Florida Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our real estate blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Dec. 4, 2020

Local Housing Market Update

Highlands Market Update - Dec 2020

[By: Jacqueline Vreeken]

Last month, the housing market in Highlands County, Florida saw this year’s trends continue. Housing prices continue to increase, demand remains high, and inventory continues to dwindle.

November 2020 Housing Market Stats:

  • Average Original List Price: $201,217 – A nearly 8% increase since the beginning of the year.

  • Average Close Price: $185,028 – A 20% increase in close price compared to January.

  • Average Days to Sell: 46 – Homes sold 27% faster versus October and 37% faster than in January.

  • Close Price to Original Price Ratio: 96.1%

  • New Listings: 175 – A decrease of 16% from the month prior, and 31% less new listings than the start of 2020.

Home Value Continues to Increase

What do these stats mean? Simply put, the demand for homes continues to increase while the number of available properties decreases, which continues to drive up the cost of housing. This is known as a Seller’s Market. This means sellers are frequently seeing multiple offer scenarios, sometimes driving the final sale above asking price.

For buyers, unless you have a full price cash offer, this means needing to be more creative when presenting the seller with your offer. You may consider shorter due diligence and appraisal time lines to help speed up the closing process. Increase the earnest money deposit to make your offer more palatable to the seller. Be flexible with the seller's timeline, such as offering the seller an additional two weeks to occupy the home after closing. This allows the seller more time in which to locate, purchase, and move into their new home.

New Construction On the Rise

The current market is spurring new home builders to ramp up production, with large numbers of new homes being constructed in communities such as Spring Lake, Sun N Lake of Sebring, and the gated community of Twin Lakes Pointe in Avon Park.

Call 863-304-8795 for info on New Construction

Southern Homes is also launching a new development project in Moss Hammock, located between the existing Golf Hammock community and Highlands Hammock State Park. The home builder recently purchased 45 lots in preparation for the new construction of spacious 4+ bedroom homes ranging from 2,400 to 3,500 total sqft at great value.

With so many new homes being built, and competition for existing homes being so fierce, current home buyers may want to look into the possibility of purchasing a new construction home.

To find out more about various home builders in the area, their building plans, home layouts, standard features, and pricing, reach out to us today! We’ve developed our own internal database for New Construction in Highlands County and can offer you a valuable resource in exploring this aspect of the local housing market.

Call Us: 863-304-8795


November 2020 Housing Market Stats provided by The Heartland Association of Realtors.

Posted in Market Updates
Oct. 15, 2020

Highlands County Housing Trends

What’s Happening With Highlands County Real Estate?

[By: Jacqueline Vreeken - October 15, 2020]

Home Prices Still Rising in 2020

Florida continues to defy earlier dire predictions of doom and gloom for the real estate industry. Just six months ago, the forecast was portrayed as grim. However, the pairing of historically low interest rates with a continued shortage of available homes has triggered a housing demand beyond all expectations.

What this means for home prices

When demand is high and inventory is low, prices remain stable or even begin to rise. In fact, data pulled from the Heartland Association of Realtors shows our local market has been in an upward trend throughout all of 2020. And Highlands County home prices continue to rise.

Highlands County home prices on the rise

The above graph portrays the original listing versus final sales prices over the past twelve months. In September 2020, houses were selling at full original asking price. Now, as we move further into the month of October, we see the final sales price is often even above the listing price.

Why are sales prices so high?

In short: supply and demand. Home buyers are eager to buy, but homeowners are hesitant to sell. Low interest rates can mean huge savings on the life of a 30-year mortgage loan, spurring buyers to secure their dream home now.

Home Pricing 10 Year Trend

Despite the demand for quality homes, many current homeowners hesitate to sell for several reasons:

  • They’re not sure where to move to when they sell their current home. After all, the housing market is extremely competitive right now. What if I can’t find the right home to move to?
  • COVID-19 leaves many homeowners concerned with the health risks associated with strangers constantly visiting their home. Is there a way to reduce foot traffic in my home?
  • The hassle of showing an owner occupied home can seem daunting and troublesome. Selling the home I'm still living in can be a serious pain!

Number of listings are reduced

How to take advantage of increased home values in Highlands County:

The number of homes for sale on the open market has dramatically decreased year-to-date. If you’ve considered selling but have reservations about doing so, you’re not alone. But there are methods The Hammock Falls Team can use to help overcome those obstacles. Modern technologies combined with the use of target marketing strategies are key to both selling your current property and helping you locate your next home.

  • Would you sell your current home if you could find the perfect home to move to? Ask about our “Dream Home Finder” program.
  • By using 3D home tours, in-person visitors are kept to a minimum.
  • We utilize target marketing to get your home in front of the buyers most qualified and most likely to purchase your home, reducing the amount of time your home will be on the market.
  • Don’t want to list your home on the open market? Ask how we can locate a buyer for your home without having to list your house.

Want to find out more about our programs?

Contact The Hammock Falls Team for a free, no obligation consultation to find out how you can net the most from the sale of your current home while efficiently locating your next home. Our listing expert, Lazaro Martinez, is ready to discuss the best strategies available to make your next housing transaction as hassle-free as possible.


[Graphic data provided by: The Heartland Association of Realtors]

Posted in Market Updates
Aug. 13, 2020

Market Update August 2020

Buyers are lining up in Sebring, FL

Throughout the country, there is a shortage of available homes for sale. This is particularly true throughout Highlands County and the Sebring, Florida area. We have more buyers than we have sellers. If you've been thinking about selling your home, now is an excellent time to put your house on the market!

There are advantages to selling your home now!

In a seller's market, there are fewer homes that match your home's criteria, meaning you have less competition when trying to sell your home. Homes in Sebring are selling quickly - often within the first seven days of being listed! Homes in the current market are more likely to sell at or even above value. A seller may even experience multiple offers, which helps to drive up the price buyers are willing to pay for your property.

To ensure the best possible selling price, it may be necessary to perform small marketing repairs. Attention to detail is key in obtaining the highest sale price for your home. Our listing expert, Lazaro Martinez, has a keen eye and has connections to local vendors to help you complete marketing repairs quickly and cost effectively.

Homes in Sebring, Florida and nearby areas are selling faster and for more money than they were just six months ago. These trends only last so long, though. If you're thinking about selling your home in the near future, don't procrastinate! Maximize the return on your investment and get your home on the market while the market is hot! Contact Lazaro Martinez for your FREE comparative market analysis to determine your home's current and true value in today's busy real estate market.

Concerned about strangers in your home? Rest assured that The Hammock Falls Team holds your safety and peace of mind as a top priority. We will work with you regarding your home showing preferences and take steps to reduce foot traffic in your home:

  • A two-person team takes a brief video tour to showcase your home's features. This video walkthrough is then circulated in our local MLS, social media, and on popular listing sites such as Zillow and Realtor.com where prospective buyers can easily decide if they are truly interested in your home.
  • We then encourage Realtors to utilize live virtual tours only to truly interested buyers. One agent will tour the home in person while on a live video with their client.
  • Finally, we ask that any serious buyers who tour the home in person do not bring extra family members or friends.
  • Prior to showing your home, it is recommended that the homeowner open all interior doors to limit surface contact of any visitors.

Our local agents have been instructed to wear masks, wash hands frequently and limit the touching of surfaces when inside the home. We take great strides to keep you and your family safe.

What a seller's market means for buyers:

Mortgage rates are at historic lows, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mortgage companies have become more selective as to who they're willing to work with. Some lenders may require a higher credit score or larger down payment than they would have required last year. If you have questions about obtaining a mortgage, Contact Us and we will refer you to a knowledgeable mortgage broker who can answer your queries.

Buyers who are attempting to navigate the current market would do best teaming up with a savvy real estate agent who has the experience and professional connections to help locate a home that fits your criteria. Chances are, if you are simply relying on sites like Zillow or Realtor.com to find listings, then by the time you see the house listed on those sites, it's already under contract and you've missed out. Using an experienced Realtor like Pam Cooper is the best way to see houses right when they hit the market. The Hammock Falls Team will work behind the scenes to get a "heads up" about upcoming listings from fellow Realtors to help give you the buying advantage.

As a buyer in a seller's market, you'll need to act quickly. If you're in need of financing, be sure you have pre-approval from your lender before you go on your home search. You'll need to be the first to be informed of a new listing and be prepared to view it right away. If you can't take time to see it in person, you can request a live virtual tour hosted by your Realtor to get a feel for the layout and feel of the home prior to setting aside time to tour the property in person.

How to buy in a seller's market:

Working with the Hammock Falls Team is the first step! You can also Sign Up Now for email notifications showing our local MLS listings, or download our MoveTo app to receive push notifications on your phone the moment new listings hit the market. MoveTo is available on Google Play or the Apple Store.

With so much competition from fellow home buyers, you may find yourself in a multiple offer scenario. In that case, you'll need to be prepared to bring your highest and best offer on that home. If your offer ultimately is not accepted, it's important not to let yourself be discouraged. While you may need to reduce the number of "must haves" and be more willing to compromise on the exact features of a home, The Hammock Falls Team can still find the right property for you! Reach out to us today and let us know what home you're looking for.

Posted in Market Updates
Aug. 5, 2020

August 2020 Newsletter

August 2020 Real Estate Newsletter

Posted in Newsletters