TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A study of home values across the United States showed that since June 2022, the market’s lost $2.3 trillion across the country. Despite national value falling, Florida homes bucked the trend.
Redfin’s report on the housing market showed that “Florida continues to see large gains,” even as popular metros like the Bay Area in California or New York and Seattle lose billions. Redfin said “the total value of San Francisco homes fell 6.7% year over year to $517.5 billion in December (a $37.3 billion decline)—a larger drop in percentage terms than any other major U.S. metropolitan area.”
While Florida is weathering the market fluctuation, the rest of the country is not.
“The total value of U.S. homes was $45.3 trillion at the end of 2022, down 4.9% ($2.3 trillion) from a record high of $47.7 trillion in June,” Redfin reported. “That’s the largest June-to-December drop in percentage terms since 2008.”
2008 was the Great Recession, when the U.S. housing market collapsed due to the subprime mortgage crisis. In June, mortgages hit their highest rates since the collapse, when they approached 6%. Since September 2022, they’ve stayed above 6%, as shown by data from the Federal Reserve. In September 2021, mortgage rates were below 3%, according to reporting by the Associated Press, which at the time was “the highest it’s been since November of 2008, just after the housing market collapse triggered the Great Recession.”
The most recent federal measure of the 30-year fixed mortgage showed a rate of 6.32%, according to Freddie Mac. The next check on mortgage rates from the federally-backed company comes Thursday around noon.
Year-over-year, Redfin reported the overall value in homes was up 6.5% from December 2021 to 2022, but that it was the smallest value increase in any month since August 2020. The real estate company said the housing market has “shed” value as buyer demand decreased, also causing home prices to fall. Demand itself fell due to affordability concerns centered on mortgage rates.
“Homebuyer demand slowed in large part because rising mortgage rates—a consequence of the Federal Reserve’s effort to curb inflation—made purchasing a home more expensive,” Redfin reported. Still, the total value of homes in the U.S. is $13 trillion more than in February 2020, the month before the COVID-19 pandemic was officially begun. Redfin still expects homeowners to “reap big rewards” from the housing boom during the pandemic.
“Unfortunately, a lot of people were left behind,” Redfin Economics Research Lead Chen Zhao said. “Many Americans couldn’t afford to buy homes even when mortgage rates hit rock bottom in 2021, which means they missed out on a significant wealth building opportunity.”
Focusing on where opportunity strikes, Redfin said Florida’s housing market remains in good condition.
“Florida’s housing market is being sustained by folks moving in from the North and as of recently, the West Coast,” Elena Fleck, a Redfin real estate agent in Palm Beach, said. “People are pouring in from New Jersey and New York, in large part because Florida has relatively affordable homes and no income tax. They can get a lot more bang for their buck here.”
Lakeland and North Port-Sarasota have both seen values rise by more than 15%, though they’re topped by Miami’s near-20% value increase in the past year. Redfin also said that despite the risks of severe weather, even natural disasters, homes in flood risk zones saw their values rise higher than low risk areas.
The two cities in Tampa Bay are noted as boomtowns, due to an influx of Americans moving to the areas from out of state.
Fannie Mae, another federally-backed mortgage company, said that a strong start to the economy in 2023 is not expected to last, as a result of the housing market and unsustainable consumer spending levels.
“Housing also started 2023 on a relative high note given a roughly 100 basis point pullback in mortgage rates since November,” Fannie Mae reported, but said it would “likely prove temporary. Ongoing affordability constraints, the “lock-in” effect creating a financial disincentive for the majority of current homeowners with mortgages to move, and still-tight inventories are expected to continue to limit home sales,” citing an analysis by the Economic and Strategic Research Group.
Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Doug Duncan said the housing sector had seen some optimism, but it was difficult to tell if “COVID-induced consumer behavior changes and business practices are altering seasonal data adjustments, or if the real underlying economic activity is as strong as some recent economic indicators suggest.”
Duncan said a mild recession could be on the horizon, and that if there is an economic downturn, it won’t come until after March.