Fewer Modestly-Priced Homes For Sale Hits Florida First Time Buyers

Compared to last year, this year has seen the bottom half of the Florida real estate market shrink by 27% when using the number of homes on the market as the metric for measuring. This has made it much more difficult for Florida first time home buyers to make the transition from renter to property owner, and has left many Floridians frustrated and discouraged to the point of giving up on their house search.

The Orlando Sentinel reports:

Orlando’s housing pinch of dwindling home listings has hit first-time buyers seeking affordable options more than anyone, new data shows.

Overall, listings in the core Orlando market were down 4 percent in July from a year earlier. But in a tale of the housing haves and have nots, the catalog of houses for sale shrank by 27 percent for the bottom half of the market and grew by 7 percent for the top half, according to Orlando Regional Realtors Association.

Bank teller Mona Mehdi, 23, recently became frustrated with scant listings, rare opportunities stolen by cash-buying investors, and short sales gone bad — enough that she said she was ready to abandon her house search.

“I’ve been trying to buy a house since April. My price range is the exact same price as investors’ so I would put in an offer and get beat out,” said Mehdi, a recent graduate of University of Central Florida. “The prices are definitely going up. I had quit looking, but my parents said the interest rates are so good.”

On Tuesday, the association released a monthly report reinforcing historic late-summer patterns of softening prices and increasing inventory as buyers and sellers move beyond the peak selling season. The median price of $182,000 in August was up 11 percent from a year earlier and down less than a percent from a month earlier. The region’s 3,094 sales in August were up 22 percent from a year ago and down 13 percent from a month ago.

>> read the full article at orlandosentinel.com

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