Buyers Struggling, But Florida Housing Market Is Looking Up

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By Matt Horn
July 24, 2013

Florida’s economy continues to improve after the ‘Great Recession; and the housing market is on the way up, too. Even though the numbers look good on paper, there are still a lot of concerns.

In early July, Governor Rick Scott said, “In less than 2.5 years, the private sector has generated over 330,000 jobs.”

A University of Central Florida report shows the state economy is expected to grow steadily over the next three years; but not at a rapid pace. The Florida Chamber of Commerce says either way, growth is good for Florida.

Executive Vice President for Florida Chamber Foundation Tony Carvajal said, “Would you rather have a lot more money in your pocket or a little more dollars over time. Reality is, we need both. We need a lot of movement in the right industries.”

At the same time, home sales are rebounding.

Senior Vice President of The Florida Association of Realtors John Sebree said, “This is a very positive trend. It’s not just a blip on the screen.”

But, the rebound isn’t necessarily good news for people buying.

“The teacher, the first responder, the ones that you want to live in the neighborhood they serve and they can’t get in because financing is still very tight,” said Sebree.

One major issue for most home buyers are investment firms and cash sales.

Cash sales are almost always an issue for home buyers needing financing. That’s because after the housing burst, there are typically fewer issues with cash sales than financing. In Florida, nearly half of home sales are bought outright with cash.

“That’s a tough situation for the young couple that really want to buy and start a family, if a cash buyer can beat them out,” said Sebree.

In addition to home sales, nearly 7 out of 10 condo sales are cash sales in Florida.

According to the Florida Chamber of Commerce, more people are still moving to the Sunshine State. By the end of the year, the state is expected to be the third largest in the country, leapfrogging New York.

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