Central Florida Real Estate News
March 2019 Recap
The Orlando housing market saw its median price continue a years-long upward trek with an economically healthy 3 percent year-over-year increase in February. Sales dipped a fraction and inventory increased for the fourth consecutive month, just in time for the start of Orlando’s homebuying season.
“March and April typically herald the beginning of our most active period, when a great many prospective buyers begin getting serious about being settled into a home before the new school year,” says Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association President Jeffrey M. Fagan, Watson Realty Corp. “Despite a decrease in year-over-year sales, greater inventory combined with moderated prices and interest rates that are at historic lows is expected produce our traditional uptick in springtime homebuying.”
The overall median price of Orlando homes (all types combined) sold in February is $235,000, which is 2.6 percent above the February 2018 median price of $229,000 and 3.5 percent above the January 2019 median price of $227,000.
Year-over-year increases in median price have been recorded for the past 92 consecutive months; as of February 2019, the overall median price is 103.5 percent higher than it was back in July 2011.
The median price for single-family homes that changed hands in February remained stable over February 2018 and is now $249,900.
The median price for condos increased 13.3 percent to $137,000.
The Orlando housing affordability index for February is
131.64 percent, down from 136.05 percent last month.
(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.)
The first-time homebuyers affordability index decreased to 93.61 from 96.74 percent last month.
Sales and Inventory
Members of ORRA participated in 2,402 sales of all home types combined in February, which is 5.4 percent less than the 2,538 sales in February 2018 and 23.2 percent more than the 1,950 sales in January 2019.
Sales of single-family homes (1,865) in February 2019 decreased by 2.9 percent compared to February 2018, while condo sales (261) decreased 12.9 percent year over year.
Sales of distressed homes (foreclosures and short sales) reached 104 in February and are 26.2 percent less than the 141 distressed sales in February 2018. Distressed sales made up just 4.3 percent of all Orlando-area transactions last month.
The overall inventory of homes that were available for purchase in February (8,194) represents an increase of 6.3 percent when compared to February 2018, and a 0.6 percent decrease compared to last month. There were 4.6 percent more single-family homes and 29.0 percent more condos, year over year.
Current inventory combined with the current pace of sales created a 3.4-month supply of homes in Orlando for February. There was a 4.2-month supply in January 2018 and a 3.0-month supply in February 2018.
The average interest rate paid by Orlando homebuyers in February was 4.34 percent, up from 4.32 percent the month prior.
Homes that closed in February took an average of 62 days to move from listing to pending and an average of 35 days between pending and closing, for an average total of 97 days from listing to closing (down from a total of 98 days the month prior).
Pending sales in February are down 15.1 percent compared to February of last year and are up 17.0 percent compared to last month.
Sales of existing homes within the entire Orlando MSA (Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties) in February were down by 10.0 percent when compared to February of 2018.
Each individual county’s sales comparisons are as follows:
Lake: 16.0 percent below February 2018
Orange: 6.2 percent below February 2018
Osceola: 21.0 percent below February 2018
Seminole: 2.8 percent below February 2018
Polk: 7.4 percent above February 2018
New Home vs. Resale: Which is Right for You?
Is a newly built home right for you? Do you want a home that you’ve helped design and that offers the latest in energy efficiency and design? Or a previously owned home that may need fix-ups, paint jobs, and walls moved around to create the types of open spaces that make sense today?
There are a number of reasons you might prefer a resale house, even if it needs work. For instance, you may have your heart set on moving to a specific neighborhood.
So it’s understandable that some buyers prefer an existing house in an older neighborhood. But have you seriously considered the potential advantages of buying new? Here’s a quick overview of some of the important pluses of new homes to think about:
Energy Consumption/Green Building: If you care about “green” — whether that means the money you spend on energy bills every month or your concern about the environment — a newly constructed home is virtually always the better option.
Flexibility for Space and Wiring Customization: When you buy a resale house, you get what’s already there. With a new home, by comparison, you can often participate in the design of interior spaces with the builder, in advance of actual construction.
Replacement Costs: By definition, with a new house everything is new, including costly components — such as the furnace, water heater, air conditioning unit, kitchen appliances and roof, — and doors, windows, and more. In a new home, most of these components come with a warranty, sometimes for up to 10 years.
Bottom Line Here: Although you — and your budgetary resources — control what you improve and when, it’s highly likely that you’re going to spend money on at least several of these capital improvements in the early years following purchase of a resale house. They are the unadvertised costs of not buying new.
Safety Features (Especially from Fires): Newly-built homes come with modern fire retardants in materials such as carpeting and insulation,
unlike most existing houses. Builders also hard-wire smoke and carbon monoxide detectors into their homes, making it unnecessary for new
owners to install less-dependable battery-powered detectors. Many builders also back up their hard-wired detectors with battery power to handle electrical outages.
Mortgage Financing: Builders often have mortgage subsidiaries or affiliates, and are able to custom-tailor financing — down payments, “points,” other loan fees and even interest rates — to your specific situation. Many are also willing to work with you to help defray closing costs at
Resale Value: You may plan to live in your next home many years, but at some point, most people sell a given home for any of a myriad of
reasons. While the home you sell will (by definition) no longer be new, a 5-year old home will often be more desirable — given all the features above — than a 25-year old home at resale.
The decision to buy a newly built or used home is ultimately best made by each home buyer. Now you know the questions to ask, and the relative costs involved, in order to make the best decision for you.
Contract to purchase a NEW CONSTRUCTION Residential Home through Florida Realty Marketplace before March 31, 2019 we will give the BUYER up to a $2,000 REBATE at closing.
Contract to purchase a NEW CONSTRUCTION RESORT home for Short Term Rental through Florida Realty Marketplace before March 31, 2019 we will give the BUYER up to a $5,000 REBATE at closing.
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