Orlando homes sell at fastest clip since 2006, before the real estate bubble burst
Indecisive home buyers in the Orlando area were left behind last month as houses sold faster than in a decade, a new report shows. Orlando homes that sold during August landed a contract within an average 56 days of hitting the market — the shortest sales period since May 2006, when the real estate bubble was about to burst.
With less Orlando homes on the market and a still high demand from buyers, the market has been very good for sellers in the area.
A year ago, houses took an average of two weeks longer to sell than in August, according to reports from Orlando Regional Realtor Association, which looks at sales mostly in Orange and Seminole counties. During the depths of the recession in 2008, Orlando houses took more than twice as long to sell as they did last month.
The late summer buying season in Orlando brought increased activity with 3,429 houses selling in August — up 2 percent from a month earlier and up 7.3 percent from a year earlier. Housing supply shrank too, dwindling to three months worth of inventory from 3.2 months in July and from 3.6 months a year before, the association’s monthly sales report shows.
But those overall market stats don’t reveal the challenges facing entry-level buyers.
“There were 21 percent fewer single family homes listed below $300,000 available for purchase than this month last year,” said John Lazenby, president of the association. “The lack of available options is pushing buyers to take advantage of the current low interest rates and choose more expensive properties they might not otherwise be able to afford with higher rates.”
Lazenby underscored the market’s bifurcation by pointing to a supply of just 1.98 months for houses priced under $300,000. Buyers don’t begin to realize the benefits of a more balanced market — with closer to a six-month supply of listings — until they look at houses priced higher than $400,000, he added.
Buyers had to jump faster for contracts in August, but, unlike the heated market a decade ago, they benefited from relatively flat prices.
Typically the summer buying season peaks in July, with families positioning themselves for the new school year. This year, median prices topped in June at $207,000 for the core Orlando market. In August, median prices held at $205,990, which was flat from a month earlier. Compared with a year ago, prices rose 13.8 percent.
Interest rates in August for a 30-year mortgage were an average of 3.06 percent, which was down from 3.18 percent in July.
Source: “Orlando houses sell at fastest clip since 2006,” Orlando Sentinel