Orlando housing market heats as home prices outpace wages

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Orlando Sentinel

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ With Orlando home prices rising six times faster than wages in the last year, competition has revved up for condos and townhouses, a new report shows.

The smaller, more affordable residential options represented just 12 percent of the 3,508 home sales in an area of mostly Orange and Seminole counties last month. But prices of those units rose at more than triple the rate of single-family houses during the last year, according to a new report by Orlando Regional Realtor Association.

“What we have essentially done is come full circle with rent versus purchase, and right now, the pendulum has swung to purchase,” said Thomas Allen, broker with Urbanista, which specializes in downtown Orlando residential.

He said condo and townhouse prices have spiked to the point where developers will likely look at building another condominium tower in downtown at some point during the next two years as average sales prices continue increasing above $300 a square foot. It’s been about a decade since the urban core saw a new condo tower, he added.

The mid-point price for a single-family home in the core Orlando market during March was $249,900, which was up 6 percent from a year earlier. Prices for condominiums and townhouses were about half that amount and increased more than 19 percent during that time.

Stress on buyers continues to mount in Central Florida with midpoint wages of $58,406 remaining roughly flat for the previous yearlong period, while home prices have grown about 6 percent. Interest rates remained flat from a year earlier and edged down slightly to 4.29 percent in March from February.

In addition, the supply of listings has shrunk to near-record levels of 2.2 months, which is down from a year and a month earlier.

From a month earlier, the overall median price for all types of Orlando-area housing in March was largely flat at $230,000 despite the downturn in supply. Sales were also relatively flat from February.

“Orlando’s housing market continues to be tugged by opposing factors, such as low inventory and high demand,” said association president Lou Nimkoff, of Brio Real Estate Services. “The result is a wash for sales.”

Of the four counties in the Metro Orlando area, only Osceola showed an increase in year-over-year sales with 5.9 percent growth. Lake County sales declined 4.4 percent; Seminole County was down 3.7 percent; and Orange County sales slipped 2.9 percent from a year ago.

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How To Find The Best Apartments Orlando

Are you looking for an apartment to rent in the Orlando area? Orlando is a popular place to live; it’s in close proximity to a number of popular tourist attractions. With that said, it is definitely possible to find affordable apartments here.

If you’re looking for an apartment in this Florida city, you will want to make sure that you are taking the best approach. With the right tips, finding your ideal apartment shouldn’t be a problem:

Set A Budget

Decide how much you can afford to spend on your apartment each month. This money should include both rent and the cost of utilities.

From there, you should start seeking out apartments that fall within that budget. If the utilities aren’t included in the rent, then you should check to see what the typical utility rates are. Make sure you’ll be comfortable paying those rates each month.

Work With A Great Landlord

Spend some time researching the landlord or property management company that is handling the apartment rental. A bad landlord can cause all kinds of different problems, and those are definitely the kind of issues that you will want to avoid.

If people have made negative comments about a landlord or property management company, find out why those comments were made. If a person or company has been receiving a lot of bad feedback, then you may want to avoid renting from them. You want your renting experience to be a pleasant one!

Start Searching Early

A lot of people put off searching for an apartment until the last possible minute. When people are desperate to find a place to live, they are often willing to overlook things that would be an issue for them otherwise.

To avoid putting yourself in this situation, you should start searching early. Even if you won’t be moving out for a few months, you should start looking at apartments now.

The sooner you begin your apartment search, the sooner you will be able to find the perfect apartment. In addition, starting your search early will allow you to be as picky as you want to be.

Make Sure Apartments Are As Good As They Look

Don’t rent an apartment without taking a close look at it. Some apartments appear to be great, but have issues when they are inspected more closely.

What kinds of issues should you be watching out for? To start, you should be making sure all of the appliances are in good working order. Confirm that the refrigerator is cold enough; make sure that the oven will turn on properly.

You should also make sure that the apartment has enough storage space. You want to make sure you have all of the storage that you expected to have.

These tips will help you to locate some of the most fantastic apartments in Orlando. You should be able to find an amazing apartment in Orlando without much of a problem. If you keep your eyes open, you’ll be able to find the kind of place you want to move into.