HOT HOUSING MARKET: Low inventory, high prices creating perfect storm for sellers

Gloria Chlebanowski got two offers on her Palm Bay home in less than 24 hours, one of them about $5,000 more than the asking price. 

"At 3:30 on a Monday afternoon, she called to let me know the listing had gone up and 10 minutes to five she called to let me know we had our first showing the next day. That was really, very quick," Chlebanowski said.

Agents say this hot real estate market isn’t showing signs of cooling down. Bobby Freeman has been selling homes for almost 20 years in Brevard County. He says intense buyer demand and extremely low inventory are hiking up home values.

"The Florida housing market is on fire," Freeman said.

According to the Florida Realtors Association, Brevard County has seen a 14% increase in sales in 2021 over 2020. Prices were also up almost 12% year over year. Those big numbers are the same all over Central Florida.

The Orlando Regional Realtor Association, which tracks sales in Orange, Lake, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and Volusia Counties reports 8,000 homes on the market this time last year. There are only 3,000 for sale right now. Sales prices, on average, are also up 12% and there is a 65% decrease in inventory.

"When you see something that meets all of your criteria, don’t hesitate. You seriously need to move so quickly in this market right now," Chlebanowski said.

That is good advice for homebuyers like Kelly Skidmore who says right now house hunting is a big challenge.

"We ended up putting an offer on one and not getting it, then a second one, then a third one and then [the] fourth one was our lucky number, so it took us a few times," Skidmore said.

Four offers and five months later, she signed off on her new Merritt Island home. The South Florida native wasn’t so sure she’d find one.

"We did start to question, ‘Is now the right time?’ Maybe we should sit back and wait and see what happens," Skidmore said. 

Freeman says exhausted buyers shouldn’t lose hope. Sometimes it’s the fourth, fifth or sixth offer that ends up being the perfect choice.