Thinking about becoming a real estate agent? You may wonder if the Sunshine State is a good place to start this potentially lucrative career. One metric for judging whether you can succeed as a real estate agent in Florida is how long it takes to sell a house in key markets.
Let's take a look at some of the variables that affect how long it takes to sell a house in Florida.
Location, Location, Location
Real estate is all about location. A home in Indiana or Michigan is going to be priced hundreds of thousands of dollars less, on average, than an apartment in Manhattan or San Francisco.
The same variables occur within each given state. Hot markets tend to be in major metropolitan areas, suburbs with good school systems, and areas close to popular recreational areas.
Thus, it should come as no surprise that most of the fastest-growing Florida real estate markets are in coastal cities like Tampa, St. Petersburg, Cape Coral, and Pensacola. Orlando, the home of Disney World, is also growing fast.
Homes in these hot markets are also selling fast — in three weeks or less on average.
A Strong Economy
Both low unemployment rates and local incentives to lure businesses attract buyers from outside the state. The more buyers, the faster homes sell.
Florida has made a good recovery from its COVID-19 unemployment slump. The most recent figures, from January 2021, put statewide unemployment at 4.8%. That is significantly lower than the national unemployment rate of 6.3%. In Tampa, one of the fastest-moving real estate markets in 2021, the unemployment rate is even lower, 4.6%.
Housing markets tend to slow down when too many sellers list their homes at once. An economic downturn can compound this problem, especially if people start to default on their mortgages.
Inventory is tight nationwide right now. Partly that is due to sellers' fears of listing their homes during the pandemic. But many markets had tight inventory even before COVID-19. National inventory declined 13.6% in January 2020, and in many Florida markets, the problem has persisted.
Low inventory is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it increases demand. But this doesn't always mean it takes less time to sell a house. When inventory is tight, listing prices go up. If there are only a few houses on the market, but buyers can't afford them, they are going to remain on the market longer.
This may explain why, despite low inventory, houses aren't selling as fast in Miami. According to Redfin, the listing price has increased 12.1% over the same time last year. Yet the market is not very competitive. Homes take 67 days to sell on average, and they are going for 4% under list price.
Florida: A Perfect Storm
Florida has all the elements needed to generate quick real estate sales right now. Inventories are low statewide. The economy is rebounding faster than the national average. Florida, with its white beaches and tourist attractions, continues to attract buyers looking to escape the harsh winter weather.
Dawn Greenidge, a Tampa Bay agent with Coldwell Banker Realty, agrees. In fact, when asked how long does it take to sell a house in Florida, she burst out laughing on the other end of the line.
"Homes are selling fast, fast, fast," she told AceableAgent. "If it's a hot market, they are snapped up in a minute. That's especially true if the price is right. Home priced between $200,000 and $400,000 sell almost as soon as we list them."