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“Exodus from the Northeast” continues in Orlando, Tampa Bay

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Juliana Boselli-Neves of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association calls it the “Exodus from the Northeast”.

What you need to know

  • Real estate agents in central Florida, Tampa Bay say the pandemic continues to drive home buying
  • New data from the Orlando Regional Realtor Association shows inventory levels were down 50% year over year in February
  • The report mirrors that of Tampa, St. Pete, Clearwater, where inventories were down nearly 60% year over year in January

Ellie Lambert of Greater Tampa Realtors notes that “people just flood in here on a daily basis.”

You continue to see the same result: high demand for living space, low supply, rising prices and multiple offers for the same house.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to add to this phenomenon as people who work from home in often brutal northern climates flee to central Florida and Tampa Bay.

People who are no longer tied to an office, at least for the time being, ask themselves: “Why not come to the Sunshine State and have a pool, a backyard?” Boselli-Neves, secretary of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, told Spectrum News last week.

The Orlando Association released February data on Monday, which underscores the increasing density of the market.

The report showed that inventories were down 50% from 6,825 homes in February 2020 to 3,420 homes – and the fewest homes for sale in the Orlando area in more than 15 years, the association said.

The February report also showed that:

  • The median retail price rose 12% from February 2020 to $ 280,000.
  • The number of new registrations decreased by 15% from 3,924 apartments in February 2020 to 3,322 apartments.
  • and Listings spent an average of 52 days in the market to close, a 10% decrease from February 2020.

It remains a sellers’ market, but real estate agents emphasize the impact of interest rates, which remain low on the upside.

“I see a very positive market right now,” said Boselli-Neves. “Sellers are happy because properties are being sold in record time at amazing prices, and buyers are very happy because many of them are getting out of small properties (and) going to a nice house with a pool where they can have an office and work from Home. “

Boselli-Neves said home offices continue to be in demand and that some buyers are looking to convert additional bedrooms into office space.

Central Florida dates and sentiment mirror those of Tampa Bay.

Single-family home inventories for the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater markets decreased nearly 60% year over year in January, according to Greater Tampa Realtors. At the same time, the average sales price rose by more than 15%.

Agents attribute this in part to homebuyers arriving from states like New York, New Jersey, Tennessee, and even California, said Lambert, president of Greater Tampa Realtors.

“Because a lot of people have worked from home,” she said, “a lot of companies don’t know where they are. They just know that they are working remotely. “

And now in Florida.

Lambert told Spectrum News the last week of February that the association had seen about 4,100 active listings that week – roughly one home for every 3.5 of its 14,000 real estate agents.

“It’s very competitive right now,” she said. “Everyone wants to try to make a schedule to see these entries. But we see situations with several offers. “

Some homeowners find the prices so attractive that they are considering selling and renting their homes until the market calms down, Lambert said.

“They want to get the most out of their property,” she said, “but they don’t always want to commit to something new because they say, ‘Where would I go and get what I want and not have to pay and arm and leg? ‘”

However, for some buyers, the low interest rates still make a difference. Boselli-Neves of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association said prices are an opportunity for renters to buy.

“This is an amazing opportunity for both sellers and buyers,” she said. “We’re riding this amazing wave at this point.”

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Janet Smith