Amidst a floundering economy and perhaps the greatest environmental disaster the state has ever seen, the latest numbers on the housing market reveal a silver lining. According to the latest round of housing statistics from Florida Realtors, Florida’s single-family home sales rose 21 percent in the second quarter of 2010.
A news release by the organization states that “a total of 51,564 existing homes sold statewide in 2Q 2010; during the same period the year before, a total of 42,604 existing homes sold. It marks the eighth consecutive quarter that Florida has seen higher existing year-to-year home sales.”
Condominium sales saw even greater leaps — rising 45 percent compared to the same time last year. Lakeland showed the most dramatic increase, with a 144 percent increase. Jacksonville had the second-largest increase, with sales jumping 90 percent to 682 units sold. The only city with no marked increase? A heavily oil-impacted Pensacola.
In a University of Florida survey on real estate trends, job growth and the BP oil spill were cited as the top concerns for the future of the state’s housing market. Timothy Becker, director of UF’s Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies, noted that the oil spill had led to “a cloud of uncertainty that is affecting all markets across the state. Our respondents indicate that the effect of the oil spill is being felt across Florida despite the fact that oil is only showing up on some beaches in the Panhandle.”
One favorable influence on home sales? Low mortgage rates. According to the press release, “the national commitment rate for a 30-year conventional fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.91 percent in 2Q 2010; one year earlier, it averaged 5.03 percent.”