Drop in Orlando Foreclosed Homes for Sale Improved Prices

by on cities

The inventory of Orlando foreclosed homes for sale dropped in February, spurring an improvement in house prices in the metro area, based on figures from the Orlando Regional Realtor Association.

The Orlando metro area posted nearly 6,900 foreclosures in February, which marked a decrease of more than 11 percent from the February 2009 total of 7,690 filings. Although the February filings were higher than the 6,282 filings posted in the previous month, home prices improved.

The sales price median for all resale homes in February surged to $109,200, up by more than 7 percent from the January median of $102,000. However, when matched with the February 2009 median of $149,000, the February 2010 price median marked a sharp 27-percent drop.

Total home sales closings also increased in the Orlando area, with a total of 1,847 units closed. They marked a whopping year-over-year increase of 40 percent. New sales contracts also surged to their highest level since 2005 when the ORRA started monitoring new sales agreements. A total of 4,043 sales contracts were signed in February, an increase of 66 percent over February 2009 contracts.

The number of pending sales contracts, another important indicator of housing market activity, also climbed up by a stunning 118 percent to 9,462 units over the pending sales of 4,348 units in February last year.

Orlando foreclosed homes for sale still dominated homes sales in February, accounting for more than 70 percent of total sales during the month. A total of 827 units were real estate-owned and 468 units were short sales.

Foreclosures in Florida resurged by 14.8 percent after declining month-over-month in January by 15 percent. A total of 54,032 homes throughout the state received foreclosure postings, including 15,815 units posted for public foreclosure auctions and 6,992 already listed in the books of lenders.

Kathleen Gallagher McIver, chairperson of the ORRA, said she expects more home sales as the tax credit approaches its April deadline. There are still 11,920 units of single-family properties in the MLS, in addition to 2,728 condos and 1,403 townhomes, villas and duplexes.

The home affordability level in Orlando is also expected to drive sales, as people earning the area’s $52,820 median family income already can afford to buy higher-priced homes.

Compared to January 2010, foreclosure activity in February in all the four counties covered by the Orlando metro area surged. Seminole County posted the highest increase rate, but Orange County posted the highest number of filings, driven by a substantial number of Orlando foreclosed homes for sale.

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