By all accounts 2015 was a good year for the real estate market in the US and especially Florida. According to Florida Realtors and the Freddie Mac Multi-Indicator Market Index, “Florida’s real estate rebound led the nation, with Orlando the top US rebound city.” Florida single family homes rose 12.4% year-to-year. This is wonderful news for us here in Central Florida.
Inventory tightened up and moved fast over 2015 with a 4.4 month inventory. This affected first-time home buyers the most as they looked for homes. Although inventory was tight, there were advantages to first-time home buyers as well. FHA introduced a 3% down payment plan, and reduced mortgage insurance fees. They also relaxed their condo rules which allowed interested buyers to expand their searches. First-time home buyers stuck with fixed rate mortgages and raised the quality of borrowing. Interest rates remained steady at about 4% (for a 30-year fixed).
2016 is starting off with a solid foundation which will support a stabile market. Affordability and availability will be important to buyers as rents could increase 8%. Florida Realtors predicts an 8-10% increase in home sales, and a 5% increase in home values. They credit Florida’s strengthening employment and economy for this rise.