Condo fever cools in Downtown Orlando as sales prices increase


Investors’ appetite for condominiums in Metro Orlando appears to have waned. In May, the region had one of the biggest year-over-year drops in condo sales in the state, a new report shows.

The volume of condo and townhome sales in the Orlando area dropped more than in all but one metro area in the state — Fort Walton Beach, according to the report, released this week by Florida Realtors.

During May, 684 condos and townhomes sold in the four-county Orlando region. That was down 19 percent from May 2013. Sales for the multi-family units also were down statewide, but by an average of 7 percent.

A year earlier, a record number of investors from across the country drove a surge in sales of condos and other bargain-priced properties in Orlando and other hotspots in Florida.

“Investor activity is definitely down, and that was what was driving condo sales,” said Downtown real estate agent Thomas Allen, URBANISTA. In addition, he said, condo prices have increased to the point where they are no longer the deals they used to be.

Despite the drop in sales, prices for both condos and single-family homes continued a year’s long climb after the market meltdown that began in 2007. The average price for a condo or townhome in Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Lake counties during May was $105,000, which was up 10 percent from the same month a year earlier. Statewide, the average price of those units was $145,000, which was a 14 percent increase from May 2013.

In metro areas near Orlando, prices increased in Volusia County by 8 percent and by 5.7 percent in Brevard. Prices in both of those counties averaged $135,000. Polk County prices, which averaged $130,000, were flat from a year earlier.

In the single-family home market, prices were up throughout the state. In Orlando, those prices increased 9 percent in May from a year earlier, reaching an average of $180,000. The average price was the same in Metro Orlando as it was statewide.

The volume of home sales in Orlando declined 3 percent, while sales increased 4 percent statewide.

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