For the month of March the single family market continues to be the strength of the market. While single family sales are down 3.1% from March 2011 to March 2012, sales are up almost 32% year to date, and the median sales price is up nearly $12,000 year to date. There was 21% increase in year over year sales in the condo market and as well as a 54% increase in month over month sales. However, even with a decrease in condo sales and in listings, there has still been a year over year decrease of 11% and a month over month decrease of 6.5% in the median sales price of condo’s in Pinellas County.
In the distressed market there have been ten straight months where short sales have continued to outpace foreclosure sales as banks are speeding up there short sale approval process. Of the 481 distressed property sales last month 58% were short sales and 42% were bank-owned sales. To give some perspective on how much the numbers have improved in March 2011 foreclosure accounted for 70% of the distressed market and short sales accounted for 30%.
Financing continues to be a problem as cash buyers have accounted for 60% to 65% of the market over the last year. Financing will be a key factor over the next year as the real estate market continues its recovery. Sellers will need to feel confident they can get financing to buy a new house before they will put their current house on the market.
Also in March for the first time since the Pinellas Realtor Organization has been keeping sales records, there is less than one home for sale per home buyer. The chart below only shows the last two years but it illustrates how low inventories have become. According to David Bennett, President and CEO of the Pinellas Realtor Organization, “The pendulum is just starting to swing back towards a seller’s market. With the number of listings so low sales prices have been starting to increase, hopefully fewer homeowners are underwater and more of them will be able to sell.