers are trying to purchase homes, but the share of contract failures is double the level of September 2010. Even so, the volume of successful buyers is higher than a year ago and is remaining fairly stable – this speaks to an unfulfilled demand.”
--NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun

Persuasive Points


  • Homeownership is an investment in your well-being and future.
  • Homeownership offers immediate benefits and long-term value.
  • Today’s market offers great opportunities for buyers and sellers.
  • The supply and choice of homes for sale is plentiful in most markets.
  • Mortgage interest rates are low.
  • Home prices are affordable.
  • REALTORS® add value to the real estate transaction.
  • REALTORS® are the most trusted resource for real estate information.

Economic and social benefits of homeownership

  • Homeowners benefit from the power of leverage. Buyers typically use their own money for just a portion of the home price, but the appreciation they realize is based on the property’s total value.
  • Given the leverage in purchasing a home, the average return on a 5 percent down payment over 10 years is usually three to five times greater than stock market returns.
  • The typical homeowner’s net worth ($205,200) was 49 times that of the typical renter ($4,200) in 2008, according to NAR calculations using the latest statistics from the Federal Reserve Board.
  • Homeownership offers "pride of ownership” — giving you control over your surroundings.
  • Homeownership strengthens communities. Homeowners are more likely to be involved and engaged in local issues, and they move less frequently than renters. This helps to prevent crime, improve childhood education and support neighborhood upkeep.
  • Owning a home is one of the best ways to build long-term wealth, providing both equity accumulation and tax benefits over time.

Buyer discussion topics

  • Home prices have moderated, interest rates are at all-time lows, and the supply of homes for sale is plentiful. However, in some markets, the supply of unsold homes is beginning to diminish.
  • Foreclosures are selling quickly in most places, especially in the lower price ranges that are attractive to first-time buyers.
  • There are a number of attractive and safe mortgage products available now, providing additional reasons for buyers to get off the fence and into the market.
  • The FHA single-family loan program is alive and well. As specialty mortgages have faded away, FHA is stepping in. In fact, the FHA market share is up to more than 30 percent, from just 6 percent in 2007.

Seller discussion topics

  • Low interest rates, coupled with price declines give trade-up buyers a unique opportunity to take advantage of market conditions. What an owner may lose on the sell side can be more than recovered on the buy side.
  • In some markets, prices have begun to rise, however, sellers should not expect explosive growth in home values.
  • A return to the traditional 3-5 percent annual home price appreciation rate is likely in 2011. However, this is a national average and local markets vary widely. It’s best to consult a REALTOR® for the most accurate local market conditions and to help you set the right selling price.
  • To sell quickly, make sure your home carries a compelling price, not just a comparable one.

Use a REALTOR® discussion topics

  • It has never been more important than now to work with a REALTOR®, the local market professional, to properly gauge local neighborhood conditions.
  • A growing number of consumers understand the importance of working with a REALTOR®. The level of "For Sale By Owner” properties (FSBOs) was a record low 9 percent of all home sales in 2010, down from 11 percent in 2009. The share of homes sold without professional representation has trended down since reaching a cyclical peak of 18 percent in 1997.
  • Nearly half of all FSBOs in 2010 were private sales between parties who know each other. Only 5 percent of all sales actually were between unrepresented sellers in private transaction.
  • Distressed sales — foreclosures and short sales — account for more than a third of all transactions nationwide. This varies widely from market to market — sometimes even from neighborhood to neighborhood. Distressed homes typically are selling at a 15 percent discount, but this varies widely by market, as well.
  • REALTORS® have access to the most up-to-date and comprehensive property listing and sales information, making them a buyer’s best resource in finding the home that is right for each customer.
  • Many markets have two levels of pricing: distressed sales and traditional sales. Foreclosures and short-sales tend to carry prices as much as of 20 percent below traditional homes in the same area. REALTORS® can help both buyers and sellers navigate today’s tricky market conditions.

Source: NAR Surround Sound Campaign

Why homeownership matters…

To people

  • Homeowners are happier and healthier and enjoy a greater feeling of control over their lives.
  • Owning a home is one of the best ways to build long-term wealth. Historically, a homeowner’s net worth has ranged from 31 to 46 times that of a renter.
  • Home owners are free to redecorate, renovate, and modify their homes as they wish.
  • Most home owners enjoy stable housing costs — a fixed-rate mortgage payment might not change for 15 to 30 years while rent typically increases 3 percent a year.
  • Homeowners can typically deduct mortgage interest and property taxes on their federal individual income tax return.

To communities

  • People who own homes vote more, volunteer more and contribute more to their neighborhoods.
  • Homeowners do not move as frequently as renters, providing more neighborhood stability. In turn, this stability helps reduce crime and supports neighborhood upkeep.
  • Children of homeowners do better in school, stay in school longer, are more likely to participate in organized activities and spend less time in front of the television.

To the United States

  • 67 percent of American households are owner-occupied. America is a nation of home owners.
  • Homeowners pay 80 to 90 percent of federal individual income taxes, contributing to federal programs that benefit all Americans.
  • Every home purchased pumps $60,000 into the economy for furniture, home improvements, and related items.
  • Housing accounts for more than 15 percent of the national Gross Domestic Product, a key driver of our national economy.

Source: NAR Homeownership Matters Campaign

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