Builders, Realtors share their outlook for 2021

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Real Estate

Jan. 1 will bring a new year, but it also may bring the same frenzied housing market.

The uncertainty of the pandemic morphed into a red-hot year for the Central Florida residential real estate sector. For example, home sales in November were up more than 20% year over year, according to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association.

Meanwhile, 2021 is projected to be another strong year for local home sales. The number of home sales in the Palm Bay area is expected to experience the biggest increase in the state, spiking 11.6% year over year, according to a report from Meanwhile, Orlando’s predicted sales volume jump of 10.1% would be Florida’s third-biggest. As a result, home prices will rise. Prices are predicted to climb 5.8% in Orlando and 4.7% in Palm Bay, according to the report. 

Here's more from residential real estate experts on what to expect in 2021:

"Being told to 'stay at home' caused an entire generation of us to rethink where we live, how we live, and how our homes function. Homes became classrooms, gyms and offices. Over a decade ago an entire generation was scarred by the housing crash and great recession and those events impacted how people viewed housing for the last decade. I believe the pandemic will cause the inverse, with the value of how and where you live being front and center for many years to come. In turn, this will create opportunities for companies like Pulte to help people achieve their housing goals." Danielle Hale, chief economist,

"The housing market in 2021 will be much more hospitable for buyers as an increased number of existing sellers and ramp up in new construction restore some bargaining power for buyers, especially in the second half of the year. Still-low mortgage rates help buyers afford home price increases that will be much more manageable than the price increases seen in 2020. With companies continuing to allow workers more flexibility, we see the inner as well as outer suburbs and smaller towns continuing to entice home buyers and builders. Areas that can ramp up affordable housing supply will benefit and see an influx of buyers... Sellers will be in a good position in 2021. Home prices will hit new highs, even though the pace of growth slows." Cliff Long, CEO, Orlando Regional Realtor Association

"The pent-up demand excites me. You see, Covid created a situation where, although we had outstanding housing here, many people stayed home. Many people just simply chose not to get out. These people, like the rest of America, have been sitting in their homes for the last nine to 10 months. There is a pent-up demand to get to Orlando, to get to a vacation destination, to get here." Chassity Vega, CEO, Greater Orlando Builders Association

"As long as things stay where they’re at right now, I think it’s a very good position for new homes sales. I don’t anticipate a lot of slowing down coming our way in terms of buyers. The demand to live in Florida is still so incredible. The resale market is seeing significant numbers, some of the best years they've had. Central Florida is definitely where it’s at. In 2021, we'll be looking at rent relief and mortgage relief and what that's going to look like."