Hot real estate market trends in troubled times

| Sep 15, 2020 | Real Estate

If there has been one positive development in the difficult economic climate of 2020, it is in real estate, and in particular, home sales. Primarily driven by low interest rates, home and condo sales nationwide are up dramatically this summer, with interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaging at 3.07%, down from 3.77% in July of 2019, according to Freddie Mac.

Florida homes in demand

This trend has also been reflected in Florida, with a surge in demand for single-family homes creating a severe inventory shortage. Not only are single-family sales up by 21.7% from last summer, but also condo-townhouses, up 19% during the same time period. The dramatic summer bubble in home sales, uncharacteristic of the typically cooler summer market, can be attributed to the economic downturn in March that discouraged sales while statewide median home prices were increasing.

Home values improving

In spite of the sluggish beginning to 2020, home values in Florida have been trending upward steadily, with July marking the 103th straight month of increase in median single-family home values. The combination of low mortgage interest rates and greater demand is spurring competitive bids, which is good news for those homeowners thinking of selling.

Tips for getting a home sold

From deciding on a sale price, getting the house listed, attracting potential buyers,  preparing the home for showing, to dealing with the intricacies of the closing, including title insurance issues, loans and escrow, the process of selling a house is complicated. Most people hire an agent, and sometimes seek out the advice of an experienced attorney.

Although Florida is one of a number of states that requires an attorney at closing, many homeowners and even buyers also turn to one when there are other issues, such as a lien on the property, if it is an estate sale or a short sale, or in the case of a joint sale, where the interests of all parties need to be protected. Whether the buyer chooses to go it alone pre-closing, or to use a realtor or an attorney to help with selling their property, it is helpful to know where to turn to get questions answered.