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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 8 years ago

Christina Rordam: Housing trends in 2014

It's been said that slow and steady wins the race, and 2014 is projected to continue the housing recovery this year began.
by: Christina Rordam

Out with the old and in with the new! 2013 was a great year for many homeowners’ neighborhoods and buyers alike as home values rose, interest rates remained affordable, and many communities in the greater-Orlando area saw fewer vacant homes and foreclosures. It’s been said that slow and steady wins the race, and 2014 is projected to continue the housing recovery this year began. Let’s look at some of the expected trends for the New Year.

Home values will continue to make gains, specifically in the West and South.

Great news for Central Floridians here: According to the August/October Realtors Confidence Index Survey, 3,000 Realtors were asked about expectations for home values in 2014. The Western and Southern regions were ranked highest with professionals predicting gains of 4 to 8 percent. This is great news for local homeowners and it also echoes a poll taken earlier in the year by Realty Trac, which indicated that more than 8 million homeowners nationwide are estimated to be in positive equity situations on their primary home loans this year.

Interest rates will rise, but that’s not likely for a few months.

Attention homebuyers on the proverbial fence! Buying before March may save you money on your monthly mortgage payments. As of print deadline, the Fed had not yet met for the last policy-making committee of the year. In this meeting the Fed will probably do one of two things, either begin to cut back on their bond purchasing campaign straight away, or schedule a more gradual pull back. The most likely time frame for these changes to take effect is March, according to experts like Vincent Reinhart. Reinhart is the chief United States economist for Morgan Stanley, and he believes the Fed will set in motion a plan for reducing bond spending around that time. If this plays out as he expects, then we will likely avoid another mortgage rate spike in the immediate future like the one we saw back in June when Bernanke first announced he would be scaling back bond buying.

Inventory will remain tight, especially in hot neighborhoods.

In yet another continuation of 2013’s market, Realtors are anticipating inventory to remain tight in high demand areas such as the Southern region we call home. This means we will continue to see what is considered a “sellers market,” and the hottest homes fetching top dollar and multiple bids. Sellers can maximize this opportunity by fixing a home up before putting it on the market and hiring an agent that has a wide digital reach so their home is seen by both local, out-of-state and out-of-country buyers. As for the buyers, rates are still currently in the 4-percent range and there are still plenty of homes for sale. Your dream home is within reach, just be sure to act fast once you find it.

Happy New Year!

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