LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — A new report from CoreLogic ranks Lakeland-Winter Haven as the nation’s second most likely metropolitan area to experience a home price decline in the next 12 months.
“Home prices are a little overvalued,” said Dr. Selma Hepp, chief economist at CoreLogic, a California-based residential property data and solutions company.
The report took into account factors including unemployment, income growth and delayed mortgage payments.
“We also look at home price appreciation up until this point which in your area has been 70% since the onset of the pandemic. So that’s almost twice as much that we saw nationally,” said Dr. Hepp.
Taken together, Dr. Hepp said that is how CoreLogic found Lakeland to have a higher than 70% probability, a “very high risk” of home price decline.
The North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton area ranked third. Four of the five areas were in Florida.
“It’s really about affordability from local residents when it comes to purchasing homes in an area,” said Dr. Hepp.
“I definitely disagree. There will not be a steep decline next year,” said Chris McLaughlin, who owns KW McLaughlin Group, a Keller Williams realty team with offices in Lakeland, Winter Haven and Tampa.
McLaughlin says demand remains higher than supply in Lakeland’s growing community and homes are more affordable than surrounding areas.
“Lakeland is right between Tampa and Orlando. We’re in Florida. We’re in a booming economy. We have low unemployment and those are the factors that are gonna move a price up or down,” said McLaughlin.
According to McLaughlin, there are 619 homes available on the market in Lakeland, with 1.6 months worth of inventory.
“That’s still very much a seller’s market,” said McLaughlin.
Dr. Hepp with CoreLogic pointed out there are 43 other metropolitan areas in the nation with similar risk levels as Lakeland and North Port.