fbpx

ideal-LIVING
Retirement Blog

Florida Real Estate Market Heats Up

By Scott Kauffman

Much like the major stock market indices in early March, the Florida housing market seemingly wants to keep climbing higher and higher. florida2At least that’s one way to read Florida’s real estate industry as it roared into the Spring 2014 buying season.

Indeed, the Sunshine State is living up to its name with housing data showing nothing but sunny skies in nearly every Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), according to the most recent quarterly study from the Florida Realtors. In fact, 19 of the 20 Florida MSAs in fourth quarter 2013 had a higher median sale price compared to the prior year. The only laggard: Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, which is located in Florida’s panhandle.

All in all, Florida’s housing market wrapped up 2013 with more closed sales, higher pending sales, higher median prices and a reduced inventory of homes for sale compared to the prior year, the Florida Realtors association reported.

“Throughout 2013, the state’s housing market has demonstrated it’s in a solid recovery and gaining strength,” said 2014 Florida Realtors President Sherri Meadows, who also serves as chief executive officer and Keller Williams team leader with market centers in Gainesville, Ocala and the Villages. “The positive fundamentals of Florida’s housing sector continue into 2014. However, factors remain that could slow an even stronger economic recovery, such as limited inventories of for-sale homes in many areas, overly-restrictive mortgage credit, rising interest rates, and concerns about the cost and availability of property and flood insurance.”

According to the latest Florida Realtors quarterly study, statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 227,411 in 2013, up 11.8 percent compared to the 2012 figure. Meanwhile, pending sales for existing single-family homes jumped 17.6 percent for the year, and the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 2013 rose to $168,000, up 15.9 percent from the previous year.

By comparison, the National Association of Realtors recently reported the preliminary national median sales price for existing single-family homes for all of 2013 was $197,100, up 11.5 percent from 2012 — and the strongest annual price gain since 2005.florida3

That means Florida real estate still has room to grow. That’s one reason foreign investors keep flooding the market, reflected in data from the National Association of Realtors recent “Profile of International Home Buyers” that shows 23 percent of all the U.S. sales last year by foreign buyers occurred in Florida.

Of course, one of the Florida’s hottest real estate markets is Orlando, where a projected North American record 59 million tourists visited in 2013. Many of them are moving into Orlando for good, or placing second-home roots, explaining why the median sales price of a home in the fourth quarter 2013 increased 21.1 percent from the prior year to $172,000. Only the Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach MSA corridor had a higher percentage gain (22.9% to $129,000).

One development doing well is the Fountains at ChampionsGate, which is part of the 36-hole master-planned luxury golf resort and residential community just minutes from Walt Disney World. Featuring gourmet kitchens, outdoor terraces, and a resort-style pool and a clubhouse within walking distance, these upscale villas offer the precise standards many overseas buyers are seeking, according to Brookes & Co. managing director Philip Button.

“Orlando has everything — a fantastic climate, world-class theme and water parks and some of the best golf courses in Florida,” said Button, whose property investment firm is marketing The Fountains with longtime local developer Feltrim. “We’ve seen prices here increase by 24 percent during 2013, according to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, and the picture continues to improve. It’s an extremely exciting time for those looking to invest in Florida’s real estate market.”

Despite the ongoing property value increases, prices in the Orlando area remain well below their median peak of $264,000 in 2007, leaving investors excited about how much further prices may be expected to rise.

Keller Williams realtor April Ragar is one Orlando-area agent benefitting from the soaring Central Florida market. Last year, her Ragar Group closed on 52 homes, a 20 percent increase over 2012, and 2014 is looking no different.

“I just had an appraisal come in at $10,000 higher than the purchase price,” the Clermont-based professional pointed out. “In the last year, the average sales price (in Lake County) has probably increased by more than 50 percent ($120,000 to $185,000-plus).

“You’re also seeing more traditional sales because there’s not as many distressed properties. That means sellers are not as negotiable these days.”

Yet, Ragar adds it is still a great time to buy a home in her popular Orlando bedroom community because interest rates remain very low and financing options are becoming more attractive for first-time homeowners and those seeking down payment assistance.

In Southwest Florida, specifically the Naples-Fort Myers market, builders simply can’t build homes fast enough to meet demand, according to national housing data and consulting firm MetroStudy. For example, new home inventory dropped further to only 1.1 month’s supply, suggesting that very few finished new homes remain for sale. Moreover, finished, developed lot inventory continued to decline, MetroStudy added, reaching its lowest level in years.

“A clear sign that the market is still healthy is found in the finished, vacant home data,” said David Cobb, MetroStudy’s regional director in the Naples market. “Both Lee and Collier Counties have 1.1 months-of-supply of finished, vacant homes. This is a reflection that almost every home under construction has been sold.”

In Lee County subdivisions, housing starts fell in fourth quarter 2013 by 10 percent, but new home construction was still up 12 percent year-over-year.

“One trend worth noting is the annual starts by price range,” Cobb pointed out. “The supply of homes under $200,000 has dwindled, while big increases are noted in the $250,000 to $400,000 price range. Builders are finding it extremely difficult to deliver fee simple homes at affordable prices, due to the increases in land values and construction costs.”

One outcome of this will likely be a resurgence in the condo market, MetroStudy reports, which has been stagnant for almost seven years.

In Palm Coast-Flagler County, the real estate market isn’t quite as hot but area communities are still showing strong gains in year-over-year sales and price appreciation. For instance, Flagler County MLS closed sales for single-family homes was up 3.9 percent in the fourth quarter and Flagler’s median price rose 17.9 percent to $145,000 year-over-year.

“We have seen all these numbers before in the monthly releases, but looking at them on a quarterly and annual basis allows for a better evaluation of the real estate market,” says Florida Realtors chief economist John Tuccillo, Ph.d. “The trends we have seen develop over the year – rising sales and prices, declining percentage of cash sales and stabilizing inventory – are confirmed in these statistics.

“If we compare the fourth quarter statistics to the annual numbers, we get an even clearer picture of the trends. In the last part of the year, for example, cash sales declined faster. This points to the diminishing presence in the market of
investors. But overall sales continued to improve, although at a slower rate. This suggests that owner-occupants are replacing, at least in part, the smaller influence of investors.”

Ultimately, this portends to a much sounder and more stable Florida real estate future.

Del Webb Naples - Active Adult Florida Community

Del Webb Naples - Active Adult Florida Community

Ave Maria, Florida

Del Webb Naples is a 55+ active adult community located within the vibrant master-planned community of Ave Maria, near renowned Naples, Florida. Discover the world-class amenities, an 18-hole championship golf course, and extensive community events and social functions, providing an unparalleled lifestyle.
Read More...

FL


Del Webb Nocatee

Del Webb Nocatee

Ponte Vedra, Florida

Del Webb Nocatee is a 55+ Active Adult Community in Ponte Vedra FL. Experience the epitome of resort-style living while living near pristine beaches and world-class golf. There is always an activity within reach..
Read More...

FL


Margaritaville Cottages Orlando

Margaritaville Cottages Orlando

Kissimmee, Florida

Escape to your own paradise, chill and relax and enjoy Jimmy Buffett Inspired Margaritaville Cottages Orlando Community in Florida. Fins up! Enjoy amazing amenities and dining.
Read More...

FL


Wycliffe Golf & Country Club - Florida Golf Community

Wycliffe Golf & Country Club - Florida Golf Community

Wellington, Florida

As a private equity community, home ownership is the key to living the fabulous Wycliffe lifestyle. Our gated residential community of 1,045 Mediterranean-style single-family homes, villas and condo residences is spread throughout 14 uniquely charming neighborhoods
Read More...

FL


Del Webb Stone Creek - Ocala Florida Active Adult 55+

Del Webb Stone Creek - Ocala Florida Active Adult 55+

Riverview, Florida

Del Webb Stone Creek, a gated 55+ Active-Adult community located in the horse capital of the world, Ocala, Florida. Love life to the fullest with newly renovated world class amenities, 18-hole championship golf course, and community events planned by our lifestyle director, providing an unparalleled lifestyle.
Read More...

FL


The Lakes at Harmony

The Lakes at Harmony

Harmony, Florida

This gated community, with a golf clubhouse, exclusive Members Retreat and a resort-style pool with a spacious deck and Sunset Gazebo, sits on 11,000 acres. With two lakes and 12.5 miles of walking and bicycling trails, Harmony boasts a serenity matched only by its outstanding proximity to everything you could ever want.
Read More...

FL


Marina Pointe

Marina Pointe

Tampa, Florida

Designed by master developer BTI Partners, Marina Pointe features luxury condominiums and are located in the heart of South Tampa's premier waterfront community. In addition to being just minutes away from the vibrant downtowns of Tampa and St. Petersburg, Marina Pointe residents can also walk to shops, a waterfront restaurant, and bars and cafes in the Westshore Marina District's retail center.
Read More...

FL


Lakewood Ranch | Best Places to Live in Florida

Lakewood Ranch | Best Places to Live in Florida

Lakewood Ranch, Florida

At Lakewood Ranch, it's all about the good life. Health, family, and fun are the focus. And, there's an activity to fit every lifestyle. The community hosts 54 holes of golf, a country club with two clubhouses, and tennis and athletic centers. Additionally, it's home to the Sarasota Polo Club and seven world-class polo fields. Lake Ranch polo tournaments attract players from around the world. Still, the list continues with a 75-acre premier sports campus, A-rated schools, and a hospital and preventative medical clinic.
Read More...

FL


Cypress Falls by Del Webb

Cypress Falls by Del Webb

North Port, Florida

The famous Del Webb active adult lifestyle awaits at Cypress Falls. And with its convenient location, you won't have to go far to enjoy all the top Sarasota area attractions. Experience for yourself the low-maintenance resort-lifestyle complemented by a vibrant array of amenities including the community's social clubhouse with state-of-the-art fitness center, grand ballroom, activity and game rooms, library and more.
Read More...

FL


Del Webb eTown

Del Webb eTown

Jacksonville, Florida

Active Adult Community in Jacksonville FL is Del Webb eTown. Explore this Builder and 55+ community in sunny beautiful Florida! Brand new master-planned community now selling!
Read More...

FL


WaterSong at RiverTown

WaterSong at RiverTown

St Johns,

WaterSong at RiverTown is Debuting Soon! As a Florida 55+ Active Adult Community, now is the time to enjoy a carefree active lifestyle centered on fun and enjoying life. Located along the banks of the St. Johns River, WaterSong features magnificent resort-style amenities. Find your dream home today!
Read More...

FL


Del Webb Oasis

Del Webb Oasis

Winter Garden, Florida

Coming soon, the beautiful resort-style community of Del Webb Oasis will let you live life to the fullest. This 55+ active adult community has an ideal Orlando location, next to the city's most popular attractions. The lifestyle allows proximity to fun, while our collection of new single-family and villa homes will welcome you.
Read More...

FL


On Top of the World Communities - Florida 55+ Communities

On Top of the World Communities - Florida 55+ Communities

Ocala, Florida

Renowned for beautiful homes and an unrivaled method that combines top-notch programming, talented staffing and incredible amenities, On Top of the World Communities in Ocala, FL, is truly a leader in creating quality lifestyles
Read More...

FL


Island in the Sun

Island in the Sun

Clearwater, Florida

Nestled in Clearwater, Florida, Island in the Sun 55+ Manufactured Home Community offers resort style living all year long. Our location is ideal because its a few minutes drive to breathtaking white sandy beaches, distinguished restaurants, exciting shopping centers and minor league baseball. With amenities designed around the active senior, you can stay fit while building life-long friendships. Take an invigorating swim or join friends for a dip in the spa. Meet up with your neighbors for a game of bocce ball, pickleball, shuffleboard or even a game of pool in our billiards room.
Read More...

FL


Briarwood - Active 55+ Resort

Briarwood - Active 55+ Resort

Port Orange, Florida

Step into this active 55 plus community just minutes from the beach in Port Orange, Florida and be amazed at how affordable a resort lifestyle can be! You will discover friendly people, luxury amenities and homes for sale and rent.
Read More...

FL


Your Information Request for your selected properties



By submitting this form, you agree to allow ideal-LIVING.com to provide your contact information to the selected communities.
Share this with friends!
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •