Housing supply

Housing supply at an all-time low in Lake Co.

CLERMONT, Fla. — Housing supply in Lake County is at an all-time low, making the market more competitive than ever. Currently, Lake County Commissioners are working with developers to help lower the cost of new home construction.

What do you want to know

  • Lake County is starting to experience a housing shortage, local real estate agent says
  • Nearly a quarter of buyers are looking to invest in real estate
  • Others come looking for a second holiday home

Regina Cruz-Morales is a real estate agent with Keller-Williams in Clermont – a family business. “I was excited by the opportunity, excited by the challenge. And here I am 8.5 years later and [I] still love real estate,” Cruz-Morales said.

An opportunity, she said, to help people find their forever home, but recently she has seen a change in the market. “We are seeing the majority of buyers come from out of state. A lot from the New England area, as well as the Midwest and California. [They’re] either by making huge down payments or by buying silver in the area,” Cruz-Morales told Spectrum News.

She said she saw the rural Lake County market flooded with investors. In fact, 1 in 4 buyers she meets are investors, increasing competition for homebuyers and driving up home prices. But now Lake County is seeing a low supply of homes on the market. Many receive multiple offers, with less than a month being on the market.

“With the low inventory, it’s definitely a game-changer for us realtors, and definitely a game-changer for buyers in the market, because there are just fewer homes to view,” Cruz-Morales said.

When supply is already low and real estate investors outbid investors who pay well above the asking price, that doesn’t leave many options for the average consumer.

“From people in the area, I think it’s certainly been a struggle or a challenge for them to be able to find employment in this area and then be able to afford the new housing prices that have gone up over the years. “, says Cruz-Morales.

But vacation rentals and real estate investments are nothing new, especially in Florida. It’s just the new reality that continues to rise in Lake County. In fact, vacation home purchases continue to skyrocket in Florida. A 57% year-over-year increase, more than double the 20% growth in total existing home sales over the same period, according to the National Association of Realtors. Last year, a UCF study said vacation home rentals boosted the state’s economy by $27 billion a year.

“About 30 minutes, 45 minutes from the parks, we’re seeing people with short-term rentals buying homes so they have the option to do the AirBnB,” Cruz-Morales said.

Regina said she doesn’t see this type of housing market ending anytime soon in the Clermont area. She tells buyers to be patient with the process.