The economic outlook this spring is more positive than a year ago when the newly-declared Covid-19 pandemic was shuttering businesses, which could lead to more residential listings in house-strapped Orlando.
New Central Florida home listings plummeted 32% from March to April last year, according to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association. Nationwide, 65% of homeowners who planned to sell their homes delayed or cancelled those plans amid economic and public health uncertainties, according to an April 5 report by online Realtor service site Clever Real Estate Inc.
However, those sentiments are changing. Clever Real Estate’s research found that 77% of Americans interested in selling their homes plan to do it this year. That means “nationwide inventory might see a welcome bump,” according to the report.
A surge of homes on the market indeed would be welcome in Central Florida. There is 1.14 months of existing home supply in the region, a 50% drop from a year ago. This lack of supply in the face of strong home sales drives up prices. In fact, the median sales price of a local home was up 12% in February to $280,000, according to the Realtor association. If a supply shortage continues to cause local home prices to increase at a double-digit pace, potential buyers will get priced out of the local market, University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith previously told Orlando Business Journal.
The growing Covid-19 vaccine rollout and loosening of pandemic restrictions likely will encourage more listings to hit the market, PNC Bank Economist Abbey Omodunbi previously told OBJ. If people feel safer going out in public and interacting with others, they are more likely to feel comfortable listing their homes and moving, Omodunbi said. Meanwhile, local Realtors are imploring multiple methods to get more homes listed, said 2021 Orlando Regional Realtor Association President Natalie Arrowsmith.
“We're looking at data and try to figure out who has equity in their home, who maybe has owned the home for a couple of years and might be willing to sell their home. We're seeing a lot of creative activity out there from other Realtors trying to get people to put their house on the market.”