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April 13th, 2009 2:06 PM by David W. Welch
Affordability in Orlando real estate hit an all time high in March. The affordability index listed in the official numbers for March climbed to 192. That means the median wage earner can almost afford to purchase two median priced homes. The median priced dropped to $137,000 which is over 37% less than last March. The average interest rate hit a low at 4.67% which combined with the lower median price lead to the record affordability index.
The lower prices and lower interest rates also lead to huge sales numbers. Officially 1,653 homes changed hands. That is up over 47% compared to March of 2008 when 1,120 homes sold. There was an even bigger jump in contracts written in March 2,956 properties going pending compared to 1,679 last year. That is a huge 76% increase in contracts written. The slow down in closing foreclosed and distressed properties is showing up in the total number of properties under contract. Right now there are 4,906 homes with contracts on them which is more than double the 2,398 of last March.
For the first time the Orlando Regional Realtor Association numbers include a breakdown of foreclosed, other distressed and market sales. The official numbers have just over 49% of the sales as either foreclosed 700 or distressed 111. The median price of the bank owned properties was only $95,000 while the distressed properties median price came in at $143,500 and normal market sales median price was $174,995. This drastically shows the impact that short sales and foreclosures are having on our market place. The time on market for the homes that sold last month also dropped to 104 days as did the total inventory of homes for sale. The active inventory dropped by 720 homes to 21,448 which is down almost 16% from last years 25,472 representing a 12.98 month supply of homes for sale. The month's supply has dropped more than 39% so far in 2009.
David Welch, Real Estate Optimist, Follow me on Twitter