Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

May 24, 2021

FLORIDA HOME SALES SURGING

I get the question ALL.THE.TIME:  "So, how's the Real Estate market these days?"  Well, as of today, 5/24, here is the latest on April 2021 sales Versus April 2020 sales.  As always, CONTACT ME FOR MORE INFORMATION.  I am here for you!

  ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida’s housing market remained strong in April, with more closed sales, higher median prices, more new pending sales and increased pending inventory compared to a year ago, according to Florida Realtors® latest housing data. However, note that the April data is being compared to April 2020 – and the first statewide lockdown due to COVID-19 took effect April 1, 2020.

April Sales Stay Strong — But What's Next?

APRIL SALES STAY STRONG — BUT WHAT'S NEXT?

The latest figures for Florida home sales are as strong as ever. While we're still way above the "normal" rate of sales (compared to non-pandemic years), there are indications a long, gradual — but healthy — slowdown could be starting. 

“Florida’s housing data for April showed robust and fast-paced market conditions,” says 2021 Florida Realtors President Cheryl Lambert, broker-owner with Only Way Realty Citrus in Inverness“Keep in mind that the comparison data comes from April 2020, when Florida was experiencing the full impact of the pandemic. In our current market, a severe shortage of homes for sale coupled with intense buyer demand continues to push home prices higher. Hopefully, as we see more positive signs the pandemic is easing and our economy is improving, sellers who have been on the fence will be ready to list their homes for sale.”

Closed sales of single-family homes statewide in April totaled 33,264, up 55.4% year-over-year, while existing condo-townhouse sales totaled 17,330, up 130.9% over April 2020. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $336,525, up 22.4% from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Last month’s statewide median price for condo-townhouse units was $250,000, up 19.6% over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

For a couple of months, year-over-year figures for closed sales and a few other market metrics adversely impacted by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic a year ago will show those effects in a very high, positive percentage change, according to Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor. However, he explained, the abnormally high year-over-year growth figures should shrink significantly in June, because June of last year was the beginning of the recovery in sales.

“One way we can get a better sense of the longer-term trend of sales growth is to instead compare this April’s sales figure to April 2019, which was a relatively typical year for the housing market,” O’Connor said. “If you calculate the percent change of sales from April 2019 to 2021, you’ll find there was a two-year percentage increase of over 23%. That’s a little below the two-year percent change in sales of over 31% that we saw in March of this year (compared to March 2019), so this suggests that the longer-term rate of sales growth actually slowed down a little bit in April.

“That’s not really surprising, since most financed home sales that closed in April went under contract at a time when interest rates had risen compared to when March’s closed sales were going under contract. So, this puts us on track for what most housing market forecasts indicate will be a long, gradual slowdown in the rate of sales.”

O’Connor added, “Our data shows Florida’s strong housing market is above the normal rate of sales growth, however, so this isn’t anything to be concerned about. In fact, in many ways, this is better for the long-term health and stability of the housing market.”

On the supply side of the market, inventory (active listings) tightened even more in April. Single-family existing homes were at a very low 1.1-months’ supply while condo-townhouse inventory was at a 2.3-months’ supply.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.06% in April 2021, significantly lower than the 3.31% averaged during the same month a year earlier.

To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Tools and Resources. Realtors also have access to local market data (password protected) through Florida Realtors SunStats resource.

© 2021 Florida Realtors®

Posted in Market Updates
April 13, 2021

To Stage or Not To Stage

Should I Stage My Home?

TO STAGE OR NOT TO STAGE?... THAT IS THE QUESTION...

Perhaps the better questions to ask might be, "How much time do you want to wait before your property sells?" and "How much do you want it to sell for?"

It is well known in the home staging industry that a professionally styled home will usually sell more rapidly and at a higher selling price than an unstaged (occupied) home or even one that is vacant and empty though maybe clean.  But WHY?

Before

After

Home Staging is, in effect, a process of "clearing the slate" so that a Buyer is able to see the home as a separate entity from the Seller.  A  Buyer wants to be able to envision that home as Their Perfect Home and this is often not possible when it is "full to the brim" of the  Seller's tastes and preferences.  In a vacant property, the empty home is devoid of creativity, function and definition; many  Buyers cannot visualize the potential that lies within.  Sure, we all know the function of a kitchen and bathroom, but what about that awkwardly-shaped living room? - or is it a dining room? - perhaps even a cocktail salon?  And, really, what would one do with THAT MANY bedrooms?

A professional stager will "set the scene" for a Buyer to not only picture themselves but to sit down on the couch imagining enjoying a cool drink in the living room, watching a good movie or reading a favorite book in the den, working on family business in the office, and even basking in their own personal spa in the bathroom.  The purpose is to create a GREAT first impression that is welcoming and draws the  Buyer into the home for sale then leads them into each additional space presenting new and beautiful vistas of opportunity that would be possible with This Property.  

In my experience, I have seen amazing transformations that have surprised even myself after a day of staging.  The possibilities are endless and the rewards are many.  Cost is dependent on each unique job as relates to number of rooms staged, size of the home, and vacant/occupied status, among other things.  A professional stager should give the client an up-front estimate according to the criteria determined for the home.  Again, as a result of staging, most homes sell quicker and at a higher price than would have been attained otherwise; so, the cost of staging is outweighed by the benefits, making it a very viable option.

 Before