It’s nice to see that Zillow recently saw fit to proclaim, in its 2022 real estate market predictions, that “the Sun Belt dominates Zillow’s list of hottest housing markets for the second year in a row.” At the top of that list? Tampa and Jacksonville.
Now, those of us who live in Florida have always known it’s a natural real estate, er…hot spot! But, especially after weeks and months of reading the doom and gloom of the impending decline of the refinance spike; rise of interest rates and shortage of inventory, it’s nice to put it all into perspective.
While it’s easy enough to aggregate numbers from numerous local markets to create some national numbers, there’s no true national market. Just a collection of local markets. So saying many trends will impact each market equally is much more often than not false. Will interest rates rise this year? Probably. But how much will they rise; how long will the rise take to impact each market and to what degree? Let’s not forget, home values have soared over the past three years. It’s not all that apparent that they will suddenly crash. Will appreciation slow? Yes. Are declining appreciation and depreciation the same thing? Absolutely not. In fact, the same Zillow forecast suggests the nation’s top 50 markets are expected to “grow healthily in 2022.” That doesn’t sound like a year of doom and gloom to us.
Now, back to Florida, where the vast majority of Gator Title’s clients, partners and friends live and work. The same forces that drove our largest markets to jaw-dropping growth in 2020 and 2021 are still in place. Home values will likely still grow. Inventory is still moving quickly, indicating demand remands high. And employment and population indicators suggest Florida’s top markets are still home to motivated, capable buyers with confidence in the job market and their earning potential. So whether the Fed raises the primary national rates by a quarter of a percent or .000001 percent (and believe us, it won’t be raising it enough to disrupt the economy dramatically in an election year), odds are that, if you have property or clients with property in Tampa or Jacksonville (or Miami, or Orlando, or Gainesville…), it will be another productive year for our friends in the real estate business.
We’re ready for the volume here at Gator Title. And we’ve only continued to work at streamlining our processes to create the smoothest, fastest, most tension-free closings you could ask for in a purchase environment. Then again, we’re proud of the places we live and work, and we never bet against them. So Zillow’s just telling us what we already knew!