- Statewide, single-family sales totaled 23,056 last month, up 2.9 percent over the year.
- Condo sales fell 1.2 percent to 9,357, according to the Florida Realtors trade group.
- Homes sold for a median of $206,500, which was 11.6 percent more than last year.
- Condos traded for $156,500, up 5.0 percent.
“Florida’s real estate markets remained quite healthy in December,” said Brad O’Connor, chief economist at Florida Realtors. “Closed sales remain strong, and prices continue to rise.
“Inventory levels of single-family homes dropped to an annual low for 2015 at the end of December, to just under 100,000 active listings,” he added.
Nationwide, total home sales in 2015 were the most in nine years, as closings rebounded in December after new regulations had delayed the completion of purchases in November.
The National Association of Realtors said sales of existing homes climbed 14.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million. Sales had previously plummeted as the industry adapted to new mortgage disclosure rules — a temporary downturn before delayed sales were finalized in December.
“This is a great way to cap off 2015,” said Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.
Last month’s rebound concluded a year that produced the highest annual sales total since 2006. Steady job growth and low mortgages drew more buyers into the market, causing both sales and prices to climb.
Americans bought roughly 5.26 million homes in 2015, a 6.5 percent increase over 2014. The median sales price rose 6.8 percent to $222,400.
The Realtors forecast that sales will stay flat in 2016 and that the median price will rise more than 4 percent. A price increase that big would compound a problem for many would-be buyers: A rising proportion of homes are unaffordable as home values rose last year at more than twice the rate of pay.
Herald Tribune January 22, 2016