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April 2nd, 2012 11:51 AM by David W. Welch
Recently, I was interviewed by Florida Trend magazine about the Orlando real estate market. They asked me what the big story for 2012 was going to be, and I told them the declining inventory. At the beginning of the year we had over 9,000 homes available for sale which was down from 16,000 at the beginning of 2011. The decline has continued with fewer than 7,900 homes available as of today (April 2nd). I report the inventory numbers nearly every day on http://www.RealEstateOptimist.com, and you can actually watch the number of homes available drop. The number of pending sales is over 10,700. If the current pace of inventory decline continues we could dip below 7,000 homes for sale by Summer.
Demand for homes continues to be pretty strong too. I am looking for Orlando Realtors to close 2,300 homes this month, which may not set any records, but it is a strong showing. Keep in mind, at that pace, we only have 3.4 months of inventory available for sale. This has put some upward pressure on prices. Our median price a year ago in March was $102,000, and this March we will post a median sales price near $115,000. That is better than a 12.5% increase. The lower inventory is allowing sellers to sell their homes for a little more than they might have received a year or two ago, but nothing like the frenzy of 2005. We are seeing faster sales, and frequently multiple offer situations for good homes at fair prices. I listed a home in the MLS this past weekend on Saturday. We had our first showing four hours later, and an offer within 27 hours. We are under contract over one weekend, and the sellers are happy with what they were able to get for their house. Now we can put a contract on a new home to be built, because they could not find a resale they liked where they are moving. So, the low inventory should be good for builders too.
David Welch Real Estate Optimist, Orlando Real Estate, Search for Homes