‘We are out of balance:’ Orlando housing market soared in 2021 amid low inventory, high demand

December 2021 report shows median price of a home reaches $340,000

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando real estate market broke records in 2021, according to the latest report released Tuesday by the Orlando Regional Realtors Association.

The December 2021 report showed the median price of a home for the Orlando market reached $340,000, up $10,000 from November’s record and up $65,000 from December 2020.

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The Orlando real estate market includes Orange, Osceola, Lake and Seminole Counties, where the report showed inventory was also at record lows, down 47% from December 2020.

“It’s basic economics, it’s a supply and demand issue,” said Rob Rahter with Stockworth Realty Group. “We are out of balance, we don’t have enough homes to go around. We need more people to want to sell and we need more homes to be built.”

Rahter is not surprised by the record-breaking report based on how homes are selling within 31 days on average according to the report. He says homes he’s selling are still getting multiple offers above-ask, and some are off-market altogether.

“No surprise for those of us selling homes,” Rahter said. “We are doing home sales off-market and then it will eventually record MLS, but we are doing the sale with the buyer and seller off-market and that’s one way we are beating the system.”

The impact is creating a perfect storm for a seller’s market and a challenge for a buyer. However, what if you are a homeowner who isn’t looking to sell or buy?

“It’s a great time to use your equity in your home,” said lender Susie Carlton, with Element Funding. “Rates have also been at historic lows over the last year. In 2021, we saw rates below 2%, so rates have been great for refinancing.”

She said as she sees those interest rates on mortgages climb up again, homeowners who need extra cash or want to do improvements on their homes can cash in on the equity built in because the housing market is so hot.

“We’re seeing a lot of people wanting to pull cash out maybe to pay off some higher rate credit cards, student loans, maybe help with their monthly cash flow. So it’s a great time to use that equity and it’s still not too late even though rates are moving up a bit,” Carlton added

News 6 asked if she feels the market is strong enough going into 2022 to take that equity out?

“Yes,” she answered. “Typically, you can only cash out up to 80% of your equity. So, you’re not going to borrow the whole amount. You’re still going to have an equity position. And the other thing to keep in mind is that the home prices are not expected to crash like what happened back in 2007 and 2008. They are expecting homes to continue to increase in value.”

However, Carlton recommends speaking to a lender to see what options in a market like this can work for you.

“It really depends on your situation. If you have a good interest rate right now on your mortgage and you don’t have a need to use that equity, then keep the money there. It’s sitting there. It’s earning,” Carlton said. “But if you find yourself with a lot of debt, or need to fix your home, or you want to add that extra bedroom or add a pool, It’s a great way to use your equity.”