What Happened to Orlando Real Estate in 2020?

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 I think we all breathed a collective sigh of relief as the ball dropped and brought in 2021. 2020 changed the way we live, including the landscape of how we live in our homes. We spent more time in our homes, became more imaginative with how we use our space, and our homes served more purposes than ever before. For the majority of Americans, we had to redefine how we live in our home. How did all of these challenges affect the real estate market here in Orlando?

It’s a slow Winter Day here in Celebration, but the real estate market is faster than ever

There were fewer homes to buy. The Orlando (and Florida market in general) is usually very healthy thanks to our super low property taxes and great weather, but for the first time in my real estate career homes were selling ultra fast, most of the time within the week. People want to stay in their homes and quarantine more so than ever, so the amount of homes for sale – called “inventory” in the business – was at a near record low. But if homeowners didn’t want to leave their home to show it to buyers, why not buy a brand new home? 

New home builders also faced and are still facing inventory shortages. The price of lumber has increased dramatically due to supply loss. In the Hamlin area where I sell the most new homes, a sales rep from “Home Builder A” shared with me that “Home Builder B” next door stole $50,000 worth of their lumber in the middle of the day to complete their neighborhood. As a result, Home Builder A now has cameras at the entrances to their neighborhood. Shortages in building materials directly relate to the shortage of available homes overall.

According to The Orlando Board of Realtors, the amount of homes for sale decreased by 26% in the 2020 calendar year! This was perfectly illustrated when I listed a home for sale around Christmastime (the slowest time of year in Orlando)  and had to give myself a reality check when I questioned why we didn’t have a full price offer 4 days after listing! I was surprised by how accustomed I’ve become to the housing demand caused by the Coronavirus.

My Sellers received a full-priced offer on their home, and made a profit while only owning the home for one year. Almost unheard of!

The most noticeable change in the 2020 housing market was the home price increase! As of this writing, home prices have increased about 15% from November 2019 to November 2020. For example, homes that were selling for $250,000 are now selling in the high 280,000’s. 

This probably sparks the question, “Are these prices sustainable?” And here’s what I’ve seen: My real estate business model is unique in that I mostly work with buyers (it’s more fun!) However, with the increase in remote workers, The Magical Moves team actually saw an increase in buyers ready to move to Orlando now that they can work from home, wherever home is! 

I’m hoping 2021 brings more balance to building supplies and homes available for sale. With vaccinations, hopefully a return to work means a more equitable real estate market for all! Stay tuned, and stay healthy.

Eric Gross

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