Planning to Sell? Here’s What You Need to Know About the Market
Have you been thinking about selling your Florida home, but are unsure if now is the right time? You’re certainly not alone—the Florida real estate market has behaved like a roller coaster for most of the last decade. Right now, there are signs that the market is beginning to improve. Marketwatch reports: Pending sales and median prices rose, while the inventory of homes for sale dropped in Florida's housing market in February 2012, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. "Growing optimism about the economy, gains in the state's jobs market and continued low mortgage rates are generating interest in Florida real estate," says 2012 Florida Realtors President Summer Greene, regional manager of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Florida 1st in Fort Lauderdale. "Increased statewide pending sales for both single family existing homes, up 36.1 percent, and for townhouse-condo properties, up 19.8 percent, show that buyers are encouraged by these positive signs." The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in February was $134,000, up 7.2 percent from the year-ago figure, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department and vendor partner 10K Research and Marketing. The statewide median for townhome-condo properties was $95,000, up 15.9 percent over Feb. 2011. "The overall picture that these statistics show is of a stabilizing housing market," said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. "While closed sales are down, so are listings and so is inventory. These are signs of a market that's moving from being a buyer's market to a balanced market. "For the past year, median sales prices have been slowly rising; and over a longer period of time, prices have really flattened out - again, signs of an improving housing market." The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.89 percent in February 2012, down from the 4.95 percent average during the same month a year earlier, according to Freddie Mac. As a homeowner, it is encouraging to see that home values are continuing to rise, and it’s also encouraging to see that interest rates are declining—because, of course, that makes it easier for prospective buyers to secure the financing they need. It’s clear that the market is improving, at least for the moment. (There have been enough setbacks over the last several years that it’s wise to take everything with a grain of salt.) What remains unclear is whether home values will return to their pre-2007 levels anytime soon. Homeowners who have the ability to wait and see may be wise to do just that—but if you don’t have that luxury, the fact that the market is gaining steam should make you feel better. Of course, as a home seller you aren’t entirely at the mercy of the market. Home staging services are proven to both increase the value of a home and to help it sell faster. If you’d like to learn more, get in touch with us today!