Why This Isnt The Florida Housing Bubble You Feared

Dated: August 23 2020

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Why This Isn't the Florida Housing Bubble You Feared

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Back in April 2020 at the peak of the COVID-19 shutdown, Floridians were in the midst of some pretty extreme lifestyle adjustments and a future we had never experienced before. At the beginning of the lockdown, we did experience a brief ‘pause’ in the real estate market, mostly because home buyers and sellers had no guidance on how to safely buy or a sell a home during a Pandemic (based on the feedback we were receiving from our clients and neighbors). By brief pause, we mean brief, as we really only experienced a slowdown that lasted a few weeks in Pinellas County.

If you’ve been reading our weekly newsletter, then you know we fully believed the real estate market would not only rebound from a slowdown that lasted only a few weeks, but would come back in full force thanks to historically low mortgage loan interest rates and a continued lack of inventory in the Pinellas County Housing Market. We consistently assured our clients that home prices wouldn’t be crashing any time soon (to the dismay of home buyers hoping to score a bargain in a crash).

So where are we today? Exactly where we predicted, which is nowhere near a slowing housing market. I’ve said this time and time again, when in doubt, just look at the numbers. The Pinellas County, FL housing market is not only strong, but real estate across the U.S. has been outperforming every other sector in the U.S. since the Pandemic started. While some markets may have softening prices due to other factors (think San Francisco where residents are fleeing the area for more affordable housing options), this is simply not the case in Pinellas County.

According to a recent article on HousingWire.com, when it comes to the numbers and stats, here’s why real estate is currently a winning bet:

  • “Only 4 million folks out of the 133 million people working during the worst days of COVID-19 are needed to qualify for a mortgage to keep the market stable.”

  • To maintain a strong housing market, we need to remember that we don’t need 20% year over year growth, all we need is positive gains to keep this market stable (historically +4%/year is the average).

  • There’s no consumer credit bubble like there was back in 2006 thanks to tighter lending standards.

  • And based on previous data, unemployment numbers are improving and predicted huge forbearance numbers never materialized in the U.S. as some initially feared. The Info-graphic below is a quick snapshot of home sales across the U.S. in July 2020:

July 202 U.S. Home Sales

Need more evidence of a strong, lasting housing market in Pinellas County? Check out the highlights from our latest July 2020 Housing Stats that were JUST released:

  • For the month of July, Single-Family Home Sales increased +8%

  • The Median Home Sale Price jumped +13.3%

  • The Median time to contract was practically CUT IN HALF, decreasing from 28 days to just 18 days in Pinellas County.

  • The Fastest selling price point for single-family homes in Pinellas in July was in the $250k-400k price range.

  • The biggest hurdle the single-family home market experienced in July was a lack of inventory with just 1.5 months supply of inventory available in July 2020, which is a -42% decrease compared to the year before!

When it comes to the Pinellas County Townhouse and Condo housing marking, the story is basically the same, with closed sales increasing over +13% in July 2020, a Median sale price that jumped over +17% compared to July 2019, and just 2.7 months of inventory available.

So, what does this mean for the future?

    Pending any unexpected disasters, I firmly believe the Pinellas County Housing Market will continue to remain strong through the end of the year if mortgage rates stay low and inventory continues to be outpaced by consumer demand.

Thinking About Selling Your Home? 

You should know that this is one of the BEST TIMES TO SELL that we’ve EVER seen in our market. As in right now (Call us to find out what we can sell your home for, trust us when we say we’ll get you top dollar). Just remember, selling your home will be EASY with the right pricing and advertising strategy, but be prepared to compete for the next home if you're buying a home in Pinellas County, FL after you sell your current home.

So What About Home Buyers?

If you’re ready to compete for a great home and can get pre-approved for a RECORD low mortgage interest rate, do it now. Despite rising home prices, on average home buyers are able to buy a home with LOWER monthly mortgage payments than they were last year, even with rising prices, thanks to rates that are as much as 2% lower than last year at this time. If you’re using a mortgage to buy your next home and aren’t sure if you should buy now or wait, our advice is to buy now or risk disappointment later when interest rates rise.

For more information on the Pinellas County, FL housing market or how to buy or sell a home in Pinellas County or the Greater Tampa Bay area of Florida, contact us. We’re here to get you the information you need to make the right decision right now.

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Andrea Hartmann

Andrea is the Managing Partner of The Sandy Hartmann Group and runs the team alongside Sandy Hartmann. She would love to talk to you about real estate! Andrea was born and raised in the Tampa Bay a....

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