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Four Different Housing Markets, One Constant Result

Phil Hall
Jul 24, 2018
Today’s launch of the spring homebuying season is being greeted with a new survey that found nearly half of shoppers this season are looking for homes at or under $200,000

New data released by the real estate trade groups in four very different state housing markets—California, Florida, Wisconsin and Illinois—all produced near-identical results when it came to rising home prices and plummeting single-family home sales.
In California, the statewide median home price hit a new peak in June at $602,760, up 0.3 percent from the previous peak level of $600,860 set in May, according to new data from the California Association of Realtors (CAR). Compared to one year earlier, the statewide median home price was up 8.5 percent from a revised $555,420 in June 2017. June marked the fifth consecutive month that prices increased by more than 8 percent annually.
As for home sales, California saw 410,800 closed sales on existing single-family detached houses last month, up 0.4 percent from the revised 409,270 level in May but down 7.3 percent compared with home sales in June 2017 of 443,120. The year-over-year sales decline was the largest in nearly four years.
"California's housing market underperformed again, despite an increase in active listings for the third straight month," said CAR President Steve White. "The lackluster spring homebuying season could be a sign of waning buyer interest as endlessly rising home prices and buyer fatigue adversely affected pent-up demand."
In Florida, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes for June was $260,000, up 6.1 percent year-over-year, according to data from the Florida Realtors Research Department. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in June was $190,000, up 7.5 percent from the previous year. June was the 78th month in a row that the statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties rose year-over-year.
Sales of single-family homes if Florida totaled 27,836 last month, down 1.3 percent compared to June 2017. However, the state’s townhouse-condo market saw 11,128 in townhouse-condo sales last month, up 1.2 percent compared to a year ago.
“Florida is still experiencing a shortfall in for-sale homes in many local housing markets and that continues to put upward pressure on median prices,” said 2018 Florida Realtors President Christine Hansen, broker-owner with Century 21 Hansen Realty in Fort Lauderdale. “And in June, home sellers received more of their original asking price at the closing table. Sellers of existing single-family homes received 96.9 percent (median percentage) of their original listing price, while those selling townhouse-condo properties received 95.2 percent (median percentage).”
In Wisconsin, the median home price in June was $195,000, up 5.4 percent from one year earlier, while existing home sales fell 11.8 percent during the same period. For the first half of this year, home sales dropped 3.7 percent compared to the first half of 2017 while the median price was up 5.9 percent to $180,000 for the January to June period.
“A strong economy and low mortgage rates have fueled demand, but supply remains tight,” said Peter Sveum, Chairman of the Wisconsin Realtors Association. “The more urbanized regions of the state had tighter inventory levels, whereas the more rural regions tended to be more buyer-friendly.”
And in Illinois, the statewide median price in June was $225,000, up 4.5 percent from one year earlier when it was $215,251. But statewide home sales, which include both single-family homes and condominiums, totaled 18,310 homes in June, down 6.2 percent from 19,514 in June 2017.
“Clearly, demand is far outstripping the supply of homes on the market this summer,” said Matt Difanis, president of Illinois Realtors and broker-owner of RE/MAX Realty Associates in Champaign. “June extended a trend we have seen for much of the year in many areas where any sluggishness in sales is counterbalanced by steady increases in median prices.”

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