Last month, the Orlando housing market witnessed something we haven't seen in a while: Sales were down and the surplus was up.
According to a report, released Monday from the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, there were only 2,575 total home sales in November, which is 6.9 percent less than this time last year, and 11.9 percent less than in October. For existing homes within the metro Orlando area, sales in November were down by 9.6 percent from this time last year and down a whopping 12.4 percent in Orange County.
To pile it on, Orlando also experienced its first year-over-year increase of available homes since July of 2015. According to ORRA report, Orlando's bump in available homes was up 1.7 percent when compared to November 2017, and a 1.9 percent higher than last month.
It's only a few hundred homes, but it still matters.
"This slight rise in inventory can be attributed to a combination of both slowing sales and a bump in new listings, which increased by 4.5 percent compared to this same time last year," says ORRA President Lou Nimkoff, Brio Real Estate Services LLC in the report. "Factor in expected increases in interest rates that traditionally dampen sales, and we anticipate prospective homebuyers enjoying bolstered inventory levels throughout the upcoming year."
More options for buyers is usually considered a good thing, but Orlando still has an interest rate problem. Right now interest rates in Orlando are slightly above the national average, which is currently 4.49 percent
for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. The average interest rate paid by Orlando homebuyers in November was 4.97 percent, an increase from 4.85 percent in October, says the report.
It also doesn't help that the median price of Orlando homes in November was $233,100, which is a 3.6 percent increase from this time last year. To put this into an even broader scope, the overall median price is now 101.8 percent higher than it was back in July 2011, says ORRA.
In other words, Orlando's housing market still sucks for potential buyers, but at least the last few months indicate that we're trending towards a cool off period.
Right now we're far from a buyer's market, but even a slight chill is good news for anyone even remotely thinking about getting into a new home in the coming year.
Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.