ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The real estate market in Central Florida is currently considered a seller’s market, and while that is good for people looking to sell their homes, it’s creating a challenge for potential buyers.

What You Need To Know

  •  Real estate in Central Florida is currently a seller's market

  •  Homes that go up for sale rarely stay that way for long, experts say

  • The number of homes currently for sale in Orlando is currently less than half what it was last yeat at this time

For the past month and a half, Ali Smith’s home search really hasn’t developed.

“There’s really no houses on the market,” Smith said. “And when the houses come on the market there are offers immediately, and before you know it they are off the market.”

Real Estate agents are experiencing the same challenges.

“Incredible inventory shortage,” Central Florida real estate agent Ron Ziolkowski said. “Something I have never seen before.”

Ziolkowski, better known as “Ron the Realtor,” has been selling homes in Central Florida for 22 years, and said it has been difficult for buyers to get their foot in the door.

“Extremely competitive,” Ziolkowski said. “If you don’t have your pre-qualification letter in line and ready to go, you probably will not be considered by the seller. There is multiple offers on every listing that is out there right now.”

According to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, in January 2020, 5,394 homes were on the market.

In January of this year the number is less than half that at 2,592.

With such a low inventory in Central Florida, it’s not just buyers that have to be weary, it’s also current homeowners. If they are going to become buyers and put their home for sale, they have to make sure they have a place to go, if and when their home does sell.

“I’m actually fortunate,” Smith said. “Since my mom just moved, and she will be selling her old house, I have that as a place to go if my house sells before I find something that I want.”

Aside from currently low interest rates, and Florida sunshine, Ziolkowski believes the pandemic has made potential buyers from all over the country migrate to Central Florida.

“Because of the COVID migration I call it,” Ziolkowski said. “They are just coming down and tired of high state income taxes, tired of the snow, they are tired of the way their governor is handling the COVID crisis.” 

Timing is everything right now when it comes to buying and selling, and Smith is hoping she gets it right.

“I am really methodically and strategically trying to plan this,” she said.

If her timing is a little off, moving in to her mom’s old home for the time being will be her fall back.

Not only is the current supply of homes in the area at an all time low, but in January of this year there was a 15% increase in homes under contract compared to January of 2020.