Final tally: 2016 a down year for South Florida home sales

    South Florida home sales declined throughout 2016, especially in the condo market, according to the Florida Realtors.
    The final tally of existing homes sales summed up a disappointing year for volume and a slowdown in price appreciation for condos. A decline in cash deals from international investors and a smaller inventor of distressed homes both contributed to fewer closings.
    The tri-county region had 47,835 single-family home sales in 2016, a 2.2 percent decline from 2015. The median sales price increased 8.9 percent to $305,000. By comparison, in 2015 South Florida home sales increased 9.7 percent and the median sales price grew 6.4 percent.
    Statewide, single-family home sales increased 0.9 percent to 268,731 while the median sales price increased 12.2 percent to $219,900. The Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville markets all had more single-family home sales. The biggest drop in single-family home sales was in the Naples market at 8.2 percent and its gain in median sales price of 3.8 percent was the smallest. The Sebring market posted the largest gain in median sales price at 20 percent.
    “This past year was marked by tight housing inventory throughout Florida, particularly in the range of $200,000 and under,” said 2017 Florida Realtors President Maria Wells, broker-owner with Lifestyle Realty Group in Stuart. “Buyer interest was high and home sales likely would have been even stronger if there had been enough available for-sale supply to satisfy demand.”
    In the condo/townhouse market, sales dropped 7 percent to 43,431 in South Florida. The median sales price increased 7.1 percent to $165,000. In 2015, sales grew 1.8 percent and the median sales price was up 6.8 percent. Sales volume has declined for 13 consecutive months through December.
    Throughout Florida, condo/townhouse sales fell 4.2 percent to 107,953 while the median sales price increased 6.7 percent to $160,000. Once again, the Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville markets all saw increases in sales.
    “This tempered growth in sales was largely due to a shortage of homes for sale at the affordable end of the price spectrum – much of which was due to a rapid depletion of Florida’s remaining stock of distressed properties,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Brad O’Connor. “Sales of non-distressed single-family homes, on the other hand, were up nearly 14 percent in 2016, and non-distressed condo and townhouse sales were up more than 5 percent. This increase in ‘traditional’ sales activity is a clear sign of good things to come for Florida’s housing markets in 2017.”
    Original Content South Florida Business Journal

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