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Florida condo values rise twice as fast as houses
Florida property prices have risen 28 months in a row

Florida condo values rise twice as fast as houses

Median townhouse-condo values in Florida have risen 16.7% in the last year, more than twice the 7.1% rate of single-family homes, the latest figures show

Townhouse-condo median price rises in Florida, USA, have risen twice as fast as single home values in the year to March, the latest figures show.

Median townhouse-condo prices – the midpoint of all sales in March – was US$140,000, up 16.7% year-on-year, while single-family home values rose 7.1% annually to US$173,000, according to data from Florida Realtors.

Closed sales volumes rose increased for single-family homes but were down for condos. New listings also rose during March and the price rise was the 28th monthly increase in a row.

Florida Realtors President, Sherri Meadows, who is also CEO and team leader at agent Keller Williams, says, “Realtors across Florida are reporting fewer short sales of distressed properties and more interest from potential home sellers as they observe the return of more traditional market conditions. Statewide, new listings for single-family homes in March rose 16.5 per cent year-over-year, while new townhouse-condo listings rose 10.3 per cent.”

The prices were lower than the US national median for single-family homes, which reached US$189,200 in February, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), and condo prices that hit US$187,900.

Townhome-condo closed sales in Florida totalled 9,580, down 5.2% on March 2013, reflecting a 62.8% fall in short sales and single-family homes short sales dropped 55.3%. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo, says, “What we’re seeing is a market we can live with,” said “Sales are up, inventories are increasing moderately and days on the market are shrinking slightly.

“What’s of particular interest this month is how market activity has moved up the price ladder. We are seeing greater sales gains and inventory increases, and strong percentage decreases in days on the market, for homes priced above $250,000. This is a break from the trends we were seeing last year and bears watching for the future.

“A trend that is continuing is the rapid decline in short sales, as increasing prices reduce the incentive for homeowners to seek short sales.”

Inventory was at a 5.7-months’ supply last month for single-family homes and at a 6-months’ supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors.

Florida Realtors, formerly known as the Florida Association of Realtors, serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 127,000 members in 61 boards/associations.

* Vacant land plots in Florida are available for as little as US$11,000 (around £6,500) says UK consultancy, The Overseas Investor.

“Such plots are ready for turning into all kinds of new developments to capitalize on the high demand that Florida experiences. With more than 1,000 US citizens moving into Florida every day, it is not only tourist developments but residential ones that can bring in excellent returns.”

Buy-to-let villas start from around US$35,350 (£21,000) and rental guarantees and buyback options are available for investors, The Overseas Investor says.

“Investors looking into this market will find affordable prices, as little as £21,000, 50/50 splitting of rental returns, guaranteed buyback and several weeks of the year set aside for personal usage. Buy-to-let villas in Florida also tend to bring in high returns, and thanks to the area’s thriving tourist industry they benefit from high demand meaning there is a very low risk of any prolonged vacancy. Luxury villas that are close to Disneyland, in particular, command high prices and experience extremely strong demand.”

By Adrian Bishop, Editor, OPP Connect


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