Despite a surge of new Orlando home listings hitting the market in March, local home prices hit a new record high.
Bolstered by strong sales, the median metro Orlando home price last month climbed to $361,000, according to data released by the Orlando Regional Realtor Association on April 18. That was up 4.6% from $345,000 the month before and up 26.7% from $285,000 in March 2021.
Price gains continued last month despite a boost to the region’s inventory. In March, 4,375 new homes hit the market, and the number of new listings grew 18.7% from February.
The increase in new listings is a sign of the spring season, typically the most popular time to sell a house, Orlando Regional Realtor Association 2022 President Tansey Soderstrom said in a prepared statement. Even more homes may get listed for sale in April, as Redfin Corp. found late April is the best time to list metro Orlando homes to get the best final sales price, according to a March 31 report by the Seattle-based property data company.
However, the bump in new listings isn’t enough to correct the region’s out-of-balance housing market and stop price escalations.
That’s because supply remains far behind demand. There’s slightly less than a one-month supply of existing homes in the Orlando area, much less than the six months of supply that indicates a balanced market.
While inventory is gradually increasing, metro Orlando home sales experienced a month-over-month spike in March. The association recorded 4,100 existing home sales, up from 3,198 sales in February. Still, last month was less busy than last March, when 4,268 home sales were recorded.
Meanwhile, the average interest rate in March was 4.2%, the highest average rate recorded by the Realtor association since April 2019. The Realtor association is keeping an eye on rising interest rates, Soderstrom said. “We have to watch their effect and see if this is the start to the market cooling off.”
The housing market in Central Florida and across the U.S. experienced a historic seller’s market in 2021, but the volume of closed mortgage loans is down in the last four months, said Caleb Corsair, loan originator at Lake Mary-based lender Home1st Lending LLC. Despite demand for homes, limited inventory throttles the volume of closed loans, Corsair said.
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