Thursday, July 23, 2015

Sales Up In Abnormal Brevard County Real Estate Market

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida -- Residential real estate sales are up on the Space Coast and across Florida. But certain aspects of Brevard County's real estate market remain statistical outliers when compared to the rest of the U.S.

Highest Sales Volume in 10 Years, High Percentage of Bank-Owned Properties 

The Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville Metropolitan Statistical Area (Brevard County, Florida) was among 23 real estate markets across the U.S. where sales volume in the first four months of 2015 was at 10-year high, according to RealtyTrac. 

However, Brevard County also had the fourth-highest percentage of bank-owned sales in the nation in May 2015. Bank-owned properties accounted for 11.9% of all residential sales on the Space Coast in May. The only other real estate markets to have higher bank-owned sales were Flint, Michigan (16.0%), Mobile, Alabama (13.1%), and Tallahassee, Florida (12.6%).

Underwater Homeowners

1 out of every 4 properties (24.5%) in Brevard County were seriously underwater during the first quarter of 2015 - nearly double the national rate of 13.2%, according to RealtyTrac. Properties are considered "seriously underwater" by RealtyTrac when the combined loan amount secured by the property is at least 25% higher than the property’s estimated market value.

Brevard County June Real Estate Sales

Sales of townhouse-condos were up 25.8% year-over-year, and the median price of those units rose 8.5% to $134,500 on Florida's Space Coast, according to a housing market report released by Florida Realtors.

Brevard County's May closed sales of existing single-family homes were up 10% from a year ago. The median price of those homes sold rose 21.4% to $170,000, but was still $33,500 less than the statewide average of $203,500. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

Florida's Housing Market

Florida's housing market reported more closed sales, higher median prices and tightening inventory in June, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors

Statewide, closed sales of single-family homes totaled 27,729  last month, up 19.6% over June 2014. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $200,000, up 11.1% from the previous year.

In Florida’s townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 10,991, up 14.6% compared to June of last year. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in June was $152,076, up 7.9% over the year-ago figure.

The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales in the Sunshine State when compared to June 2014. Short sales for townhouse-condo properties declined 36.1% while short sales for single-family homes dropped 30.4%.


Market Overheating?

Inventory continues to tighten in Florida, with a 4.6-months' supply in June for single-family homes and a 5.5-months' supply for townhouse-condo properties. Most analysts consider a 6-month supply of inventory as the benchmark for a balanced market between buyers and sellers, according to Florida Realtors.

"With the continued growth in both sales and prices in Florida, it raises the question of whether the market is starting to overheat," says Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. "The decline in inventories to seller-market levels, and the decline in days on market, tend to suggest that possibility as well. But there are mitigating factors here. First of all, the real inventory pressure is in the lowest price tiers, which has been the case for several months. Secondly, going forward, the rise in condo sales and prices will be mitigated by increased supply in the form of condo towers now under construction.

"And finally, the Federal Reserve will soon be raising interest rates, which will have a dampening effect on demand."

Image Credit: Wiki Commons