Taking a look at the strong housing market in Central Florida

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ORLANDO, Fla. – To say last year was a strong year for the housing market would be an understatement, but will that trend continue in 2020?

If January was any indication, then the answer is yes. The median list price of homes in the Orlando area last month was $277,500, a 7.1 percent jump year-over-year.

With mortgage rates staying historically low, however, the supply simply isn't keeping up with the demand, and finding that perfect house is not only challenging, but it's also hyper-competitive, according to Reese Stewart, president of the Orlando Regional Realtors Association.

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“We’ve been in a seller’s market for the past 11 years,” Stewart said. “The market is tight. If you find a home you like, you might want to move on it right away because if you say that you want to sleep on it, keep in mind somebody else said that yesterday.”

The one negative trend Stewart expects to remain this year surrounds first-time buyers and the lack of inventory at the entry-level section of the market. The low supply of so-called starter homes for sale is partly due to consistently low mortgage rates and rising rent prices, Stewart said.

“If you notice the rental market, especially on a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment, that’s a $1,200 plus monthly payment,” Stewart said. “That’s a mortgage payment to some people.”

Another major problem plaguing Central Florida continues to be the lack of affordable housing available. With an estimated 1,500 people moving to the region every week for the next 11 years, Stewart and his colleagues are working with state and local elected officials to address the crisis.

"Right now, we are at the top of the list when it comes to not having affordable housing for people," Stewart said. "Orlando is a great place to live, it's a destination city, but when it comes to affordable housing we've got some work to do."

Watch “The Weekly on ClickOrlando.com with Justin Warmoth” Sunday at 7:30 a.m.

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