• With new construction finally at a low, people are now actually moving into new homes faster than builders are erecting them. Accordingly, Orlando’s inventory of new subdivision housing fell again during the second quarter. That’s according to a report by Metrostudy, who found 3,646 finished-but-vacant single-family homes in the four-county metro area, down from 5,560 at the me time in 2007.

    The area’s total inventory, which includes homes under construction and model units, was down 39 percent from 2007 to 7,033, or a 7.1-month supply – which isn’t so bad since a market is generally considered to be in balance when the pace of sales and the number of units available result in a six-month supply.

    Interestingly, the same study reports that second-quarter total starts were 12 percent higher than the number of first-quarter starts, a possible sign that builders are anticipating an increase in demand.Avalon Park Orlando

    “New-home sales are picking up in a few areas, where there also is some growth in base pricing, although that increase has been slow after more than a year of price reductions,” said Anthony Crocco, director of Texas-based Metrostudy’s Central and North Florida division.

    Avalon Park (right) in east Orange County was the busiest subdivision in the metro region during the 12 months that ended June 30, with 208 new-home starts, , followed by Lakes of Mount Dora in Lake County (158). Orlando’s Baldwin Park came in about fifth (121).

    The Orlando Sentinel reports that a separate new-home market report, released this week by Charles Wayne Consulting Inc. of Maitland, also suggests that we may be about to turn the corner….

    “It now appears that the worst of the housing construction slowdown may be behind us,” said Jim Lewis, president of the real estate research company.

    In all, 384 subdivisions reported building and marketing homes in 18 submarkets, and 12 of those 18 submarkets recorded an increase in home construction from the first quarter.

    I’m not entirely convinced that a new, upward trend is around the corner, but there is increasing evidence to suggest that we are certainly at bottom – or very close to it. Close enough at any rate to justify making that purchase now if the only thing that is stopping you is fear of worse to come.

    Assuming that is, that you can qualify for a mortgage!

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