The December 2009 housing stats have been released by the Orlando Regional Realtor Association. Here is a direct link to those numbers. Below is a breakdown. The stats are for Seminole County & Orange County, Florida including the cities of Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Waterford Lakes, Apopka, Ocoee, Winter Garden, Altamonte Springs, Longwood, Casselberry, Lake Mary, Sanford, Oviedo, & Winter Springs.
Inventory New Pendings Under Contract Expired Withdrawn Closed Days on Market
Dec 2008 22,524 1871 3265 2707 1579 1445 107
Oct 2009 15,743 3864 9050 924 646 2319 92
Nov 2009 16,002 3023 8633 636 1047 2238 86
Dec 2009 15,549 2984 8163 1419 916 2194 91
December is typically the slowest month of the year (followed by January). People are busy during the holidays and are simply not that interested in listing or viewing houses or trying to make deals happen. This December was one of the few I can remember that it really didn't slow down much at all. It was actually kind of vibrant.
I believe this activity is attributed to the extension and expansion of the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit (and the new $6,500 credit for existing owners). But can't say for sure. The tax credit was originally set to expire on November 30, but in mid-November Congress extended it. November sales were slightly slower because of this, but December was slightly better than normal as a result.
Just look at those year to year comparisons from December 2008 versus December 2009. The inventory is down some 31% from the previous year. New pendings were up some 59% from the previous December. Those are some exciting numbers.
Expired listings always spike way upward in December and inventory always takes a slight plunge. This is due to the fact that less people list properties for sale during December because of the holidays and for whatever reason many Realtors and sellers make their listings expire on December 31. It's the same every year. Which is why expireds for December 2009 are over double what they were for November.
Sales prices continue to teeter. For 6 months in a row now, average and median sales prices have been up then down then up then down again. This pattern to me signifies that prices appear to have stabilized. Median price for December 2009 was $125,000 and the average price was $165,400. Most of the lower end properties including the REOs and short sales are selling with multiple offers within a few days time. On the truly low end of the spectrum it is actually a seller's market and buyers are losing deals because they aren't fast enough to react.
I tell people all the time, "Medium to lower range houses that are priced right and aren't total junk are selling briskly." We are in a very different market than we were a year ago. Thank goodness for that.
However it isn't all good. There are still a ton of foreclosures and short sales in the pipeline, and everything the government is doing seems to just make them drag out longer. Interest rates may be poised to go up significantly. FHA is tightening up their lending requirements which means it will be harder for first-time buyers to get a loan. And who knows how all this massive federal spending coupled with all the broke state & local governments is going to affect inflation and the economy. It's almost too much for anyone to keep up with.