DOWNTOWN HOME PRICES RISE Q1-14

Orlando home sale prices rose in February.

The median price for a single-family home in the core market, which includes mostly Orange and Seminole counties, was $158,000 during February, up 6 percent from a month earlier and 19 percent from a year earlier, according to a report released Monday by Orlando Regional Realtor Association.

More than 10,184 houses in the region competed for buyers during February — the greatest number of listings since November 2011.

“As prices continue to rise, non-distressed homeowners are entering the market and giving inventory a much-needed boost,” says Orlando Regional Realtor Association Chairman Zola Szerencses, an agent with RE/Max 200 Realty.

Members of the association completed 1,917 sales during February, an increase from 1,889 the month before but down sharply from 2,317 a year earlier.

Considering the pace of sales, the region had a 5.3-month inventory of houses on the market last month. A year ago, the market had a supply of only three months. The area’s inventory during February was the highest since January 2012.

The swelling inventory of listings tips the core Central Florida market closer to the six-month mark, which signals a return to a buyers’ market.

One of the factors that helped drive sales last month was a slight drop in the interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, which decreased to 4.37 percent from 4.47 percent in January.

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