Sales in 2008 were down by 11.97 percent over 2007. A total of 14,740 homes were sold in 2008 compared to 16,744 the previous year.
From a year-long perspective, the 2008 cumulative median price fell 18.27 percent to $200,000 over 2007's $245,000. Throughout 2008, the majority of single-family homes that changed hands each month were sold in the $200,000 - $250,000 price range. In total, 20.79 percent (2,504) of all single-family home sales fell into that price range.
Condo sales fell 32.04 percent, with 1,436 condos sold in all of 2008 compared to 2,113 sold in all of 2007. The majority (200 or 13.93 percent) of sold condos fell into the $100,000 - $120,000 category. For the entire year, duplex, town home, and villa sales were down 10.00 percent.
By year's end in 2008, 17,972 homes were sold in the Orlando MSA while 20,051 homes were sold by year's end in 2007 (a 10.37 percent decline). For comparison, the MSA's 2007 year-to-date sales were 39.7 percent below the 2006 year-to-date tally.
First-time homebuyers still have the best conditions since March 2004 to purchase a home in the Orlando area, as the first-time homebuyers affordability index in December pushed up to 101.09 percent. In addition, inventory of houses on the market is stocked with more than 6,961 homes in the average first time buyer's price range of $145,987 or less.
Even with the increase in median price, the area's affordability index in December continued its upward march to a record 142.16 percent. (An affordability index of 99 percent means that buyers earning the state-reported median income are 1 percent short of the income necessary to purchase a median-priced home. Conversely, an affordability index that is over 100 means that median-income earners make more than is necessary to qualify for a median-priced home.) Buyers who earn the reported median income of $51,962 can qualify to purchase one of 11,806 homes in Orange and Seminole counties currently listed in the local multiple listing service (MLS) for $241,523 or less.
The area's average interest rate was 5.40 percent in December 2008, down from 6.00 in November and the lowest for the entire year.