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March 20, 2024

Home Affordability in the Florida Housing Market

This article explores buying a house in Florida's dynamic market. Affordability is key (consider income, debt, etc.). The market is competitive, but inventory is rising. The decision to buy depends on your finances.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage and save for a down payment to improve your loan options. Research market prices to negotiate effectively

This blog is for educational purposes only, not an offer of credit or advertisement for current loan terms. It does not provide legal advice. Refer to our loan web pages or consult professional advisors for specific information.

The Florida housing market is one of the most sought-after places to buy a home in the United States today.

The range of homes available here is astounding, from the multi-million dollar mansions of Jupiter Island to the proverbial shack in the middle of the Everglades.

Understanding what you can afford in this sort of market is more important than ever. 

Affordability isn't just grasping at what you might be able to buy but comprehending how your financial capacity aligns with your housing needs and aspirations.

If you choose homeownership in Florida—as so many Americans do—you’ll need some expert advice and guidance to empower you with the confidence and knowledge to make informed decisions every step of the way.

Start your application with MIDFLORIDA Credit Union.

Home affordability in the Florida housing market

Affordability isn’t just the price tag on a house; it's about how well the home you’re considering aligns with your financial situation and future goals.

Affordability is determined by several key factors, including:

  • Your income
  • Any existing debt you might have
  • The interest rates you qualify for
  • The amount you're able to put down upfront
  • The home’s purchase price
  • The monthly mortgage payment you’d have

These elements combined give you deeper insight into what you can afford, ensuring that you don't just chase your dream home but also secure it within your means.

How does each consideration factor into affordability

Income and debt are the primary drivers in this equation, which will dictate how much a lender might be willing to loan you.

Second, comes interest rates—the biggest influence on your monthly mortgage payments. Lower rates mean lower payments and vice versa.

Lastly, a substantial down payment can reduce your borrowing needs and the overall cost of your loan, making homeownership more accessible and affordable in the long run.

The current situation in the Florida housing market

The Florida housing market is as dynamic as the state's renowned weather, marked by rapid changes and regional variances.

At the start of 2024, Florida saw fluctuating inventory levels and varying average home prices, reflecting a steady demand across the state.

Average home prices

The median sale price in the Sunshine State for single-family existing homes was $413,000 in November, representing a 3.3% increase from the previous year.

Condo-townhouse units also experienced a surge in median price, reaching $330,000, reflecting a remarkable 7.5% increase year-over-year.

Inventory levels

The inventory for existing single-family homes rose by a significant 13.9%, and for condo-townhouse units, it increased by an impressive 49.8%.

As of December 31, 2023, there were 133,691 properties listed for sale in Florida, with 32,615 new listings entering the market.

Market competitiveness

In January 2024, 10.0% of homes in Florida sold above list price, down 1.0 points year over year. There were only 32.0% of homes that had price drops, up from 29.0% of homes in January last year.

Navigating this kind of landscape requires a keen eye on market predictions and a deep knowledge and experience in the overall Florida market.

Is it a good time to buy a house in Florida?

Deciding to buy a house in Florida hinges on several market conditions, including interest rates and housing supply.

If the house or neighborhood you’re interested in is in high demand, it may lead to competitive markets where you need to act quickly and decisively.

However, this also means being prepared and financially secure to make such a commitment.

Assessing whether to buy now or wait in the Florida market involves a careful examination of these factors—but the biggest considerations will be your personal and financial readiness.

Strategies for navigating the Florida housing market

Finding the house you need for the price you can afford in the Florida housing market requires a blend of preparation, knowledge, and strategy.

Here are some practical tips for prospective buyers.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage

This is a step you should not overlook. Pre-approval gives you a better resolution of what you can afford but also strengthens your position when making an offer on a home.

This simple step signals to sellers that you are a serious and prepared buyer, which can be a decisive advantage in competitive markets.

Understand the importance of a down payment

How much cash you put down can significantly affect your mortgage terms, including your interest rate and monthly payment. It also reduces the overall amount you need to borrow, making your loan more manageable over time.

Aim to save as much as possible to improve your loan conditions and negotiate better terms.

Hone your negotiating tactics

The Florida housing market is vast, and lending options vary across the state. Effective negotiation can make a big difference in your success.

Research recent sales in your desired area to understand market prices, and don't be afraid to negotiate on price, closing costs, or terms (through your agent).

A well-informed offer that takes into account the current market conditions can lead to substantial savings.

Jumpstart your Florida home buying journey with MIDFLORIDA

At MIDFLORIDA, we provide more than just financial services for buying a home. We're here to guide you through the process.

We understand the complexities of the Florida housing market and are committed to helping our members get pre-qualified to navigate it with confidence.

Working with MIDFLORIDA ensures:

  • Mortgage solutions are designed to meet the varied needs of Florida homebuyers
  • Competitive rates, flexible terms, and a range of options to suit different financial situations.
  • Personalized service to ensure that you feel supported, informed, and confident as you make one of the most significant decisions of your life.

Get the Florida home of your dreams

Ready to take the best first step toward homeownership in Florida?

Begin the journey to finding your dream home with confidence and peace of mind. Let's make your vision of home a reality.

Start your application with MIDFLORIDA today.

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