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Orange County


Florida`s housing markets improved again in April. Closing volumes were up across the State and prices were generally higher as well. Although it will be many more months before closing volumes recover, it is clear that Florida`s housing markets have bottomed out. As the data for Orange County show (see Figure 1), the volume of closings for existing homes has stabilized and prices have firmed. The market for new homes was also stronger, and even the battered condominium market is beginning to stabilize in most markets. However, unlike the single-family market, the volume of new condominium deliveries expected to accelerate over the next few months, so the condo market will weaken further.

The U.S. economy is in a mild recession, but with high energy and food prices and with interest rates projected to rise during the second half of 2008 and in 2009 as well, the recovery trajectory will be modest. The nation`s housing markets recover very slowly beginning in the second half of this year. As a result, stronger population growth will not occur in Florida until the second half of 2009. Florida`s housing markets cannot move back towards more normal levels of volume until 2010 when population growth accelerates.

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