Will The Home Market Boom Or Bust In 2017?
December 28, 2016
JENNIFER LECLAIRE, GlobeSt.com
MIAMI—MetroStudy released its latest report on the largest homebuilders in Florida, and AV Homes earned the seventh spot. The Florida ranking considers total recorded home closings from October 2015 through September 2016, with AV Homes finishing with more than 1,200 sales in Jacksonville, Central Florida, and Port Saint Lucie.
Considering this success, GlobeSt.com caught up with Matt Orosz, Central Florida Division Co-President of AV Homes, to get his thoughts on the home market in 2017 in part one of this exclusive interview. Be sure to stay tuned for part two, in which he will discuss trends in community amenities and more.
GlobeSt.com: What are your predictions for the Central Florida home market in 2017?
Orosz: Overall we are very optimistic. There has always been great potential in Central Florida with its booming economy and wealth of new employment opportunities, all very attractive for potential home buyers looking to enter the market. In fact, RCLCO’s recent advisory found that total new home sales in Central Florida were up through the third quarter of 2016 compared to the same time period in 2015.
Most industry leaders and reports also point in the direction of continued growth. For example, Orlando’s metro area ranked number seven for the most promising housing markets in 2017, according to a forecast released by Realtor.com.
Home sales and an optimistic future reflect today’s positive market conditions which include a 4.4% growth in employment, per Orlando MetroStudy, and the University of Florida has shown an uptick in consumer confidence as well. AV Homes own sales data also supports these sentiments as 2016 proved to be one of the best years our Florida division has seen in nearly a decade, and we remain confident in adding new communities in 2017.
GlobeSt.com: May you share any details about AV Homes’ projects in the pipeline for Central Florida and beyond?
Orosz: AV Homes’ long-term belief in the strength of not only Central Florida but across all our Sunshine state markets, including Jacksonville and Port Saint Lucie, has earned us the recognition by MetroStudy as the seventh largest builder in Florida. Looking ahead, we have plenty of exciting projects planned to continue this momentum.
About 80% of our Florida sales occur in Central Florida. The strong market coupled with the recent opening of the Poinciana Parkway, the result of a public-private partnership between AV Homes and Osceola County, have triggered significant economic development in the area. Responding to these positive market conditions, we are further activating our assets in Central Florida, which currently includes more than 20 communities.
New projects include Reedy Reserve, a mix of single-family homes and townhomes in Kissimmee, which broke ground in early November, and in Davenport, a new single-family community, which we expect to break ground on in 2017. We are also in the final stages of planning for a master-planned development including a mix of apartments, townhomes and single-family homes that will be directly adjacent to the SunRail station in Kissimmee currently referred to as POIP.
Ranked as the number two city in the nation for where northern Millennials are flocking to, the Jacksonville market is also flourishing. AV Homes currently has three single-family communities: two in Saint Johns County—Old Still and Stone Creek—plus one nearby, Amelia Walk, in Fernandina Beach.
We also expect continued growth in Port Saint Lucie, home to our award-winning active adult community, Vitalia at Tradition. Recently, we completed five new, decorated, model homes. Each with innovative features and numerous options for the diverse lifestyles of 55-plus active adults.