Housing Bust? Orlando Golden in ’06

Orlando mapFlorida’s housing market mirrored the national trend in 2006, with sales of existing single-family homes slowing to a more sustainable pace following a five-year run of record closings. By year’s end, a total of 180,037 homes changed hands statewide for a 28 percent decrease compared to the 248,575 homes sold in 2005, according to the Florida Association of Realtors® (FAR).

At the same time, 2006 sales figures made it into the record books for several markets around the state; 2006 also is expected to be the third highest sales year on record nationally.

Statewide, the median existing home sales price rose 6 percent to reach $248,300; in 2005, it was $235,200. In 2001, Florida’s median existing home sales price was $127,700, which represents a gain of 94.4 percent over the five-year period, according to FAR records.

Looking to Florida’s existing condominium market, sales of existing condos also decreased in 2006, with a total of 55,594 condos sold statewide compared to 83,049 in 2005 for a 33 percent decrease, according to FAR. The statewide median sales price for condos in 2006 was $211,300; a year ago, it was $209,900 for a 1 percent increase.

Among the state’s larger metropolitan statistical areas (MSA’s), Orlando reported a total of 27,212 existing homes sold last year, down 26 percent than the area’s 2005 sales activity, when 36,727 homes changed hands. The existing-home median sales price rose 14 percent to $262,900; the year before, it was $231,400. A total of 4,933 existing condos sold in the Orlando market in 2006, a 2 percent increase over the 4,833 condos sold the year before. The existing condo median price for the area was $166,100, a 3 percent decrease from the 2005 figure of $171,100.

The year 2006 was the second best year on record for the Orlando area housing market, says Randy Martin, president of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association and broker-associate with RE/MAX 200 Realty Inc. in Winter Park.  A driving force behind the market this year is that builders have all this new inventory out there, so they’re offering these incredible incentives to clear and move their inventory of new homes. At the same time, they’re reducing plans to build new development. The anticipation is that builders will burn their supply of available homes sometime in mid-2007. It’s why right now is an outstanding time to buy, plus the interest rates are still low. And looking to 2007, we anticipate another strong year, with opportunities for buyers and sellers.

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