After 10 consecutive months without metro Orlando’s median home price falling, September finally broke the trend when the median price dropped from $320,000 to $318,000.
However, local real estate agents expect that price drop to be more of a blip on the housing market radar than the start of a drastic cool down in home prices. Buyers face a competitive housing market that’s supporting high prices with few changes on the horizon, said Veronica Figueroa, CEO of Orlando-based real estate firm Figueroa Team by EXP Realty. “It is a jungle out there.”
Last summer, low interest rates, accelerated migration to Florida and the demand for more living space during the Covid-19 pandemic kicked metro Orlando’s seller’s market into overdrive. The median home price last October began a steady climb, hitting a record high of $320,000 in July and August.
While prices reversed, the factors driving up the price tags on homes — high demand and low supply — are sticking around, Figueroa said.
Although September’s 3,879 home sales were down 5% from August, it was the busiest September in the Central Florida housing market since at least 2001, according to the oldest data available from the Orlando Regional Realtor Association. Plus, the region in September featured less than a month’s worth of home inventory, far less than the six months of supply that indicates a balanced housing market.
“It’s going be a disappointment for a lot of people who try to ride it out and wait and see what’s going to happen,” Figueroa said.
For Deanna Armel, CEO of Kissimmee-based Armel Real Estate Inc., there is no slowing in the demand from her three main types of buyers: locals looking to upsize, relocations from out-of-state and out-of-town investors. There’s strong appetite for home purchases among all of them, she said — a likely sign prices will remain strong.
Even the impending holiday season, often a time when people put off home purchases and sales for a few weeks, is unlikely to thwart the hectic market, Figueroa added. “We have an exclusive partnership with Zillow, and we are receiving anywhere from 700-1,000 inquiries a month.”
Meanwhile, Zillow Group Inc. has ramped up its projections for home price growth in the U.S. housing market.
The Seattle-based real estate data company revised its forecast of an 11.7% increase in home values between August 2021 and August 2022 to 13.6% between September 2021 and September 2022, according to an Oct. 14 report. Home values are expected to climb 4.4% between September and the end of the year, Zillow reported.
Trends in the residential real estate market are important, as every home sale in the state has an estimated local economic impact of $90,300, according to the National Association of Realtors. In addition, the housing market often is considered a reflection of the local economy’s overall health.