Orlando area home sales experienced the seventh consecutive month of increased sales and the 13th consecutinve month of decreasing inventory. There were 47.59 percent more homes sold in March of this year than March of last year.
The March 2009 inventory level is 15.80 percent lower than it was in March 2008. In March, we had 21,448 homes for sale on the MLS. The inventory consisted of 15,407 single family homes, 4,111 condos and 1,930 duplexes/town homes/villas. This reflects a 12.98-month supply, down from the 16.77-month supply recorded just one month earlier (Feb 09). Overall, the months-of-supply has declined 39.74 percent since January 2009.
Pending sales continued upward again in March to 4,906. more than double the 2,398 recorded during the same month last year.
ORRA President Les Simmonds, remarked "Lower prices, record low interest rates, and a vast selection of homes give homebuyers increased buying power, making it an excellent time to buy a home. This is especially true for first-time buyers who are eligible for the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit." The area's average interest rate dropped yet again to 4.67 percent, its lowest point on record.
While properties are selling the prices are still low. The median price of all Orlando homes sold in March ($137,000) decreased by 37.73 percent compared to March 2008.
49.06 percent of the homes were either bank-owned (700) or distressed (111) homes. The median price of the bank-owned homes sold in March was $95,000, while the median price of distressed homes was $143,500. The median price for the " typical arms length sale" homes (842) sold in March was $174,995.
The good news is the lower prices sends the affordability index to yet another record high of 192.17 percent. 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 purchase a home. For example, first-time buyers who earn the reported median income of $26,000 can qualify to purchase one of 7,366 homes in Orange and Seminole counties currently listed for $159,132 or less.
Time On Market
Homes of all types spent an average of just over 3 months (104 days) on the market before being sold and the average home sold for 92.66 percent of its listing. The majority of single-family homes (181) that changed hands in March 2009 were sold in the $200,000 - $250,000 price range.
Condos and Town Homes/Duplexes/Villas
The sales of condos in the Orlando area have increased by 227.78 percent. The most (120) condos in a single price category that changed hands were in the $1 - $50,000 price range, nearly three times the number (44) that were sold in the next most populated category ($50,000 - $60,000).
Buyers Market Strategies
If it looks like a steal - don't hesitate. Make your best offer and then take the inspection period to do a closer inspection and make the final decision.
Properties listed at bargain prices are selling within days (sometimes hours). Many of these sell for a little above the listed price and most agents are taking multiple offers and then asking for the buyers "highest and best".
Get pre qualified for a mortgage or be prepared to show proof of funds. We are finding the majority of the bargains in the bank owned listings. The banks almost always require a prequalification letter or proof of funds to accompany any offer before they will even consider looking at it. Country Wide and Wells Fargo require buyers to be prequalified with one of their own lenders. I have buyers who were offering the best price and terms but lost out to another buyer who was just better prepared and got the offer in quicker.
Buying? EMAIL ME FOR A FREE LIST OF BANK OWNED bargain prices in your area.
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