Updated: May 27, 2020
State officials expect tourism to return slowly, but a robust real estate market may lead Florida’s economic recovery.
Before the pandemic, Florida’s real estate market had high demand from buyers seeking homeownership, but the market was slowed by a lack of listings. Thanks to lessons learned during the Great Recession, more owners hunkered down. But in many cases, they also had a low mortgage rate secured years earlier that they would have to give up if they bought another home.
In a National Association of Realtors® (NAR) survey released May 7, 77% of Realtors said their potential sellers plan to list their homes once COVID-19 stay-at-home orders are lifted – and more than half said their clients are completing do-it-yourself home improvement projects while isolating. "After a pause, home sellers are gearing up,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Plenty of buyers also appear ready to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates and the stability that comes with these locked-in monthly payments into future years.”
Impact on Florida's economy
The return of buyers and sellers to the market could provide a major boost to the state’s economy, which has been hit by a drop in sales tax revenues as tourists stayed home.
According to NAR’s research department, every home sale in Florida pumps $77,291 into the economy – money beyond the sale itself. "Real estate has been, and remains, the foundation for wealth building for the middle class and a critical link in the flow of goods, services, and income for millions of Americans,” says Nadia Evangelou, a research economist with NAR. Real estate makes up almost 18% of the U.S. GDP.
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