Foreign buyers, high prices challenge Florida homeowners

The United States has a current population of 332,891,550, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s population clock. Florida alone has more than 22 million residents in 2022. Population, builder confidence, home prices and vacancies, and out-of-town buyers all add to the challenge of finding homes for Floridians.

According to analysis of residential unit vacancies by Clever Real Estate, three Florida cities top the list of most vacant housing units per population size.

The three cities, Orlando, Miami, and Tampa, were ranked based on their available housing units as compared to total number vacant, as well as the vacancy rate for rentals and homes for sale. Clever’s analysis was based on data provided by the Census Bureau. The analysis itself was published by Anytime Estimate, a company owned by Clever.

While three cities in Florida filled the top three spots, Jacksonville also broke into the top 10 cities for vacancy rates. All of the Florida cities in the top 10 had higher rates than the national average.

Even with more than 16 million homes sitting empty in the U.S., and roughly 1.7 million in Florida as of March, high prices and high interest rates are making both renting and buying harder goals to achieve for Americans, pushing the chance of becoming homeless closer.

The difference between means and inventory is starting to affect builder confidence too, according to a new report from the National Association of Home Builders. The report said that builder confidence can serve as a predictor for market problems.

“Production bottlenecks, rising home building costs and high inflation are causing many builders to halt construction because the cost of land, construction and financing exceeds the market value of the home,” NAHB Chairman Jerry Konter, a home builder and developer from Savannah, Ga., said. “In another sign of a softening market, 13% of builders in the HMI survey reported reducing home prices in the past month to bolster sales and/or limit cancellations.”

The NAHB’s chief economist, Robert Dietz, said affordability remains the “greatest challenge” for the housing market, particularly as “significant segments of the home buying population are priced out of the market. Policymakers must address supply-side issues to help builders produce more affordable housing.”

The lack of affordability is coming as a result of higher supply costs for materials, supply chain disruptions, and a historically low housing inventory. Pushing those prices up is now also affecting builder confidence, even as the costs of materials like lumber start to decrease.

Chris is a Midwest Transplant that has lived in South Florida since 1999. While he likes to remain active and is an avid sports enthusiast, he's become our go-to provider of reviews of any establishment serving food and booze!

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