Market Report: Vacation Homes for Sale in Orlando, Florida

Visit Orlando and truly get a feel for the culture and explore the many hidden gems that go unnoticed by most travelers. We all know about Disney World, Epcot, and Sea World, but there are places like the Mad Cow Theater, which produces many classical and contemporary plays and musicals in its intimate two-theater complex. Or you can get spooked with the family on the American Ghost Adventures tour, the only one in Florida, then end your evening enjoying a performance by the world-renowned Orlando Ballet.

Orlando is projected to be among the nation’s fastest-growing regions in this decade. With over one-third of its population between the ages of 20 and 44 and a median age of 37, Orlando is a young and vibrant city. All of the evidence pointing to the resurgence of the real estate market, and the myriad amenities the city has to offer to make Orlando a great place to own a vacation home or rental. It is a place where people come to live out the American Dream…and you can too.

Orlando Real Estate

Vacation homes for sale in Orlando are going quickly, but there are still so many beautiful homes from which to choose. Today’s median list price for a vacation home in Orlando is $170,000. This is up from $135,000, which was the median at this time last year. If this seeming price increase gives you pause as a real estate buyer, don’t worry. The percentage of distressed homes being sold is down 16% from 32% at this time last year (and also down 2% from just one month ago!), which tells this travel-loving writer that fewer sellers are selling because they “have” to and more are selling simply because the market is improving dramatically.

In March, more than 1700 homes were sold, and another 1326 went up for sale. Clearly, these vacation homes are selling as quickly as they hit the market. There are also fewer price reductions happening before a sale goes through. In September of last year, 642 homes were reduced in price before sale. That was down this past March to just 526.

Understandably, the closer one is to attractions like Disney World, the more one is likely to pay for a vacation home. But the bang you get for your buck increases dramatically as well. Nearly all vacation homes for sale near the Park have four or more bedrooms as sellers know that Orlando is one of the most popular family vacation destinations.

A buyer can find a three-bedroom townhome within a half-hour of the Park for around $215,000 or a more luxuriously priced six+ bedroom vacation home for around $450,000. You are likely to pay considerably more for amenities such as gated communities, resort living, and extravagant landscaping, and those options are easily found if one is willing and able to pay upwards of $750,000 or more. But that higher price will also likely get you within six miles or less of the Disney main gate.

Whether you’re in the market for a smaller townhome or larger luxury, Orlando provides many options for vacationers looking to add a generous side of magic to their vacation home purchase!

Real Estate Trends In Orlando, Florida – Market Report

There is no doubt that real estate in Orlando, Florida is a hot commodity right now. Economic indicators, market trends, the allure of the major attractions (and the ones coming!), all point to now being the time to jump on the vacation rentals and vacation homes for sale. But don’t just take my word for it; let’s look at some of the numbers.

The most current statistics released from the Orlando Regional Realtor® Association (ORRA), show that the median list price for all real estate being $133,000, up 18.9% from last year. This is the 13th month in a row that median sales prices for both single-family homes and for townhouse-condo units have increased. Additionally, inventory is 20.7% less than last year, meaning that vacation houses and vacation rentals are in high demand.

Interest rates play a pivotal role when deciding whether that ‘for sale’ sign becomes your home. The average interest rate paid in Orlando for homes for sale in February 2013 was 3.21%, which set yet another record low since ORRA began tracking the statistic in 1989. In 2012, homebuyers paid an average interest rate of 3.92%, and 4.88% in 2011. This real estate trend is all the more reason why Orlando Florida is the right destination to purchase a vacation home or a vacation rental, as your home will only appreciate in value.

Another great benefit of purchasing your own vacation home or vacation rental is the current structure of the internal revenue code, which is preferential to second-home buyers. As of 2010, you are allowed to rent both your primary residence and secondary residence to another party for up to two weeks without reporting any of the income.

A vacation home or a vacation rental in Florida is considered an investment property if you spend less than two weeks in it, and attempt to rent it the rest of the time. Taxes for investment properties have historically been softer than for other types of investments as well. So a vacation home or rental in Orlando is not only a great destination, it is a smart investment.

When looking to buy real estate in Orlando, it is best to act quickly, as homes for sale spent an average of 81 days on the market before coming under contract. The average home sold for 95.9% of its listing price. Last year, those numbers were 96 days and 92.2%, respectively. As more local and foreign investors move in, expect the average number of days houses are on the market to decrease.

What’s really exciting is the scheduled opening of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Situated in the heart of downtown Orlando, it will be a premier destination for world-class arts, culture, and entertainment. The Phillips Center will be a hub where regional and global creativity converges to educate and cultivate the region’s artists, arts organizations, audiences, and students.

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