The real estate market is booming. Take a drive through one of your favorite neighborhoods and you’re sure to notice some “For Sale” signs.
Come back a few days later and those “For Sale” signs have now been replaced with “Under Contract,” “Sale Pending” or “Sold” signs.
If you’re looking to buy a home right now, get in the line. The market is hot with some homes selling before they are listed.
On this week’s edition of Florida’s Fourth Estate, News 6 anchors Matt Austin and Ginger Gadsden spoke with agent Tony Galarza of the Wemert Group Realty.
He sheds some light on why now is a good time to make the investment of buying a home.
So, let’s address the question everyone is asking. Is this vigorous market a repeat of the housing bubble we saw in 2008?
That was the year roughly 10 million Americans lost their home in the financial crisis.
Galarza says this is not a repeat of what happened then.
In fact, Galarza said some were saying a bubble was coming two years ago.
“We saw the market flattening and said maybe we either start to see a bubble or things will re-correct or things will start to flatten out and it just continued to rise” he said.
He went on to say, “I don’t think anybody can necessarily predict if there’s a bubble coming soon.”
Galarza said in the mid 2000′s there were other factors at play that caused the housing crisis.
“If you are looking back to 2005, 2006, 2007 until now, back then we had predatory lending,” he explained.
“We had issues with different lenders offering different types of financing. Where some people were getting zero percent adjustable mortgage but then when that re-adjusted two years later and all that money came due and now they are going from a $700 a month payment to $2,200 a month payment. That’s when people started having issues and could no longer afford it.”
Galarza says protections put into place after that crisis will make it difficult for it to ever happen again.
What is happening again though, is people are in the mood to buy.
A lot of people maybe spent a little too much time at home during the pandemic and realized how much they didn’t like their current home.
Whatever the reason buyers are out and they are not playing around.
When Galarza says homes are selling in a matter of days, he isn’t kidding.
He says agents have been out in neighborhoods taking pictures of homes they are about put on the market. He says house hunters will drive by and ask if the house is going to be put on the market. When the agent says ‘yes’ Galarza says they get an offer on the spot.
When asked how he would describe this type of zest in the housing market Galarza said, “Outrageous.”
So, how is this time different than what preceded the 2008 crisis?
For starters, Galarza says inventory is dramatically low and demand is really high.
He says, “The overall inventory year over year is down 40%” and single family homes make up a huge part of that.
But what about all those new homes and condominiums we see going up just about everywhere.
Galarza says even new construction is being snatched up at record pace.
Many of those homes are being sold to people who live in other states that don’t have the sunshine reputation of Florida.
Galarza says a lot of buyers are coming from New York and California.
“I get calls literally on a daily basis from people in New York telling me the same story. And they have money. They have a lot more money to buy much more home than they can up in New York.”
He also says there are a number of reasons New Yorkers and Californians are drawn to Florida.
“They feel like they do need a bigger home now for their family because they are home schooling now,” Galarza explained.
“And what you can get for your money is much more.”
Galarza says now is actually a good time to buy because of low interest rates.
He says, " When you can go get a 30-year mortgage for close to 2.75%, that’s a huge determining factor.”
Right now he doesn’t see the market slowing down any time soon.
Galarza also offers some advice for first time home buyers and anyone else looking for a home right now. Click on the link for Florida’s Fourth Estate and listen to the full episode with Tony Galarza.
Florida’s Fourth Estate looks at everything from swampy politics to a fragile environment and even the crazy headlines that make Florida the craziest state in the Union.
Ginger Gadsden and Matt Austin use decades of experience as journalists to dissect the headlines that impact Florida. Each week they have a guest host who helps give an irreverent look at the issues impacting the Sunshine State. Big influencers, like Attorney John Morgan, renowned Florida journalists and the scientists protecting Florida’s ecosystem, can often be found as guests.
Look for new episodes every Friday on iTunes, Stitcher or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.