Strong Economy, Strong Housing Market: Tips for Buyers Looking for an Orlando-area Home
On June 1, the U.S. got some great economic news. The economy added 223,000 jobs in May, average hourly earnings rose 0.3 percent, and the nation’s unemployment rate dropped from 3.9 percent to 3.8 percent, the lowest in 18 years.
As the number of gainfully employed Americans keeps rising, it’s having a solid effect on the housing market as well. More working Americans means more people looking for a home, and that’s particularly true in a state that’s become an economic powerhouse, Florida. The unemployment rate in the Sunshine State has managed to stay just below the national level as the state continues to generate thousands of new jobs.
The same is true in Orlando, which has consistently been the top job-producing city in Florida. And as the spring housing season moves into summer, the housing market appears to be heating up as quickly as the Central Florida weather.
A new report by the Orlando Regional Realtors Association bears that out: it shows that Orlando area home prices are rising again, while competition is heating up for condos and townhouses. Heading into the crucial summer home buyer season, no one expects a shortage of prospective buyers.
That also means buyers can expect plenty of competition – and need to be smart about how they approach this red-hot market.
What’s Happening in the Orlando Housing Market?
Orlando’s strong job market has been a boon for people relocating here, eager to enjoy the Central Florida lifestyle of theme parks, great outdoor activities, the terrific nightlife in downtown Orlando, and year-round tropical weather.
The jobs have been there, but for many of the newcomers, the housing market has been frustrating. The supply of homes for sale has been thin, and prices have been steadily climbing.
Still, Central Florida home prices have remained considerably more affordable than in other major metro areas across the country. According to the web site Zillow, the median home value in Orlando is $228,000. Orlando home values have risen 11.3 percent over the past year, and Zillow is predicting they will rise by an additional 7.3 percent in the coming year. The median price of homes currently listed in Orlando is $280,000, while the median price of homes that sold is $249,000. That’s up 6 percent from a year ago.
That means there are still options out there for prospective buyers, but there’s no question homes are getting bought up quickly. The report by the Orlando Regional Realtors Association demonstrates that.
This is a very healthy and vibrant housing market, and it’s expected to stay that way. As the ORRA noted, interest rates have helped as well, since they remain flat from a year earlier, and even edged down to 4.29 percent in March.
The ORRA is also encouraging homeowners who have been considering selling that the time to act is now, since June is considered the best month to sell a home in the Orlando area. That comes from a new ATTOM Data Solutions analysis of area sales from 2011 to 2017. The numbers show that homeowners who sold their homes in June enjoyed the biggest premiums over the estimated market value, a median of 1.5 percent, then any other month.
For example, their study showed that it was a median of 1.5 percent higher in June, 1.0 percent in April, 0.9 percent in May, and 0.6 percent in July and September.
So if you’re a prospective buyer, confronting this challenging market, what should you do? Open houses tend to be jammed packed these days, bidding wars are the new normal and homes are selling above the initial asking price. There’s even competition from foreign investors buying homes with cash.
The National Association of Realtors recently confirmed how tough it is, issuing a report noting that listings for homes for sale have dropped year-over-year for 34 consecutive months.
Still, the association’s most recent Housing Trends Report notes that prospective buyers don’t seem likely to quit searching. Of the buyers who responded to a NAR survey, a majority of the respondents, 60 percent, said they would keep up their search, while only 13 percent indicated they might stop looking.
In addition, 43 percent indicated they would expand the area they’re looking in, 24 percent said they’d consider buying a smaller or older home than initially planned, while 11 percent said they’d consider buying a more expensive home.
Tips for Buying in a Competitive Market
Even if you’re shopping when the market is hot, there are still ways to be a successful house hunter.
First, it helps to do your research ahead of time, ensuring you’re got your paperwork lined up and are ready to move quickly when a good home lands on the market. That also means being able to document that you have your mortgage financing pre-approved, which helps demonstrate to the seller that both sides can close the sale quickly.
Be prepared as well if the seller asks to add any special terms to the agreement, such as having the buyer pick up some of the closing costs. Even a small sacrifice on the buyer’s part can help make the difference.
But another important factor is to reach out directly to a respected builder like AV Homes, which constructs houses in some of Central Florida’s most popular neighborhoods. A builder like AV Homes, will have a number of quick move-in homes available in their communities, allowing you to move into a brand new home this summer. You can also choose your homesite and home design, to build your new home without the stress of bidding wars.
You and your real estate agent can also reach out directly to a builder like AV Homes, knowing that their houses are constructed according to the highest building standards, and that the developments they construct create a sense of community, a place where you and your family have a sense of belonging and unity.
Working directly with a builder like AV Homes is the ideal way to ensure you’ll find a home you love and are happy in it for years to come.
The healthy state of Orlando’s economy and housing market have only gotten stronger in 2018, and as the busy summer home buying season starts up, all signs point to continued strong buyer demand.
There is some good news for buyers. Homes in the Orlando area are still a lot more affordable than in many other major metro areas.
Still, if prices keep rising, it makes no sense to sit on the sidelines. The smartest path to take would be to reach out directly to a respected builder like AV Homes, which constructs homes in communities across Central Florida that are close to the theme parks, downtown Orlando and Orlando International Airport.
AV Homes’ buyers can live in communities in beautiful locations, that range from growing cities like Clermont and Kissimmee to quieter locations like Davenport, St. Cloud, and Groveland, which are surrounded by nature and offer a charming small-town feel.
Contact AV Homes today at 1-800-AVHOMES and tell us about the kind of community you want to live in, and what you’re looking for in a home. We definitely have a dream home for you.