Orlando home sales drop nearly 20% as interest rates continue to climb

ORLANDO, Florida. – The housing market was hot at the start of the year, although it has started to cool down as interest rates soar.

In Orlando, home sales fell 18.3%, with the Orlando Regional Realtor Association reporting that 2,717 homes were sold in September, down 607 from August.

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“We’re starting to feel the impact of these rising interest rates in the Orlando real estate market,” said Shonn McCloud, team manager at Keller Williams Classic Realty.

The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates dramatically in an effort to resolve the ongoing inflation crisis, but the high rates caused some potential buyers to pause the search.

“Buyers are backing off a bit more,” McCloud said.

Sitting at 6.3%, McCloud said interest rates had more than doubled in the past 12 months.

A market once saturated by bidding wars is now seeing fewer buyers closing deals.

On Facebook, News 6 reporter Treasure Roberts asked viewers if they plan to buy a home in the Orlando metro area this year and if that has since changed.

“We were [definitely] are looking to do this but with the interest rates where they are combined with crazy real estate prices there is no way,” one person commented. “We’ll just keep saving for a bigger down payment when the market recovers someday.”

Another person commented, “Even if prices drop dramatically, it would only be good for cash buyers.”

As interest rates rise, the median house price has fallen, but not by much.

According to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, in August the median price was $377,750. In September, that price fell to $365,000.

Even with falling home prices, that’s still not enough for homebuyers.

“Sometimes it might not be that overall cost if you’re able to break it down,” McCloud said.

High interest rates mean homeowners may have to pay more for a home each month.

McCloud said it could have a big impact on the daily lives of Florida communities.

“It could be the difference between being able to go out to dinner every week.” McCloud said. “It could make the difference, you know, having to cut back… after-school activities the kids go to.”

For now, McCloud said the housing market is more balanced.

For homebuyers looking to secure a place with low monthly rates, this could be a challenge.

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Leslie M. Gill