What happened to Ocala's red hot real estate market? Well in many ways we have returned to normal. For a couple of years Ocala was one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. We are now experiencing a much needed correction.
The reason for this real estate frenzy was two fold. Ocala was and still is the lowest priced city in Florida to buy a home. Additionally Ocala had and still has a lot of empty space. There are literally thousands on vacant house lots and large tracts of develop-able land. All this open space and low prices attracted big national builders and small time investors.
The problem was that neither of these groups realized that Ocala doesn't have the booming economy to support such a booming real estate market. Ocala has a low unemployment rate but wages are also lower than most parts of the country. A lot of the homes built were out of the reach of the average working person. Many of the existing homes also appreciated beyond what local people could afford.
Although Ocala is a wonderful place to live, it isn't a true retirement destination. Yes, we do have plenty of retirement communities but Ocala isn't that same as some larger cities in south Florida. People come to Ocala to retire primarily because it's cheaper,less congested and has less crime than other parts of the state.
What's hot in Ocala real estate? Mostly what local people can afford.
Three groups that drove our hot market have either diminished or vanished.
- Investors are selling and not buying.
- Sub prime loans are harder to get shutting out buyers who want to buy but don't really have the ability.
- Out of state buyers can't sell their existing house and therefore cant't move.
This market correction was needed and isn't a temporary thing. Don't expect prices to shoot up at 25% a year in the near future. There is still way too much inventory on the market and it will be years before it can be absorbed.
It's a great time to buy and well priced homes are selling every day. It's just time to adjust to a different market