Year-over-year changes in closed sales have not yielded the same improvement that we have seen on the national level. On the other hand, Florida’s employment has improved. Unemployment has dropped from 10.7% in March 2011 to 9.0% this year. It is only a matter of time before Florida home sales follow the change in employment. We know access to financing is continuing to hinder the market, but we are also aware of some positive signs.
March statistics continued to show all of the trends we noticed in January and February. Pending sales have been positive year-over-year since May 2011. More financing will help these pending sales to become closed sales.The percent of original list price received also persisted in its year-over-year gains since September. Most notably, a steep drop in inventory continues. Single-family home inventory dropped from a 10.4-month supply in March 2011 to a 5.9-month supply in March 2012; and townhouse/condos now have a 6.0-month supply compared to the 10.8-month supply last year.
It's clear that Florida’s economy has improved since last year. However, home sales are not following along quite yet. Employment will drive the real estate market in the future. Now we are hoping for Florida home sales to improve.