September typically marks the start of the slow season for home sales in the Volusia-Flagler area, but while sales last month in both counties were down from August, they were up sharply compared with a year ago.
The 12 percent year-over-year increase in Volusia County and 18 percent increase in Flagler County is seen by area real estate agents as further proof that the housing market is continuing to recover from the Great Recession.
“It really is much steadier now. We’re not seeing the big fluctuations and we’re encouraged at the sales,” said Marsha Corby, president of the Flagler County Association of Realtors and owner/broker of Palm Coast Shores Realty in Palm Coast.
In Volusia, Realtors sold 781 previously occupied houses last month, down from 822 in August, but up from 697 in September 2013, according to data released Tuesday by the Florida Realtors association.
The Flagler County Association of Realtors on Tuesday reported that its members sold 200 existing homes last month, down from 214 in August, but up from 169 in September of last year.
The data reported Tuesday did not include sales of new homes.
September marked the seventh month in a row that sales of existing homes in Volusia topped 700. In Flagler, last month was the sixth in a row that sales equaled or exceeded 200.
“We’ve seen a leveling out to a nice slow and steady growth pace and that’s what everyone wants,” said Ian Anderson, president of the Daytona Beach Area Association of Realtors and owner/broker of Dream Homes Team Realty in Ormond Beach. “No one wants the crazy jumps in sales and prices. That’s just not healthy for the market.”
The median price for homes sold last month in Volusia — meaning that half were for more or for less — rose to $129,950, up from $128,000 in September 2013. In Flagler, the median price decreased slightly to $145,500, down from $150,000 the same month a year ago.
For the year to date, Realtors in Volusia County have now sold 6,715 homes, a 12 percent increase over the 5,999 sold in the first nine months of 2013.
In Flagler, Realtors have sold 1,750 homes so far this year, up 0.7 percent from 1,737 sold in the first nine months of last year.
“The prices are still good, and interest rates are still at historical lows,” said Danny Green, a 14-year real estate veteran with Watson Realty Corp. in Palm Coast.
On the other hand, Green said he still sees plenty of room for improvement in the local housing market.
“The market’s holding steady, but I think there is still a lot of fear in the economy, government and world affairs,” he said. “There are a lot of people looking, but some are just afraid to pull the trigger.”