Florida Realtors® 2018 Real Estate Trends: Expect Growth in Employment, Population and Visitors

Orlando, FL – Jan. 29, 2018 (PRNewswire) Florida’s economy grew in 2017, and that positive momentum should continue in 2018, according to economists and business data experts who spoke to a crowd of about 500 Realtors® at the 2018 Florida Real Estate Trends event Thursday during Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Business Meetings.

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“For 2018, from a business point of view, Florida’s economy benefits from a growing population, strong and growing employment and a rising number of visitors,” said Dr. Tony Villamil, founder and principal advisor of The Washington Economics Group and a former U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs under President George H.W. Bush.

“In fact, Florida is growing faster in terms of employment growth than the rest of the U.S., which is good for Florida real estate.”

He noted the three major drivers of the state’s economy are 1) Florida’s business climate, including real estate sales; 2) the U.S. economy and financial market trends; and 3) the global economy.

“Overall, Florida is a positive, pro-business climate state and I don’t see that changing significantly,” Villamil said. “For U.S. economic activity, I see a lot of enthusiasm on tax reform and de-regulation – the U.S. economy is poised for a strong performance this year. We’ll likely see about 3 percent growth in the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) for the U.S.” He added that Florida’s GDP growth in 2018 is likely to also be about 3 to 3.5 percent.

Global economy activity is rebounding from its sluggish performance and growing, especially in major markets like Brazil and Canada, he noted. “Here in Florida, one of the sleepers is going to be India – it deserves a closer look,” Villamil said.

Another positive: Household net worth is at record levels, leaving consumers ready to spend – so real estate is in demand, he added.

However, “One downer here, is D.C. dysfunction,” Villamil cautioned. “In Washington, there’s a lot of animosity between the political parties. The key (for action) is going to be how we move toward less polarization between the parties.

“Florida’s economy depends on open markets. Looking at the global economy, in this area, I’m concerned about the administration’s policies.”

Other speakers who discussed trends for 2018 and beyond were Kevin Foreman, general manager of GeoAnalytics for INRIX Inc.; and Dr. Brad O’Connor, Florida Realtors chief economist.

Foreman discussed how self-driving cars will impact real estate in the future, noting that there are currently about 7,000 on the roads, with that figure expected to reach 4.5 million by 2035. There are four trends in self-driving cars: autonomous (Tesla, Uber, Google and others are working on versions of autonomous cars); also shared; electric; and connected. And there are five levels of autonomy, including hands-on at level 1, hands-off at 2, eyes-off at 3, mind-off at 4, and no-wheel at 5.

At his Seattle office, INRIX offers the chance on a rotating basis to get to work using a Tesla autonomous vehicle, Foreman said.

“It’s really nice to go to work and be able to shave, to eat (with both hands) and check email – oh, yes, you’re all Realtors – you already do that,” he said, earning laughs from the crowd.

Foreman added, “We as humans are starting to measure distance differently. It used to be in miles or kilometers. Now, it’s minutes – how long will it take me to get to the airport. Take a picture of traffic signals and milepost signs; they’ll be gone in 30 years.

“Now, many people want to search for homes in drive time, to see how long their commute would be to work, to school, and so on.”

According to Foreman, with self-driving cars, the new landscape for real estate will include:

  • No more speeding tickets
  • No more drunk driving
  • No more drivers’ licenses – the blind, elderly and kids can drive
  • Distracted driving – more texting, sleeping
  • Two-handed eating
  • Longer “drive” times – people can eat, sleep, work during commutes
  • Less office infrastructure
  • More agent productivity

Wrapping up the event, Florida Realtors Chief Economist Brad O’Connor took a look at what happened in Florida real estate in 2017 after Hurricane Irma, which made landfall on Cudjoe Key on Sept. 10 as a Category 4 with winds of more than 130 mph. Prior to Irma, Florida had not been hit by a major (Category 3 or above) hurricane in about 10 years.

To analyze what Hurricane Irma’s long-term impact might be on the market, Florida Realtors Research Department reviewed residential real estate sales data from Florida Realtors from 2004 and 2005 (during the span of time when Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Jeanne, Ivan, Dennis and Wilma struck Florida) as well hurricane claims data from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

“Long-term market impacts from landfalling hurricanes are rare and highly localized,” O’Connor said. “Long-term sales declines were observed only in coastal areas where a significant percentage of structures were severely damaged by Category 4+ winds.”

Short-term market impacts from a hurricane are more common and widespread, he added.

“Sales in areas where most homes did not experience severe structural damage rebounded within a month or two of landfall,” he said. “These temporary slowdowns were due to business activity halting ahead of the storm and power outages, regulations and additional required inspections afterwards.

“Sale prices don’t seem to care much about hurricanes. Plenty of buyers are happy to line up to buy the real estate as long as it’s not completely annihilated.”

Summarizing 2017 housing market activity, O’Connor said single-family existing home sales in Florida were up 1.2 percent over 2016’s sales level – and would have been up by about 3 percent if there had been no Hurricane Irma. 2017 sales of existing condos and townhouses were up about 3 percent year-over-year; and would likely have been about 6 percent higher than 2016 without Irma. The statewide median price in both sectors was up about 8 percent compared to a year ago.

“Dollar volume is up, time on market is down and inventory is down,” he said. “It’s really inventory constraints that’s bringing sales down. Not only aren’t enough homes being built, but people who own their homes aren’t moving. They used to stay in a home on average about seven years, and that median has moved up to 11 years now.”

The Miami Association of Realtors® was the title sponsor for the 2018 Florida Real Estate Trends event; co-sponsors included the Realtors® of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale; the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors®; Orlando Regional Realtor® Association; My Florida Regional MLS; and the Royal Palm Coast Realtor® Association.

Florida Realtors® serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 180,000 members in 54 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.

Florida Realtors® 2018 Real Estate Trends: What’s Ahead for Florida Real Estate?

Orlando, FL – Jan. 17, 2018 (PRNewswire) Real estate helps to fuel Florida’s growth, and figuring out what lies ahead in 2018 is a key question for policymakers, residents and Realtors®.

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Several highly respected economists and business data experts will share their insights at Florida Realtors® 2017 Florida Real Estate Trends on Jan. 25, 2018, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tickets are not required. The session is a highlight of Florida Realtors’ annual Mid-Winter Business Meetings, which take place from Jan. 24-27, 2018, at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld, 6677 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Fla., 32821.

Speakers include Dr. Tony Villamil, founder and principal of The Washington Economics Group, who will discuss the U.S. and Florida economic outlook; Kevin Foreman, general manager of GeoAnalytics for INRIX Inc., who will discuss how self-driving cars will impact the future of real estate; and Dr. Brad O’Connor, Florida Realtors chief economist, who will offer an update on Florida’s residential resale market.

“Florida home prices climbed at a brisk pace throughout 2017, continuing a trend which dates back to early 2012,” says O’Connor. “Growth in the number of sales, on the other hand, has been soft since late 2015. Both of these trends are currently driven by a housing shortage that, up to this point, has shown no immediate signs of subsiding. So a big question for 2018 is whether there will be enough new home construction to satisfy the high level of housing demand present throughout the state.”

He adds, “Between the housing shortage, Florida’s strong economic and employment growth, the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, the post-Maria influx from Puerto Rico, the recent tax reform bill out of Washington, and numerous other recent developments and trends, there’s certainly ample ground for us to cover at this year’s event as we preview what’s in store for 2018.”

Realtors and anyone interested in Florida’s future should attend the upcoming Real Estate Trends event, says 2018 Florida Realtors President Christine Hansen, broker-owner with Century 21 Hansen Realty in Fort Lauderdale.

She adds, “Learn what trends may develop for 2018 – you’ll gain insights that can expand your network, boost your productivity and offer future business opportunities.”

Florida Realtors® serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 180,000 members in 54 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.

Florida Housing Market: Sales, Listings, Median Prices Up in Nov. 2017

Orlando, FL – Dec. 20, 2017 (PRNewswire) Florida’s housing market continued its positive track in November, with more closed sales, more new listings, more pending sales and rising median prices according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 19,990 last month, up 1.3 percent compared to November 2016.

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“In November, Florida’s housing market reflected the trends we’ve grown accustomed to seeing throughout this year,” said 2017 Florida Realtors President Maria Wells, broker-owner with Lifestyle Realty Group in Stuart. “More owners decided to put their homes up for sale. New listings for single-family existing homes rose 1.8 percent year-over-year, while new listings for existing condo-townhouse properties rose 5.9 percent. However, even with the increase in new listings, inventory was still tight and buyer demand was great. Homes continued to sell quickly, resulting in increased pending sales – up 5.5 percent for single-family homes and up 9.3 percent for condo-townhouse units.

“In a fast-moving market like Florida, the best resource for consumers is a local Realtor, who will help successfully guide them through the complex process of buying or selling a home.”

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $240,000, up 9.1 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for condo-townhouse properties in November was $176,000, up 8.6 percent over the year-ago figure. November was the 71st consecutive month that statewide median prices for both sectors rose year-over-year. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in October 2017 was $248,300, up 5.4 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $236,800. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in October was $546,430; in Massachusetts, it was $375,000; in Maryland, it was $281,466; and in New York, it was $249,900.

Looking at Florida’s condo-townhouse market, statewide closed sales totaled 8,235 last month, up 5.8 percent compared to November 2016. Closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and foreclosures last month: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties declined 21.8 percent and foreclosures fell 41.7 percent year-to-year; short sales for single-family homes dropped 36 percent and foreclosures fell 45.9 percent year-to-year. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

“How did Florida’s home resale market fare in November? Florida Realtors’ November statistics paint a picture of a market that looks a lot more like what we were seeing throughout 2016 and in 2017 prior to the hurricane, at least at the statewide level,” said Florida Realtors® Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor. “Through November, total statewide dollar volume across all residential property types is sitting at about 105 billion dollars, compared to about 96 billion dollars at this time last year.

“How did we do it? Certainly not due to sales growth – thanks to Hurricane Irma, only one-and-a-half percent more homes have sold so far in 2017 compared to this point last year. The obvious driving force here is the continuing upward march of home prices.”

November’s for-sale inventory remained tight with a 3.8-months’ supply for single-family homes and a 5.7-months’ supply for condo-townhouse properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.92 percent in November 2017, up from the 3.77 percent averaged during the same month a year earlier.

To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Media Center at http://media.floridarealtors.org/ and look under Latest Releases, or download the November 2017 data report PDFs under Market Data at: http://media.floridarealtors.org/market-data

Florida Realtors® serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 170,000 members in 54 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.

Florida Housing Market – Sales, Median Prices Rise in October

Orlando, FL – November 21, 2017 (PRNewswire) The impact of Hurricane Irma on Florida’s housing market resolved by the end of October, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales, median prices, new listings and new pending sales rose even as the inventory of for-sale properties remained constrained in many areas. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 20,543 last month, up 2 percent compared to October 2016.

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“Home purchases stalled by Hurricane Irma striking Florida in September resumed – and many of those sales closed in October,” said 2017 Florida Realtors President Maria Wells, broker-owner with Lifestyle Realty Group in Stuart. “Areas hit hardest by the hurricane will still take time to recover, but in other parts of the state, real estate activity has returned. Sellers were ready to put their homes on the market in October, with new listings for single-family existing homes up 9.8 percent year-over-year; new listings for existing condo-townhouse properties rose 14.6 percent.

“Wherever you are, there is a local Realtor who can help you understand local market conditions and prepare for a successful home sale or home purchase.”

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $235,558, up 7.1 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for condo-townhouse properties in October was $170,000, up 5.2 percent over the year-ago figure. October was the 70th month-in-a-row that statewide median prices for both sectors rose year-over-year. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in September 2017 was $246,800, up 5.6 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $231,300. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in September was $555,410; in Massachusetts, it was $380,000; in Maryland, it was $277,746; and in New York, it was $257,500.

Looking at Florida’s condo-townhouse market, statewide closed sales totaled 8,116 last month, up 2.2 percent compared to October 2016. Closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and foreclosures last month: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties declined 22.5 percent and foreclosures fell 42.8 percent year-to-year; short sales for single-family homes dropped 36.7 percent and foreclosures fell 42.3 percent year-to-year. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

“Last month, we talked about how it’s not uncommon for Florida to see a quick rebound in sales of existing homes the month after a hurricane,” said Florida Realtors® Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor. “And, according to the latest data, that’s exactly what happened in the Sunshine State in October. Both single-family home and condo-townhouse sales rose, boosted in part by closings that otherwise would have been completed in September if not for delays brought about by Hurricane Irma.

“Because of the length of the home-selling process, we’ll likely see some reverberations of Irma’s impact statewide for a couple more months, but October’s statistics are very encouraging.”

October’s for-sale inventory remained tight with a 3.8-months’ supply for single-family homes and a 5.6-months’ supply for condo-townhouse properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.90 percent in October 2017; it averaged 3.47 percent during the same month a year earlier.

To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Media Center at http://media.floridarealtors.org/ and look under Latest Releases, or download the October 2017 data report PDFs under Market Data at: http://media.floridarealtors.org/market-data

Florida Realtors® serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 170,000 members in 54 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.

Florida Housing Market – Hurricane Irma Impacts Sales, Data in September 2017

Orlando, FL – Oct. 20, 2017 (PRNewswire) Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in the Keys on Sept. 10 and continued up the state’s west coast, affected Florida’s housing market data in September, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Fewer sales, pending sales and new listings were reported, though median prices rose as a still-tight inventory of for-sale homes remained the norm in many areas. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 18,030 last month, down 20.4 percent compared to September 2016.

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“The impact from Hurricane Irma was wide-ranging across Florida, though the devastation and damage was certainly greater in some areas, such as the Keys and in Naples,” said 2017 Florida Realtors President Maria Wells, broker-owner with Lifestyle Realty Group in Stuart. “But there were other consequences from Irma that disrupted the state’s economy and housing market as people took needed time for hurricane preparations and one of the largest evacuations in Florida’s history. Once Irma passed over the state, it took days or even longer to restore power to many areas, residents had to return from evacuations, and there was still debris cleanup, insurance claims and other issues to handle in the hurricane’s aftermath.

“It’s not surprising that Hurricane Irma had a negative impact on existing home and condominium sales across most local markets in September – but that’s a normal occurrence after a hurricane. To understand their housing market conditions, especially in times like this, consumers should work with a local Realtor, who can guide them through the complicated process of buying or selling a home.”

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $239,900, up 7.6 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in September was $173,000, up 8.1 percent over the year-ago figure. September was the 70th month-in-a-row that statewide median prices for both sectors rose year-over-year. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in August 2017 was $255,500, up 5.6 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $237,600. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in August was $565,330; in Massachusetts, it was $398,125; in Maryland, it was $287,816; and in New York, it was $270,000.

Looking at Florida’s townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 7,404 last month, down 15.9 percent compared to September 2016. Closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and foreclosures last month: Short sales for townhouse-condo properties declined 57 percent and foreclosures fell 62.3 percent year-to-year; short sales for single-family homes dropped 60.8 percent and foreclosures fell 60 percent year-to-year. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

“Perhaps the most important thing to understand about this month’s sales numbers is that these declines in real estate activity are not in any way indicative of a decline in the demand for housing going forward, or any other structural change in Florida’s housing market dynamics, for that matter,” said Florida Realtors® Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor. “This is the result of a temporary economic decline brought about by Irma before and after it passed through. We should expect to see similar temporary drops in restaurant and retail sales, job hiring and other economic indicators at the local level.”

O’Connor noted that, looking at housing and other data following the 2004 hurricanes in Florida, there is “strong evidence that Florida real estate always has willing buyers as long as the lights are on and infrastructure is back in place. In parts of the state that are already back to business as usual after Irma, we likely will see a similar rebound in the October numbers.”

Inventory remained constrained in September with a 3.8-months’ supply for single-family homes and a 5.5-months’ supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.81 percent in September 2017; it averaged 3.46 percent during the same month a year earlier.

To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Media Center at http://media.floridarealtors.org/ and look under Latest Releases, or download the September 2017 data report PDFs under Market Data at: http://media.floridarealtors.org/market-data

Florida Realtors® serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 170,000 members in 54 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.