A Guide for Housing in Florida: Everything You Need to Know About the Housing Market

Florida is a state that attracts many people who are looking for a sunny and warm place to live. Whether you are moving to Florida for work, retirement, education, or leisure, you will need to find a suitable housing option that meets your needs and budget. However, finding the right housing option in Florida can be challenging, as the housing market is constantly changing and influenced by various factors. In this article, we will provide you with everything you need to know about the housing market in Florida, including the current trends, the best and worst places to live, the pros and cons of renting vs buying, and some tips and advice on how to save money on housing.

Current Trends in the Florida Housing Market

According to the latest data from Florida Realtors®, the housing market in Florida continued its pattern in August 2023, following trends observed in recent months. Median sales prices in the state saw a year-over-year increase, while sales slowed down. This is in line with the ongoing appeal of Florida’s lifestyle, climate, and job opportunities, attracting potential buyers. However, challenges such as higher mortgage rates and limited for-sale inventory have impacted sales activity.

Key Sales Data

In August 2023, closed sales of existing single-family homes across the state totaled 22,917, showing a 7.9% decrease compared to the same period in 2022. Existing condo-townhouse sales also saw a decline, down 7.2% from the previous year, totaling 9,279. These figures reflect sales closed within a range of 30 to 90-plus days after the sales contracts were written.

Impact of Mortgage Rates

Mortgage interest rates have emerged as a major influence on sales trends in Florida, as well as throughout the United States. The year-over-year decline in closed sales is largely attributed to these rates. During the summer, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was approximately 7%, contrasting with the 5 to 5.5% range observed the previous summer. This means that borrowing money to buy a home has become more expensive for many buyers.

Impact of Inventory

Another factor that has affected the housing market in Florida is the limited supply of homes for sale. In August 2023, there were 141,619 homes for sale in Florida, up 2.2% year over year. However, this is still below the optimal level of inventory that would balance supply and demand. According to Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor, “Florida’s single-family inventory remains at about a two-months’ supply at the current pace of sales – which is well below what most economists consider a balanced market”.

Impact of Demand

Despite the challenges posed by higher mortgage rates and lower inventory, there is still strong demand for housing in Florida. This is driven by various factors such as population growth, job creation, income growth, consumer confidence, and lifestyle preferences. According to Dr. O’Connor, “Florida continues to be one of the nation’s most desirable places to live – whether it’s for work or play – and that’s not going to change anytime soon”. Moreover, Florida is a popular destination for retirees and second-home buyers, who are also contributing to the demand for housing.

Best and Worst Places to Live in Florida

Florida is a diverse and dynamic state that offers a variety of options for living. However, not all places in Florida are equally attractive or affordable for living. Depending on your preferences and needs, you may find some places more suitable or desirable than others. Here are some of the best and worst places to live in Florida, based on various rankings and surveys:

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