2011 Lakeland Florida Overall Housing Market Review – A Roller Coaster Ride
Every month I have watched, researched and written about the Lakeland FL Housing Market to see how we would compare to the same month in 2010 and even prior years. Folks asking me how is the housing market, is it getting any better? Are the prices going up? When will the prices go up?
We started out historically slow in 2011 compared to 2010, but that was done artificially due to the first time homebuyers tax credit which ended officially in April 2010 but if you had a binding contract, closing must have taken place by July 1, 2010. The roller coaster started to climb with rises in between until we took a dive in June as the Lakeland FL housing market hit a midyear low. By August we outperformed average sales price compared to the previous year and it looked for a moment that our local housing market had bottomed out. December ended in the bottom four when it comes to overall average sales price, although overall average sales prices were down, the number of transaction rose and that is the only good news I have.
Here are the Lakeland FL housing market numbers:
- In Lakeland FL, a total of 2434 residential properties were sold at an average price of $107,863 in 2011.
- In Lakeland FL, a total of 2305 residential properties were sold at an average price of $116,220 in 2010.
- Overall average prices were down 7%. Overall transactions (number of sales) was up by 6%.
While these are not horrific declines, they do speak to the angst that continues to dominate the housing market. Moreover, with the new wave of foreclosures coming into the Lakeland FL housing market they do point to 2012 that we may continue the roller coaster ride with up and down prices.
The good news is that the number of transactions improved despite the reduction of foreclosures due to the fraudulent or robo-signing documents that halted the foreclosure process for months resulting foreclosure sales were taken somewhat out of the equation.
How come 2011 Lakeland home prices sucked so badly? Our pipeline with homes under contract (pending) at 538 that includes 323 short sales most of them will not close next month, if at all and that is exactly what happened in 2011. Short sales that weren’t approved or mortgages that didn’t get commitment or clear to close, the pending numbers do not represent a fast approaching housing recovery. Moreover, until we see lenders doing their part to accommodate the seller’s delinquent loans approving them in a timely manner, the housing recovery will remain flat.
The bad news is the Lakeland Florida housing market remains flat. And that will most likely be the new normal market for the foreseeable future.
Prices will remain low due to the distressed housing market. Buyers are more savvy, they don’t want to spend more than they can afford. They want instant equity and with foreclosures and short sales selling at deep discounts, the traditional seller has no other choice than to adjust their listing price if they want or need to sell. In addition, buyers have their own struggles with the lender to commit loaning money to them.
I suspect the roller coaster ride will continue throughout 2012 in Lakeland Florida with up and down prices and up and down sales.