TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Strapped inventory is the name of the game as Florida’s housing crisis deepens. While Gov. Ron DeSantis said he believes the demand and pricing for homes in the state was “authentic,” real or not, it doesn’t make homes more affordable.
The 2020 Census showed huge population increases in states like Florida. The higher population and reapportionment process added a U.S. House district to the state. In 2021, migration to Florida continued. Policies by state leadership, focused on freedoms they are fighting to secure for Florida residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, have helped to encourage the influx of new Floridians.
Despite the state’s policies to encourage movement to Florida for businesses and residents alike, the problem of pricing for homes comes down to a simple issue with complicated solutions: there are not enough homes to go around. With continually skyrocketing prices, the problem is that even if a new resident can afford to buy a home, it doesn’t mean there’s one available.
In 2021, Florida saw over 350,000 homes purchased, for a market volume of $177.1 billion.
It was more than $50 billion higher than 2020, according to data from Florida Realtors. Throughout the state, the largest concentration of home purchases was in Tampa. Of the 350,516 homes sold, 55,609 were in Tampa alone, accounting for 16% of all homes sold. The Miami and Orlando areas weren’t far behind, with 53,765 homes sold, and 41,506 homes sold, respectively.
The increase in Florida’s selling volume accompanied a dramatic drop in available home inventory, pushing the dollar values up as availability decreased. In the fourth quarter of 2021, the state’s available single-family homes for sale decreased by 33.7%. Condos and townhomes available dropped even more, down by 57.4%.
While the single-family home inventory shrank, cash sales grew more frequent and median home prices went up, getting to $365,000 across the state, a 19.3% increase compared to the same time period in 2020. Cash sales increased 31.2% compared to 2020, with nearly 26,000 of the quarter’s purchases paid in cash.
In the Tampa Bay area, the highest home values were in the Sarasota and Tampa metro areas. On a month-by-month level, prices peaked in December for the quarter, when homes reached a median sale price of $362,250 in Tampa metro and $450,000 in the Sarasota metro.
An analysis by Redfin, a real estate company, showed that as of the end of Q3 2021, 25% of homes bought in Tampa were purchased by investors, not residents. From the second quarter of 2020 fiscal year, the number of investor-purchased homes spiked, going from 12% in Q2 to the 25% shown in recent data.
The number of sales in Tampa and Sarasota had both increased by over 20% compared to 2020. However, the most expensive metro in the state for December 2021 was Naples, where median home sales hit $730,000, a 25% jump compared to the year before. In addition to higher prices and lower inventory, the real estate data for Florida showed more people simply paid the listed price for a home instead of negotiating on cost, underscoring the high demand and fast-paced market. Median time-to-sale also shrank, from 20 days in 2020 to 12 days in 2021 for Q4.
The difference in pace was even more dramatic when taken year-to-year for all of 2020 and 2021. Homes sold in 12 days in 2021, compared to 31 days in 2020. Still, even on a yearly basis, the 33.7% drop in active listings, and a monthly supply drop of 44.4% puts the housing crisis into stark view.
As of July 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau reported an estimated migration of 220,890 new Florida residents, coming just from other states. From the same data set, the Census reported more migrations than births in the state. As of July, only 210,305 babies were born in 2021, a roughly fourfold increase from 2020.
In addition to Census data, the State of Florida’s official population estimate forecasted 849 new residents to arrive in Florida per day through April 2026. To put that in perspective, the state described the population boom as “analogous to adding a city about the size of Orlando every year.” Florida’s government expects the state population to be over 22 million by the end of 2022.
The big increase in population was not matched by a big increase in housing construction or development, whether for rent or purchase. Making Florida the place to move, state policies did not directly address housing availability, while mortgage interest rates increase across the country. As a result, the 2022 housing outlook is not improving, causing city and county governments to seek solutions to the ongoing housing crisis.