The COVID-19 pandemic affected commerce and travel across the United States earlier this year. Home inventory and real estate sales slowed nationally while much of the population quarantined at home. As the nation begins to recover, we take a look at how the real estate market fared this year and forecast the health of Florida real estate as we move into fall.

Low inventory and rising home prices

Social distancing worries and new work from home schedules disrupted many families’ plans to place their homes up for sale this spring. With fewer houses on the market this year, home prices are up. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Q1 home values have appreciated 5.7 percent nationally over 2019 Q1 figures.

In Florida, the positive trend continues. According to the FHFA House Price Index (HPI) Quarterly Report, home value appreciation in Florida has surpassed national growth and showed 7.1 percent price growth compared to Q1 2019. Home appreciation in several Florida metro areas ranked in the nation’s top 20 spots for year to year appreciation — Jacksonville at 9.1 percent, Orlando at 8.9 percent, Fort Lauderdale at 8.3 percent, and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater at 7.9 percent. Overall, the state ranked twelfth in the nation for house price appreciation from Q1 2019 to Q1 2020. By July, the statewide median home sales price was up 10.1 percent from last year.

Increasing home sales in Florida

COVID’s impact on the economy resulted in a mortgage rate drop that’s helped rebound the real estate market. As of September 23rd, the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.10 percent. Across Florida, buyers are taking advantage of the low mortgage rates. According to Millionacres, Florida’s Q1 2020 single-family home sales increased 10 percent over Q1 2019. The upward trend has continued this summer, and FloridaRealtors.org reports that single-family home sales in Florida increased 11.7 percent from July 2019 to July 2020 and 13.2 percent from August 2019 to August 2020. In regards to the July numbers, Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor says this is “the best monthly performance for this property type since January’s nearly 18% increase.”

 

Ocala is waiting for you

Florida real estate appears to have survived the pandemic and is back on an upward trajectory. Momentum may carry further into the fall than typical years, as buyers make up for the lost months spent quarantining at home. Despite COVID, it’s still a great year to invest in your Florida dream home. As more families transition to remote work environments, the demand for the best real estate markets in Florida will continue to grow. As of early 2019, the average home price in Ocala, Florida was $179,000. Marion County continues to be an ideal destination for those relocating to central Florida. Known as “The Horse Capital of the World”, Ocala gracefully blends gently rolling pastures with a diverse community of nature lovers and art enthusiasts.

Let our team of local real estate agents introduce you to the magic of Marion County. Send us an e-mail, give us a call at 1-352-351-4718, or stop by the office. We’re here to help you find your dream property in Ocala!