In its U.S. economic and housing market outlook for 2019, CoreLogic economists forecast growth in home prices to drop by one percentage point as higher interest rates impact the mortgage market, homeowners have an incentive to retain their current low-rate mortgages and new listings. But Florida’s housing market is projected to do very well next year.
Digging into Design in South Florida
In the last cycle, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale real estate market has given rise to audacious and groundbreaking architecture. Looking to outdo their peers and competitors, some local developers have enlisted the services of global A-list building designers. Even mundane commercial projects such as parking garages and train depots are now getting artistic treatments, making them signature structures in South Florida.
8th Highest Home Vacancy in the Nation
The number of vacant homes in Florida was more than 144,000 in the third quarter of the year, a 3 percent decrease over what it was a year ago, according to new real estate numbers reported by ATTOM Data Solutions. Florida had the eighth highest home vacancy rate among the 50 states and District of Columbia in the analysis.
Let’s Talk Central Florida
In Central Florida the “mixed message” of South Florida is echoed. On the one hand, commercial projects and residential housing starts are reacting to the $10 billion-plus in infrastructure projects underway in this region. In
downtown Orlando alone, there is more than 1 million additional square feet of construction underway. As for single-family and multifamily housing developments, the third-quarter of 2018 saw an increase of housing starts of 15% over third-quarter 2017. But, this may end in a pricing fiasco like the Miami luxury market suffers from in 2019 if oversupply becomes an issue.
Across other areas of Florida we find more ups than downs. For instance, in Escambia County in the panhandle prices in 2018 went up as low inventory peaked demand and a pricing war. Santa Rosa County saw a similar situation accentuated by sluggish housing starts. This HUD report reveals the situation for Pensacola and surrounds. In Tampa a downtown rejuvenation project promises to lift the city, and an overall lack of residential inventory, the wider region a bright spot for the overall Florida market.
The Verdict for Florida 2019
The verdict for Florida in 2019 seems to be stagnant growth, all aspects considered. Fears of recession and the sluggish stock market further hamper luxury and upscale residential sectors, and oversupply in an already crowded state do nothing but worsen the situation. Pending housing sales in places like Sarasota are key indicators for me. Northeast Florida seems like a bright spot in the overall outlook as new property comes on the market that was previously locked up, and since eCommerce has created a demand for distribution projects.
Overall, Florida will follow the blueprint predicted by Mansion Global, succumbing to the reality of the “vanishing home buyer.” The state won’t see a great house buying recession exactly, but the state will become a massive buyer’s market. There was just too much speculation from 2016 onwards. Losses for so many projects are going to hit a lot of people, this is the bottom line.