Beyond its year-round warm weather, Florida has a little bit of something for every kind of homeowner, from the family-friendly theme parks of Orlando and historic neighborhoods of Tampa to the beachy lifestyle of Miami. As of November 2020, the statewide median home sale price was $305,000, a jump of 14%, and the number of sales was up nearly 23% year over year, reaching 26,406. The approachable cost of living in Florida has people from all over moving to the sunshine state. 

In Smaller Cities, An Optimistic Outlook

In the Orlando area, the median home price for single-family homes was $290,000 in October of 2020, an increase of 10% from 2019. The amount of sales saw an even bigger bump of 25% in the same period of time. Somewhat surprisingly, the housing market in this area has stayed relatively unaffected throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

See how other homeowners are handling the pandemic. Read “Infographic: Pandemic Creates a Surge in Home Renovations.” 

Ali Wolf, chief economist at Zonda, a housing market research firm, explained to MarketWatch that while the region is synonymous with the hard-hit tourism industry, there’s actually a wide variety of employment sectors in Central Florida that allowed residents to continue working and purchasing homes throughout the pandemic.

Tampa is also booming; a recent Redfin study forecasts that the city will be one of the hottest housing markets this year, noting that the area’s housing prices are, on average, much less than those in Miami, with a median of $345,000 versus $520,000 in September 2020, respectively. 

The study also names Jacksonville, where the median sold price for a home was $224,000 in November 2020, as a city to watch. Prices here are expected to grow 6.8% this year. Demand isn’t currently as high as it is in other metros in the state, with homes staying on the market for an average of 56 days.

Searching for Space in South Florida

In the Palm Beach area, real estate is on fire despite the pandemic; this is due in large part to an influx of wealthy homebuyers looking for a less urban environment. 

“Anyone with money is fleeing New York and coming here,” Guy Clark, an agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate, told the LA Times. 

Nearby Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, has also been experiencing a big boom in housing. The number of single-family homes sold was up nearly 25% in September 2020 from September 2019, and the median sale price reached $425,000, an increase of 15.6%. This has many real estate professionals speculating that this “bubble” is likely to burst at some point soon, and the market has already shown small signs of slowing down. 

Inventory remains a problem statewide, too, with many current homeowners staying put during the past year. 

“As of the end of November, our statewide inventory of single-family homes was down 41.3 percent compared to a year ago,” Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor told The Apopka Voice. “Even listings of properties north of a million dollars, where we’ve had more inventory, are down by almost 25 percent.”

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For those who were buying homes, it was all about space. 

“What I’ve seen is that everybody looking to buy a house was upgrading,” Gianperre Giusti, a real estate agent with the Meza Group in Fort Lauderdale, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “And more importantly, the fact that you could have this space if you were quarantining, so you wouldn’t feel stuck or get cabin fever.” 

Condos have remained relatively flat, likely due to wariness about shared common spaces in buildings.

If you’re a Florida homeowner, growing home values mean that you might have an opportunity to make the most of your home’s value by tapping into your growing equity. Whether you’re looking to purchase a second home, cushion your retirement savings, or grow your business, your equity could help — and a Hometap Investment could let you access it debt-free.

Take our five-minute quiz to see if a Hometap Investment might be a fit for you.

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