Are you wondering what's up with the real estate market in Central Florida right now? Well here is your market update for February 2023. Remember, when looking at real estate data we're always a month in arrears, so this data is based on everything that happened in January, 2023.
OK so interestingly, but not surprisingly, we're starting to finally see some movement in the market! More and more buyers are coming off the sidelines and are starting to house hunt once again. January is always notoriously slow in real estate, but this past January really took the cake with a record low amount of homes sold- only 1,173 homes were sold in Orange and Seminole county combined!
New homes hitting the market however, are starting to really pick up speed. There are 3,678 active listings in Orange and Seminole county right now. While that's still pretty low compared to even December, it's actually a 40% increase from last January.This data tells us that the tides are changing, more sellers are selling, and less buyers are buying, likely due to interest rates.
Speaking of rates, the average mortgage rate this week is 6.99%- a little shift upward once again. Many economists and experts are predicting that January was the "bottom" in terms of the housing market, and also inflation as a whole. The Fed is predicted to slow down it's substantial rate hikes, and hopefully this comes with lower interest rates as we head into the summer months.
Meanwhile new Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Loan Level Price Adjustment guidelines go into effect in May of this year. These changes positively affect those with credit scores under 680 by making the cost of borrowing money more affordable, while negatively impacting pretty much everyone else with a score under 780 making it more expensive to borrow money. Most of these new fees will be rolled into your closing costs increasing your cash to close. To me this feels exactly like walking into the grocery store and spending $8 on a dozen eggs, that were $6 lasts week. But buyers, fear not! I work with some incredible mortgage brokers and lenders that are experts in this field that can walk you through the changes, and offers solutions to navigate and in some cases, maybe even eliminate or offset the fees.
Moving onto inventory- we're sitting at a steady 3 months of inventory across Central Florida right now which is still considered a sellers market. A perfectly balanced market would be 6 months of inventory, but I don't think we're going to see that in Central Florida anytime soon. And even if we do, typically balanced markets don't hang around for long- the pendulum is always swinging between a sellers market and a buyers market.
So buyers what does this mean for you?
- If you buy now, you will be purchasing at a higher interest rate. However, you have more leverage than ever before. You have more inventory to choose from, room to negotiate the price, inspection repairs or credits, rate buy downs, and more. Come summer, if we see a decrease in rates, it will be multiple offer season all over again which will systematically raise home prices. And, if you can close before April 1, you won't incur any of the new lending fees going into effect.
Sellers, here's what this means for you:
- You can still get top dollar for your home! And believe it or not, we are still seeing multiple offers. In my own subdivision in fact, a cash buyer lost to another offer on the table after being on the market for just 3 days this past weekend.
- The best looking houses, that are priced perfectly is what's selling like hotcakes. By positioning your home to shine far above other comparable homes on the market in your area, I can ensure you get top dollar.
If you're thinking about relocating here:
Central Florida is one of the hotter markets in the country, and I'm not talking about the weather. The seasonality, Florida lifestyle, government, plus no state income tax make Florida super desirable place to live. Taking into consideration that the US housing market is still in a deficit of about 1.5 million homes, and the massive influx of people moving to our state, it's safe to say that other parts of the country are going to feel the affects of a changing market harder and stronger than we are here in the sunshine state.
For those of you with kids: I always joke the spring and summertime is when we all play "musical chairs" and move around. Get started early so you aren't scrambling come July, especially if you are trying to get into a specific school district.
I'll leave you with a few more quick stats:
- The average home price in Orange and Seminole county is $375,000 which is actually down $10k from last month.
- Price per square foot is averaging at about $226/sq.ft
- Median days on market is still increasing- we went from 25 to 33 days on market from listing to pending.
To watch the full market update, click here