It’s a seller’s market in Central Florida as home prices surge

Historically low inventory for homes in Central Florida and prices are up 15% from 2020

If you’re in the market for a new home, you may be dishing out more money.

The Federal Reserve is reporting a surge in home prices, as the housing market swarms with new home buyers.

“This year is like nothing I’ve ever seen, it’s unbelievable and it’s a great time to sell,” said Real Estate Consultant Kristin Mazza.

Mazza has more than 15 years of experience in real estate. She said inventory for homes is historically low in Central Florida for this time of year, but there’s a lot of people looking to buy.

“There’s so many buyers out there competing, it’s literally a feeding frenzy for some of these properties,” said Mazza.

According to the latest data from the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, in May 2021 there were 2,822 homes on the market in Central Florida compared to 7,260 in May 2020. That’s about a 61% decrease in available homes for sale. Data from the ORRA includes Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties.

With low inventory, comes higher costs.

“The prices are up 15% over May 2020, so it’s a nice increase for the sellers,” said Mazza.

The average sales price for May 2021 topping $361,600, according to the ORRA.

“The market right now is leaning toward people moving up. We aren’t seeing a lot of first-time buyers because a lot of those buyers don’t have enough to pay above appraisal price, understandably,” said Mazza.

Mazza said there was a huge draw for home buyers wanting to move from the Northeast and Canada this time last year, but she saw a drop in those clients after pandemic-related restrictions loosened in those areas.

“The most important thing for buyers is to be ready to jump. If you’re thinking about buying, the most important thing is to have your documentation and financing ready to go before you step into a house,” said Mazza.

And don’t rush if you’re looking to sell. Mazza said a little work can make all the difference.

“Maybe if you do a little more painting or landscaping, anything you can do will translate into more money and profit for you,” said Mazza.

As for the future of the housing market, Mazza said she expects the market will continue this way throughout the summer but the inventory should bounce back, in time.

“I think we’re going to see this activity through the end of the summer at least because people want to get into certain school districts before school starts,” said Mazza. “I do see that balance coming, I think it’s going to be slow. What we don’t want to see is a pin popping the bubble. I think we’ll see a slow stabilization in the market.”

About the Author:

Crystal Moyer is a morning news anchor who joined the News 6 team in 2020.