Pandemic takes toll in Orl housing except price

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Real Estate

Orlando’s housing market in the first six months of the year was largely down compared to 2019, but prices continue to climb. 

Home sales between January and June were down 13.49% from the same six-month period last year, according to data from the Orlando Regional Realtor Association. Still, prices were up 6.69%, driven by the region’s low supply of housing. 

Measuring the pandemic’s toll  
Here’s a closer look at major housing market indicators for Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties and how they compare in the first half of this year and last year: 

Home sales: 15,618 in 2020, down 13.49% from 18,053 in 2019  
Median price: $255,000 in 2020, up 6.69% from $239,000 in 2019  
Sales volume: $4.6 billion in 2020, down 9.43% from $5.1 billion in 2019  
New listings: 22,000 in 2020, down 11.95% from 24,985 in 2019  
New contracts: 19,550 in 2020, down 5.26% from 20,635 in 2019 
Inventory (monthly average): 7,112 in 2020, down 12.22% from 8,102 in 2019
Pending sales (monthly average): 4,703 in 2020, down 8.41% from 5,135 in 2019 

Local home demand was strong to start the year, but it slowed with the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic. That led to stay-at-home orders, businesses shuttering and a subsequent reduction in home closings. 

At the same time, home prices never took a plunge. That’s likely due to Central Florida’s low housing supply. In fact, future sales drop offs can be attributed to a lack of homes, Reese Stewart, 2020 president of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, previously said. 

Residential market rebounds  
Despite the hit the residential real estate sector took in the first half of the year, the market began to recover during the summer. For example, Orlando home sales were up month-over-month in both June and July, and July’s 3,670 home sales were a 1.4% boost from July 2019. 

Local homes are in-demand as out-of-state buyers surge to Central Florida and low interest rates attract first-time buyers. 

The outlook for the residential real estate market is strong for the near future, Allyn Maycumber, broker associate at Orlando-based Keller Williams Advantage, said during OBJ’s Housing Market Roundtable, sponsored by TD Bank. “For now, there’s no stopping us.” 

Local housing activity is important because every home sale in the state has an estimated local economic impact of $77,858, according to a 2018 study by the National Association of Realtors. In addition, the housing market often is considered a reflection of the overall health of the local economy.