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The Orlando Florida Regional Housing Market Update April 2020








April 2020


Before the report below, a few words about the elephant in the room, aka The Big Real Estate Question: How will the SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID19 pandemic ultimately affect the real estate market?   As you may have guessed – despite what any of the media talking heads state, the answer is not something that can be predicted with any kind of certainty as there are many aspects – both independent and interdependent, which play into what will ultimately happen.   

The pandemic itself is of course independent of the financial world.  Only herd immunity – by direct contact or vaccine will definitively end it.  In the meantime, the use and implementation of behavioral modifications (hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, avoiding touching one’s face, maintaining a six foot separation where possible), and the implementation of solid and specific care protocols (drug therapies and administering immunoglobulin obtained from those who have recovered) as more is learned and worked out should serve to further reduce the mortality rate.

Further, the true mortality rate has yet to be determined.  Advances in widespread testing for antibodies, along with clarity on the data regarding infections and deaths, including those that actually died from the disease vs. those presently being counted as suspected (i.e. untested) or died having tested positive, but perhaps from another cause, should assist in this determination.  Many models predict it will be much lower than presently contemplated.  

These actions may go to quell the fear and unknowns that seem to be driving many of the political actions at this time.   

The interdependent factors are less straightforward. The actions and reactions between the various shut down orders, government fiscal policies and spending bills, orders to allow re-opening, staggered, or all at once, and if staggered, in what parts of the country and portions of the economy, overall unemployment, lender requirement changes, changes in the quality of borrowers, along with supply chain issues for construction and maintenance materials and availability of labor, will all play into how the real estate market will be affected.   

Remember, the dynamics between all of the foregoing will be uncertain and ongoing, and therefore highly unpredictable.  The first major step has already taken place with the announcement of a three phase plan to re-open the economy with the final stage implementation to be handled by governors.

The effects of COVID19 on the real estate market will not come all at once, but will evolve over time as the aforementioned factors interact and play out.  Thus, this current report reflects merely the beginning of some of the effects to come.  Some indices are already seeing change – Inventory, while others lag – Closed Sales and prices.  Thus, it will not be until the months ahead that we see true statistical evidence and then are able to identify trends and draw some conclusions.  

Only two things are certain – like all other portions of the economy, real estate will not escape unchanged and the effects of the “fix” will be felt for some time going forward.

In the meantime – as has been stated many times in many places:  wash your hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol – especially after handling anything in public, avoid touching your face with your hands (use the inside of your shirt if you must), cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, and try and stay at least six feet away from one another.  




This Month’s Report………


The latest housing market data are in for Central Florida, including Lake Mary Florida, Heathrow Florida, Longwood Florida, Sanford Florida, Winter Springs Florida, Oviedo Florida, Debary Florida, New Smyrna Beach Florida, Apopka Florida, Orlando Florida, Geneva Florida, Belle Isle Florida, Maitland Florida, Sorrento Florida, Winter Park Florida, Wedgefield Florida, Avalon Park Florida, and Altamonte Springs Florida. Here are the highlights taken from the Orlando Realtor Regional Board report ending March 2020 (the latest now available):





While inventory is down from last year at this time by 9.6%, it is up by 7.6% from just last month – from just 6,825 housing units in February – less than that which marked the low point in 2013,  to 7,341 in March.    

Though the stay at home order wasn’t issued in Florida until April 2, it can be assumed that the COVID 19 pandemic had already impacted the inventory portion of the market through a number of factors – namely uncertainty in employment, an increase in lending requirements, and the simple reduction in direct, and in-person (vs. internet) house hunting traffic (demand) from buyers located here in Florida as well as those from other states or countries.  Many have adopted a wait-and-see approach.



Homes spent an average of 54 days on the market, one day less than last month but six days less than two months ago. Last year it was also 62 days and two years ago it was 60 days.   At the current pace of sales, there is is now an overall average of a 2.6 month supply. Last year at this time, the supply was 2.7 months.    

Estimated Supply is tied to both inventory and pace of sales.  Six months of supply is generally considered balanced. Under normal economic conditions, anything above six months is generally considered a “buyer’s market” and anything below is then considered a “seller’s market”.  However, there are other factors which weigh into supply times.  Primarily location and price point are the two other significant influencers.  Great locations will move faster than the average market and lower price points tend to move faster as well.  

Regardless of what you tend to hear – there is no true Seller’s market - Buyers ultimately set the market price no matter what the inventory numbers are at any particular moment. That is, Buyers decide if they are willing to, or can, pay more, and by how much, in response to demand, inventory, location and price point.










There were 3,204 (actual sales from MLS listings) in March  – a whopping  increase of 27.01% over the previous month, and 2.0% over a year ago at this time. 

Single family home sales increased 3.3% from a year ago. Condos had a decrease of 11.3% but townhomes were up by 9.2 over March 2019.










The median (usually close to the average) price of all homes sales was $253,500, up 7.9% from a year ago, and up 1.4% from February, 2020. 

The year over year median price for a single family home was up 5.9% from the previous year at this time to $270,000. Condos posted an increase of 14.5% over last year at this time coming in at $146,000 and townhouses increased 5.0% to $220,000.    

The difference between the median and average most times is very small – especially as the sample size increases. The technical difference is that the median is the sales price number in the exact middle of the number of sales – that is exactly where half of the sale prices are lower and half are higher. The average price is the total sales prices divided by the total number of sales. The median is less influenced by fringe numbers – ones very large or very small as compared to the usual numbers.  For example, a million dollar sale in a $200,000 neighborhood or a $50,000 sale in the same neighborhood.  Just for completeness – the mode is the sales price number that is repeated most often.

Price points and sales pace are heavily influenced by location and price-point market segment.   That is, generally homes in the $250,000 - $350,000 range will sell faster and can sell for more per square foot than a home at the $2 million price point because there are far more buyers capable of affording the lower priced home.  Thus, there is more competition amongst that group vying for that particular home.

If one were to add in the location consideration as well, homes in the most desirable locations can sell for many times more than the same home would sell for in an inferior location.  Of course this multiple times the value factor is diminished the higher the price point.

This can be illustrated in the locations and price points most production builders opt for in Central Florida.  Here, we don’t generally see subdivision production builds of homes in the $1M and up range  - but in the $300s-$500s is fairly common.  


Orlando Unemployment

This is a lagging indicator.  The latest numbers for the Orlando Florida MSA   are for February which show a healthy 2.8% unemployment rate.  The pandemic has changed that and the current national average is at 4.4% for March 2020.  It is expected the Orlando area will follow suit.  



Average Orlando MSA Interest Rates* 

The average interest rate paid in the Orlando MSA experienced some wild swings over the past few weeks but has settled down and has remained under 4% to an average of 3.45%.  Home loan rates tend to generally trend along with the ten-year US Treasury bond markets. However the rates for specialty loans are influenced directly by the secondary investor market – those who purchase loan packages after closing.   These loan products currently have been withdrawn by most lenders.




Market Summaries















*The interest rate statistic is over all types of loans with varying terms, conditions, circumstances and credit scores, and should be used as trend reference number only.  Consult your lending representative for rates that would apply to you.

The statistics cited are provided by the Orlando Regional Realtors Association, of which we are a member.

This report is intended to be for reference and informational purposes only.  The opinions expressed herein are solely those of New Southern Properties Inc. and are opinions. No purchases or investments should be made based solely on this report, this data, or the opinions expressed herein.  Real Estate purchases and investments are complex transactions. You are strongly urged to consult with your financial, legal and real estate consultants before making any real estate purchase or investment.


All listing information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified through personal inspection by appropriate professionals. Listings displayed on this website may be subject to prior sale or removal from sale; availability of any listing should always be independent verified. Listing information is provided for consumer personal, non-commercial use, solely to identify potential properties for potential purchase; all other use is strictly prohibited and may violate relevant federal and state law. The source of the listing data is as follows: Stellar MLS (updated 5/24/24 1:12 PM) |
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New Southern Properties Inc.
4300 West Lake Mary Blvd
Bldg 1010, #415
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Phone: 321-262-6162