An early fall: Florida housing sales drop in February compared to 2023
Image via Drew Dixon.

Most large counties saw significant decreases in home sales, but Lee County witnessed an impressive uptick.

Most of the largest counties in Florida saw yet another rough month for home sales in February as signed contracts on the sales of houses dropped in many areas.

The “Elliman Report” showed faltering housing sales among most large market areas in the Sunshine State.

“Newly signed contracts for single families (homes) and condos continued to decline year over year,” the report concluded. But the analysis noted that single-family homes selling for more than $800,000 did show a bump in signed contracts for agreed sales in February compared to a year ago.

The report concluded that the Florida housing market is generally starting to lean more in favor of buyers after several years of a seller’s market. This week’s details on the housing market coincides with another report by Redfin realty and mortgage services detailing a faltering condominium market in Florida.

“New inventory for both property types (single-family homes and condos) saw significant annual increases, enabling more future sales,” said the Elliman report.

The February numbers are just a continued slide from what was seen in the previous two months, as the trends were similar in the two Elliman Reports for January and December.

Duval County, which includes Jacksonville, took the hardest hit in home sales among large markets in Florida during February. Duval fell from 733 signed home sales contracts in February 2023 to 461 last month, a whopping 37.1% decrease. Condo sales in that county dropped by 38%.

Even St. Johns County, also in Northeast Florida and considered one of the fastest growing counties in the United States, saw another drop in signed contracts on home sales in February. St. Johns, with tourist hot spot St. Augustine and golf Mecca Ponte Vedra Beach within its boundaries, saw home sale contracts fall to 285 in February, a 10.7% decrease from the February 2023 figure of 319.

Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, Sarasota and Hillsborough counties all saw more modest declines in home sales ranging from about a 5% decline to near 1%.

Some counties saw some modest increases in home sales in February, but nothing like Lee County in Southwest Florida. Home sales bucked the trend of falling home sales in impressive fashion.

Lee County, home to Fort Myers, had a staggering 47.2% jump in annual signed contracts for single family home sales in February, increasing from 907 in 2023 to 1,335 last month.

Collier County, just south of Lee County on the Gulf of Mexico, also witnessed a slight increase in home sales, jumping by 1.1%, going from 450 in February 2023 to 455 last month.

Broward and Pinellas counties also saw modest increases in home sales in February compared to a year ago.

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at [email protected].


  • Defunding Dangerous florida

    March 7, 2024 at 10:17 am

    Defunding in progress

  • PeterH

    March 7, 2024 at 12:48 pm

    Many, if not most, migrants to Florida desire to be near employment, cultural venues and the ocean. For many, newly constructed modern affordable housing is located adjacent to the Everglades swamp.

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