Orlando Sentinel on the Housing Market

Real Estate Agent with Z House Realty Group

An article appeared in the Orlando Sentinel this morning. It is pretty accurate, housing here has needed to decline in price somewhat to make it more affordable for the people who live here.  Sellers have had to "get real" with pricing and realize that making $200,000 in 2 to 3 years in equity is outragious.  Sellers here are still making a good return on their investment and will continue to do so even if they hold out.  With FHA and VA increasing the loan limits and better education on these loans, I think we will see a pick up in the housing markets.  People still need a place to live.

In Florida, the median price of an existing single-family home dipped below $200,000 in February, down 16 percent from a year ago, according to the Florida Association of Realtors. Realtors sold 25 percent fewer homes during the month, falling to 8,310 from 11,132 in February a year ago.

The median price --  slipped to $198,900, from $237,000 a year ago when the market was beginning to cool after three record sales years.

Was it all bad in Florida? Mostly yes, but with prices dropping a lot more people are finding nicer homes that are worth owning.  And it is not all bad for sellers as well. The median price for a Florida home is still up 41.6 percent from five years ago. In February 2003, the statewide median sales price for single-family homes was $140,500.

Wouldn't falling prices in Florida spur potential home buyers?  You would think so, but it's not that simple. Financing is harder for many buyers to get because of tighter lending standards. And market psychology also is dampening demand, as some buyers expect prices to continue to spiral down, and fears of job losses and a recession lead consumers to be more cautious.

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