Residential foreclosures in Orlando increased by sixty percent in the first quarter of 2019 when compared to the year before. What’s crazy is that foreclosures are decreasing in most of the US.
In the first quarter of 2019 banks foreclosed on a whopping 2,049 homes throughout Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Lake counties. That’s a staggering increase when you compare it to the number of foreclosures in the first quarter of 2018 which was only 1,280.
Foreclosures were on a steep decline since the market crash of 2009 when plunging home prices made it very hard for homeowners to cover their mortgage payments. In the worst part of the housing crisis, over twenty thousand homes went into foreclosure every quarter. However, since 2015 -2016 Orlando foreclosures were seen less and less.
I believe that it was a perfect storm of skyrocketing home prices combined with Orlando’s lower-than-average wages that hurt the Orlando real estate market. Even more so than other major US cities.
Nationwide, foreclosures dropped by 15% year after year and are currently at their lowest level since 2008. In Orlando, home prices have experienced an increase of over 7% per year since 2014 according to the data from the Orlando Realtor Association.
The rising home prices make it easier for people to avoid foreclosure since Orlando homeowners can sell for enough to satisfy their mortgages.
As an Orlando real estate broker, I always try to stay in tune with what’s happening in my area. Although foreclosures in Orlando are on a steady rise, I don’t think we’re anywhere near the next crash.
There are still many homeowners who bought a decade ago and are currently upside down with their mortgage. However, with rising rent prices they’re better off to continue paying the mortgage… even if they owe more than the home is worth.
Interest rates remain low as well, as the average rate in March was just 4.2 % according to the Orlando Realtor Association.
The mortgage industry today is much different than it was in the early 2000s. Lender guidelines are much tougher and the popular “jumbo loans” are much harder to get approved for as well.