Members of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association in April sold nearly seven times more homes in the lower-price range categories than in the upper categories, which according to economists is typical of a rebounding market.
“Orlando’s housing market appears to be following a recognized healing pattern — from the bottom up — as evidenced by the greater number of sales in the lower-price categories,” explains ORRA President Les Simmonds, L.G. Simmonds Real Estate Corp. “For example 75 percent of homes sold in April were purchased for less than $200,000, while 10 percent sold for more than $300,000. And, we expect the ratio of sales of lower-priced homes to increase exponentially as more and more first-time homebuyers seek to take advantage of the $8,000 federal tax credit.”
Sales activity in the lower-price categories gradually stimulates sales in other categories as sellers who want to become trade-up buyers are able to sell their current homes.
Forward-looking factors also indicate an improving market: REALTORS® filed 3,412 new contracts in the month of April, nearly double than the number of contracts that were filed in April 2008 (2,012), and are awaiting the closing of a record 5,818 pending sales. There were 103.90 percent more homes under contract last month than in April 2008 (2,853).
The 1,741 completed closings in April is a 41.43 percent increase compared to April 2008 (1,231) and a 0.74 percent decrease compared to last month (1,754). Year to date, there have been 42.58 percent more sales than by this time last year (5,867 to 4,115).
The median price of all Orlando homes sold in April ($132,900) decreased by 37.01 percent compared to April 2008 while the area’s average interest rate increased to 4.86 percent, up from last month’s record low of 4.67 percent.
Of the 1,741 sales in April, 49.68 percent of the homes were either bank-owned (733) or distressed (132). The median price of the bank-owned homes sold in April was $89,900, while the median price of distressed homes was $146,000. The median price for the “normal” homes (876) sold in April was $161,245.
The area’s affordability index continues to nudge the 200 percent mark, 194.01 percent to be exact. (An affordability index of 99 percent means that buyers earning the state-reported median income are 1 percent short of the income necessary to purchase a median-priced home. Conversely, an affordability index that is over 100 means that median-income earners make more than is necessary to qualify for a median-priced home.) Buyers who earn the reported median income of $52,307 can qualify to purchase one of 11,233 homes in Orange and Seminole counties currently listed in the local multiple listing service (MLS) for $257,840 or less.
The first-time homebuyer affordability in Orlando is currently 137.96 percent. First-time buyers who earn the reported median income of $35,569 can qualify to purchase one of 7,027 homes in Orange and Seminole counties currently listed in the local multiple listing service (MLS) for $155,850 or less.
Homes of all types spent an average of 104 days on the market before being sold in April 2009, and the average home sold for 93.14 percent of its listing. In April 2008 those numbers were 120 and 93.18 percent, respectively.
The majority of single-family homes (153) that changed hands in April 2009 were sold in the $200,000 – $250,000 price range. Eight hundred eighty-seven homes sold for less than $200,000 in April, and 159 sold for more than $300,000. On the far ends of the scale, 12 homes were sold for $1 million or more while 102 homes sold for less than $50,000.
There are currently 20,194 homes available for purchase through the MLS. Inventory decreased by 1,254 homes from March 2009, which means that 1,254 more homes left the market than entered the market. Compared to last year, the April 2009 inventory level is 20.60 percent lower than it was in April 2008 (25,436).
The inventory level reflects an 11.60-month supply at the current pace of sales, which is down from the 12.23-month supply recorded in March 2009 and equal to the pace during the last quarter of 2006. Altogether, inventory months-of-supply has declined 5.15 percent since January 2009.
There are 14,472 single-family homes currently listed in the MLS, a number that is 4,579 (24.04 percent) less than this time last year. As usual, most (1,755) are listed in the $200,000 – $250,000 price range. Condos currently make up 3,928 offerings in the MLS, while duplexes/town homes/villas make up the remaining 1,794. Most condos (622) are priced below $50,000; the majority of duplexes/town homes/villas (273) are listed in the $120,000 – $140,000 price category.
Condos and Town Homes/Duplexes/Villas
The sales of condos in the Orlando area have increased by 167.52 percent (down from last month’s massive increase of 252.22 percent). A total of 313 condos changed hands in April of this year compared to 117 in April 2008. Nine hundred eighty-three condos have sold to date this year, a 138.01 percent increase over last year’s 413.
The most (148) condos in a single price category that changed hands were in the $1 – $50,000 price range, again nearly three times the number (49) that were sold in the next most populated category ($50,000 – $60,000).
Sales of existing homes within the Orlando MSA (Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties) in April were up by 48.26 percent when compared to April of last year. Throughout the entire MSA, 2,178 homes were sold in April 2009 compared with 1,469 in April 2008.
Each county’s year-to-date sales comparisons are as follows:
Lake: 24.67 percent above 2008 (1,142 homes sold to date in 2009 compared to 916 in 2008);