A statewide housing report that was expected to be released Monday is on hold after a glitch was found in a new system that gathers home sales data for Palm Beach County.
The report is timed to coincide with the release of national housing statistics, which showed a 15 percent surge in sales in June from the previous year and a continued trend of price increases that haven’t been seen since the housing boom.
Florida likely followed a similar pattern last month, Realtors said Monday, but the data won’t be ready until at least Tuesday because of a technical problem that occurred during the conversion to a new Multiple Listing Service provider for the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches.
The Jupiter, Tequesta, Hobe Sound Association of Realtors and the Realtors Association of St. Lucie also converted this month to the new provider, the North Dakota-based company FBS. FBS refused to comment for this story.
“This conversion has not been entirely smooth. It’s disappointing, and we feel terrible about it,” said Donn Wonderling , president of the Realtors Association of St. Lucie. “I feel like it should have been handled better.”
Marla Martin, spokesman for the Florida Realtors, which issues the statewide report, said the group didn’t want to release incomplete information and would wait until the data problems with the three local organizations are cleared up.
Other associations, such as the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors and the Realtor Association of Martin County, sent out their reports on their own. Both showed increases in the number of homes sold during June compared to last year as well as hefty price jumps. The median price for a single-family home in Broward County shot up 23 percent to $265,000. Martin County’s price was up 14 percent to $272,000.
“Anyone can look around and see that inventory is low and the signs are good for the market,” said Carol Van Gorp, CEO of the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches. “The only thing holding our market back from being really hot again is the hoops you have to jump through to get a mortgage.”
The National Associations of Realtors reported Monday that the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage leapt to 4.46 percent by the end of June from 3.81 percent at the end of May. The rate was 4.37 percent last week.
That rate increase could hamper sales in coming months, economists said. But most expect housing to continue to recover, though at a slower pace.
Nationally, the median sales price in June for all housing types was $214,000, up 13.5 percent from last year. The increase marked the 16th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases, which last occurred from February 2005 to May 2006.
First-time buyers accounted for 29 percent of purchases in June, compared with 28 percent in May and 32 percent in June 2012.
“First-time buyers should be closer to 40 percent of the market, but they’re held back by the frictions of tight credit and very limited inventory in the lower price ranges in most of the U.S.,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. “Inventory conditions will continue to broadly favor sellers and contribute to above-normal price growth.”
Walter Moloney, a spokesman for the national association, said the problems with Florida’s report don’t affect the national release because it uses a statistical sampling of different regional listing services, not complete data from each state.
Van Gorp said she hopes the statewide report, including Palm Beach County, will be ready Tuesday. She believes the glitch that caused the delay had to do with how foreclosure sales were recorded.
“It’s just new software and how things were reported. Who knows in that cyber never-never land,” Van Gorp said.
Wonderling said the three local associations that converted to the new provider had planned to do so before the June breakup of the Regional Multiple Listing Service Inc. The 25-year-old corporation had monitored the listing service and was owned by the three associations. It was dissolved so that each association could handle its own service and reduce membership fees.