Orlando home prices jumped 15% in August
As foreclosures and short sales made up a shrinking share of local home sales, home prices in Orlando jumped 15% in August from a year earlier. The Orlando metro area’s median price for August was $115,000, up 21.2% from January and 15.1% from August 2010, according to a report from the Orlando Regional Realtor Association. "A steady rise in the percentage of 'normal' sales — those that are neither bank-owned nor short sales — continues to boost the overall price," said the report. Those "normal" transactions made up 41% of sales in August, down a percentage point from July. That was the first decline in such sales after they rose for six consecutive months. Even with prices on the upswing, though, sellers continue to overprice their homes, the report shows. The average home sold for 95% of its listing price in August, after spending an average of 101 days on the market before coming under contract. Affordability numbers suggest the Orlando market still has a large amount of unmet demand. The area's affordability index rose to 248 in August, showing median income earners make more than twice as much as they need to in order to qualify for a median-priced home. "Affordability conditions this year have been enormously favorable, but many buyers are being held back because banks are offering financing to only the most highly qualified borrowers and ignoring a large share of otherwise creditworthy buyers," said association Chairman Mike McGraw of McGraw Realty Services, Inc. "Those potential buyers represent the difference between an uneven recovery and a much more robust housing market that in Orlando and even on a national scale could stimulate additional economic activity and create jobs." The number of Orlando home sales completed in August fell 8.7% to 2,342 from a year earlier, as bank-owned sales fell 51%. Short sales and "normal" sales each rose 32%. Meanwhile, led by a decline in the number of condominiums for sale, Orlando's for-sale housing inventory fell 39% to 10,055. That put inventory at a 4.29 month supply. Average interest rates paid by buyers fell to 4.26%, the lowest level since the realtor association began tracking it in 1995. Write to Liz Enochs.