Orlando Real Estate Market

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Contributor, Benzinga
July 5, 2021

The Orlando - Kissimmee - Sanford metropolitan area is always a buzzing location for visitors as well as residents and the Orlando real estate market is booming. As home to popular tourist destinations like Walt Disney World Resort and Gatorland, luxury golfing, dining and endless other attractions and resorts, there’s truly something for everyone. Beautiful weather and unlimited activities as well as affordable homes and growing employment opportunities make this a sought-after locale. 

Current Orlando Real Estate Market Conditions

  • Home and rental prices have seen healthy increases in the last year. 
  • The number of households has increased year-over-year, and the housing supply is experiencing a major shortage.
  • Builder sentiment and construction jobs have increased, while construction costs have been steadily rising. 

Buying a House in Orlando

Orlando Home Prices

Orlando median home value: $310,000

National average: $371,000

In the Orlando metro area, home prices have seen an increase of 12.7%. While home values are not quite as high as the national average, median prices in Orlando have risen $126,000 in the last 5 years and are continuing on an upward trend. Home prices nationally have seen a massive increase of 22.4% year-over-year. This is impressive for the real estate market as a whole. 

Orlando Housing Supply

The housing supply across the country is at an all-time low. Nationally, the housing inventory is at just a 1.1-month supply. Over the last few years, closer to a 3 month supply has been typical. The Orlando market has just a 0.7 month supply. This is an extreme shortage of houses for sale. This means that Orlando, like the rest of the country, is in a seller’s market. When there is such a shortage in homes and so many people looking to buy, home prices increase, and sellers are able to get much more for their homes than they ever thought possible. So, it’s a great time to sell and make a great profit. However, buyers will have trouble purchasing with so much competition and such little inventory on the market. 

Buying a Rental Property in Orlando

While the supply is low and the demand is high for purchasing homes, some buyers are deciding to wait out the current market and rent. Like home prices, rental prices nationally and in the Orlando metropolitan area also have seen an increase. Now the city has a competitive buying market as well as a competitive rental market. 

Orlando median rental price: $1,636

National average: $1,704

A steady rise in rental prices over the last 5 years is good news for investors. Their investment properties are continuing to increase their profits each year. In Orlando, rental prices have increased by 5.6% year-over-year and have gone up almost $400 in recent years. Nationally, rental prices have increased by 3% year-over-year and gone up almost $300 since 2016. The rental prices are still on an upward trend, which means it’s a good time to get into the rental market as an investor. You will pay more to purchase a house right now, but rising rental prices can make it worth your while. 

Orlando Rental Vacancies

Orlando rental vacancy: 8.1%

National average: 6.8%

The national average for rental vacancies is 6.8% and has pretty steadily hung around there for the past several years. Rental vacancies in Orlando are slightly higher, but the rental market here is always fluctuating, which is to be expected in popular tourist and college towns. For investors interested in purchasing rental property, they would do just fine in this area. The vacancy rate has decreased by 1.9% to 8.1 % since this time last year. With a declining vacancy rate and increased lease rates, the rental market can be a smart investment opportunity. 

Orlando Foreclosures

Orlando foreclosure rate: 0.5%

National average: 0.3%

Foreclosure rates are at an all-time low. Both nationally and in the Orlando area, foreclosure rates have been decreasing over the last 5 years and dropped 0.1% year-over-year. Now foreclosure rates are down to almost nothing. With such a limited supply of homes on the market, foreclosures have gotten more attention. Buyers and investors snagged great deals on foreclosures and renovated or flipped them. Now it’s harder for investors to find great opportunities with foreclosures, but it’s great for the real estate market. Fewer run-down and distressed foreclosures helps increase the value of nearby homes. 

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Orlando Neighborhoods

One of the most expensive neighborhoods in Orlando is Bay Hill. The median home price here is $705,783 and rentals average $3,264 per month. This suburb is made up of mostly 3- to 5-bedroom single-family homes and townhouses. Homes here are well maintained and tend to keep their value. While the vacancy rate is high in this spot at 15%, almost 11% is seasonally occupied. Residents of Bay Hill have jobs as professionals and executives, enjoying a luxurious lifestyle of fancy cars and country clubs. This area is in the top 15% of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the United States. 

A rural neighborhood in Orlando is Christmas and Bithlo where the median home price is $305,958 and rentals average $1,896 per month. Homes here consist of mobile homes and mid-sized or large single-family homes built in the 2000s. Vacancies are lower, at 7.1% meaning this is an area in demand. These upper-middle class residents of Christmas and Bithlo have a variety of jobs in management, sales, service, manufacturing and support.

A popular suburb of Orlando is City Center. Homes here median home price is $351,245, and rentals are around $1,700 per month. Apartment complexes and high-rise apartment buildings as well as mid-sized single-family homes make up the real estate here. Most of the buildings were built in the 2000s and are known for their moderately sized apartments. Vacancies are high in this area — a whopping 22.1%. This could be because of new construction that’s not yet occupied, a vacancy problem or being a tourist hotspot. Most places here are renter occupied, with 60% of the residents being young professionals living alone. City Center is Orlando’s downtown, with shopping, nightlife, eateries and theaters. 

Orlando Economic Condition

After a major spike in unemployment resulting from the pandemic in 2020, many cities are finally getting unemployment numbers back down to pre-Covid numbers. With businesses opening back up to full capacity, travel restrictions lifted, and more job opportunities, numbers are continuing to fall and get closer to normal. 

Orlando Unemployment 

Orlando unemployment rate: 5.4%

National average: 6.1%

While Orlando’s unemployment rate isn’t much lower than the national average, it’s worth mentioning the metro area has come much further than other markets. The unemployment rate in Orlando crept up to 22.6% at its peak. Nationally, the average only got up to 14.8% at its highest. In just 1 year, Orlando was able to get its unemployment rate down 17.2%. Orlando’s economy has made a huge comeback in the past year, increasing by 50,600 jobs year-over-year. 

Orlando Top Employers

The largest employers in the Orlando metropolitan area are in the leisure and hospitality industry. Walt Disney World Resort employs 75,000 people. Universal Orlando Resort employs another 26,000 people. Jobs here range from greeters, waitresses and talent to housekeepers, ride operators and transportation workers. Such large, popular resorts need thousands of people to deliver all aspects of service. 

The healthcare industry is the next largest employment sector in Orlando. AdventHealth Orlando and Orlando Health each employ about 21,000 people. AdventHealth regularly conducts hiring events throughout the year to offer opportunities to qualified candidates. Healthcare businesses are always looking for qualified people, and it is a great industry to get into. 

Publix Supermarkets Inc. is the next largest employer in Orlando and the surrounding area. This supermarket chain employs almost 20,000 workers. With 31 locations in Orlando,  Publix is the largest employee-owned supermarket and a clear go-to for all your food and pharmacy needs. 

The Bottom Line on the Orlando Real Estate Market

After a tough year because of the pandemic and its aftermath, Orlando’s real estate market is back on the right track. Home and rental prices are up and continuing to rise, the number of households has increased, and employment opportunities are everywhere. The extremely low supply of homes available is also impressive for Orlando — it’s definitely a popular, in-demand city full of sunshine and activities.