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New sales contracts on the increase; median price still holding steady

January 5, 2011

(December 13, 2010 – Orlando, FL) Members of the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association reported an increase in the number of home-sale contracts they filed in November, with 3,243 newly filed contracts topping last November’s tally of 3,023 by 7.28 percent.

The area’s pending sales statistic — like new contracts — is also an indicator of future sales activity. A total of 8,998 homes are currently under contract and awaiting closing. This number is also an increase (of 4.23 percent) over the 8,633 homes that were under contract in November 2009.

Members of ORRA recorded completed sales on 1,848 homes in November, which is a 20.65 percent decrease over the November 2009 tally of 2,329 sales. To date, Orlando area home sales are up 21.55 percent over this time in 2009.

“Uneven sales patterns are to be expected over the next months,” explains ORRA Chairman of the Board Mike McGraw, McGraw Real Estate Services. “We are experiencing aftershocks from slowdowns caused by the homebuyer tax credit ending and the temporary foreclosure stoppage. But at the same time, buyers who are responding to record-low interest rates and enticingly low home prices are contributing to a push-pull effect on Orlando’s housing market.”

The median sales price of all homes sold in the Orlando area held steady at $105,000 during November, the third month in a row. According to ORRA the current median price remains 5.11 percent higher than the $99,900 median price recorded in August 2010 and is 14.63 percent below the median price of $123,000 recorded in November 2009.

The median price for “normal” existing homes – i.e., those that are neither a short sale nor a foreclosure – sold in November is $159,900. The median price for bank-owned sales is $78,101 and the median price for short sales is $99,950. The lower median prices of bank-owned and short sales, which accounted for 66.67 percent of all sales in November, exert a downward influence on the overall median price.

The Orlando affordability index decreased to 261.95 percent in November. (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 $53,390 can qualify to purchase one of 9,027 homes in Orange and Seminole counties currently listed in the local multiple listing service for $275,049 or less.

First-time homebuyer affordability in November decreased to 186.28 percent. First-time buyers who earn the reported median income of $36,305 can qualify to purchase one of 6,493 homes in Orange and Seminole counties currently listed in the local multiple listing service for $166,252 or less.

Homes of all types spent an average of 97 days on the market before coming under contract in November 2010, and the average home sold for 94.08 percent of its listing price. In November 2009 those numbers were 85 and 94.90 percent, respectively. The area’s average interest rate increased in November to 4.48 percent.


There are currently 15,192 homes available for purchase through the MLS. Inventory decreased by 249 homes (1.61 percent) from October 2010, which means that 249 more homes exited the market than entered the market. The November 2010 inventory level is 5.06 percent lower than it was in November 2009 (16,002). The current pace of sales translates into 8.22 months of supply; November 2009 recorded 6.87 months of supply.

There are 12,083 single-family homes currently listed in the MLS, a number that is 2.85 percent more than the 11,748 single-family homes listed in November of last year. Condos currently make up 1,871 offerings in the MLS, while duplexes/town homes/villas make up the remaining 1,238.

Condos and Town Homes/Duplexes/Villas

The sales of condos in the Orlando area decreased by 6.45 percent in November when compared to November of 2009 and decreased by 16.59 percent compared to October of this year. To date, condo sales are up 53.77 percent (6,031 condos sold to date in 2010, compared to 3,922 by this time in 2009).

The most (193) condos in a single price category that changed hands in October were yet again in the $1 – $50,000 price range, a year-long trend that accounts for 54.50 percent of all condo sales. The next greatest range, with 12.09 percent of this year’s condo sales, is the $50,000 – $60,000 category.

Orlando homebuyers purchased 178 duplexes, town homes, and villas in November 2010, which is a 24.89 percent decline from November 2009 when 237 of these alternative housing types were purchased.

MSA Numbers

Sales of existing homes within the entire Orlando MSA (Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties) in November were down by 19.13 percent when compared to November of 2009. Throughout the MSA, 2,295 homes were sold in November 2010 compared with 2,838 in November 2009.

To date, sales throughout the MSA are 16.72 percent above this time in 2009 with 31,988 homes exchanging hands compared to 27,406. Each individual county’s year-to-date sales comparisons are as follows:

Lake: 2.06 percent above 2009 (3,827 homes sold to date in 2010 compared to 3,728 in 2009);
Orange: 18.17 percent above 2009 (17,223 homes sold to date in 2010 compared to 14,575 in 2009);
Osceola: 12.12 percent above 2009 (5,774 homes sold to date in 2010 compared to 5150 in 2009); and
Seminole: 30.63 percent above 2009 (5,164 sold to date in 2010 compared to 3,953 in 2009).


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