Home sales in the Orlando market jumped nearly 48 percent, but values fell by nearly 40 percent, according to the March report from the Orlando Regional Realtor Association.
Association members reported 1,653 existing home sales in March, compared with 1,120 in the same month a year prior. Realtors also put 2,956 homes under contract last month, a far cry from March 2008’s 1,679.
The median price of all Orlando homes resales fell 37.7 percent from $217,000 in March 2008 to $137,000 last month. The area’s average interest rate fell to a record low 4.67 percent.
Association members also reported 4,906 pending sales — considered a leading indicator of future sales — in March, more than double March 2009’s 2,398.
March home resales in the Orlando area — Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties — jumped nearly 58 percent, from 1,354 homes last year to 2,139 homes this year.
Osceola County saw the biggest increase in sales at 112 percent, from 466 homes sold in March 2008 to 989 sold last month. Orange County saw the next largest jump at nearly 61 percent, from 1,667 last year to 2,681 this year, followed by Lake County’s 21.5 percent increase, from 657 last year to 798 this year, and Seminole’s nearly 5 percent jump, from 679 to 713.
The association reported that 49 percent of the homes that were sold being bank-owned or distressed homes. There were 700 bank-owned home sales last month with a median price of $95,000, along with 111 distressed home resales with a median price of $143,500.
The good news was that the area’s affordability index continues to climb, with 192.17 percent recorded in March. That means that those earning the state-reported median income of $52,250 can qualify to purchase homes priced up to $263,270 .
The area’s first-time homebuyer affordability index reached 136.65 percent, which means buyers earning a median income of $26,000 can qualify to buy homes priced up to $159,132.
Homes of all types spent an average of 104 days on the market before being sold last month, up from an average of 128 days in March 2008. The average home sold for nearly 92.6 percent of its listing price in March 2009, slightly down from the 93.1 percent posted in the same month last year.
March inventory of homes available through the local Multiple Listing Service was 21,448, down 720 homes from February 2009, which means that 720 more homes left the market than entered the market. That reflects a nearly 13-month supply at the sales pace, down from the nearly 17-month supply recorded in February 2009.
Orlando-area condo sales saw a huge increase 228 percent last month — from 90 in 2008 to 295 this year. Orlando buyers also purchased 119 duplexes, townhomes and villas in March 2009, 8 percent more than March 2008’s 110 sales.