Florida First Time Property Buyers Get Squeezed Out By Cash Flush Investors

When it comes to affordable housing in Florida, it seems there just isn’t enough to go around. First time Floridian buyers are competing with cash flush investors in this segment of the market and the results are that available inventory is drying up. While this is good news for sellers who can offer their properties for higher prices, it’s making buying your first home a challenge for Floridian renters.

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.

One of the biggest drivers of prices and sales volume has been market supply in a region where home purchases have been attractive to investment buyers from across the country.

While the supply of listings edged up a fraction to 3.7 months from July to August, the shopping options remain far below the six-month point that is considered a balanced market. Just a year earlier, the market had a supply of more than five months.

>> read the entire story at orlandosentinel.com

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