Migration helped boost Florida’s market in 2019, according to Florida Realtors

by Kerrie Kennedy

Sales of existing single-family homes were up 11.6 percent year-over-year, prices were up 4.3 percent year-over-year and pending sales for existing single-family homes rose 13.2 percent year-over-year.

Sales of condomiums and townhomes were also up, albeit slightly at 3.3 percent year-over-year. The median sales price for condo-townhouse properties for the quarter was up 5.9 percent year-over-year.

“Florida’s economy is growing and every day, more than 900 people are moving to the Sunshine State, according to state economists,” said 2020 Florida Realtors President Barry Grooms, a Realtor and co-owner of SaraBay Suncoast Realty Inc. in Bradenton. “The state’s jobs market remains strong with the latest unemployment rate at a record low of 3 percent even better than the national unemployment rate of 3.5 percent. Mortgage interest rates have continued to remain at historically low levels, which is good news for homebuyers”

While low mortgage interest rates helped fuel Florida home sales in the 4th quarter, they’re also generating the absorption of inventory, said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor.

“The number of properties being listed for sale has not been changing much, so the result is that the surge in sales is continuing to drive down inventory levels. As long as we continue to see these low rates, we should expect this trend to keep pushing home values upward.”

At the end of 2019, single-family home inventory stood at a 3.4-months’ supply condo-townhouse inventory was at a 5.2-months’ supply.

Still, looking to 2020, O’Connor forecast a robust outlook for Florida’s housing market. According to O’Connor, in-migration from five origin states – New York, Georgia, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey – is giving Florida’s market a unique advantage.

“It was exciting to see the almost 6 percent growth in closed single-family sales in 2019 from 2018,” said O’Connor. “Florida topped over $100 billion in volume in home sales last year, up 8.3 percent from 2018. For condo-townhouses, we reached $31.6 billion in volume, up 1.8 percent over the 2018 figure.”

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