Metrostudy’s 1Q14 survey of the housing market in the Orlando region shows impressive strength across the board, with some areas poised for exceptional growth in 2014. In the Orlando region (Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties), 2,416 single-family housing units were started in the first quarter of 2014. This represents an increase of 23.5% compared to last year’s quarterly starts rate of 1,956 units.

The annual starts rate of 9,507 units has increased by 34.7% over the past year. Single-family quarterly closings totaled 2,188 units which is 36.4% higher than the 1,604 closings that occurred in the same quarter last year. The annual closings rate (past 4 quarters) of 8,457 units is 34.8% above the rate of 6,275 units per year recorded a year ago.

“We have started to see growth spurts in parts of Lake and Osceola County,” says Anthony Crocco, Regional Director of Metrostudy’s Orlando/Jacksonville area. “As pricing growth continues in Orange County, we anticipate more new subdivision offerings further out of the urban core. Builders are working hard to replace sold out subdivisions, although the pricing of newly developed lots will continue to push up asking prices and slowly drive more demand into the suburban market areas.”

Starts and closings in the Orlando MSA were up significantly in the first quarter from last quarter and from a year ago. The fourth quarter slowdown was due more to seasonality than market conditions, and we expect construction activity to continue to grow thru the next two quarters.

The top three market areas and sub-markets based on annual starts are shown below.

Market Area       Annual Starts (% Chg)

Orange ............................ 4,652 (+25.8%)

Osceola........................... 2,229 (+61.2%)

Lake................................ 1,732 (+55.6%)

Sub-Market        Annual Starts (% Chg)

SW Orange ..................... 1,620 (+46.5%)

South Orange ................. 1,356 (+30.3%)

Clermont/South Lake..... 1,157 (+42.0%)

The Orlando market’s employment growth continues in Leisure and Resort Services, Professional and Business Services, and Education and Health Services. A more recent phenomenon has been strong growth in Construction Services. As housing production continues to grow in SW and SE Orange County, and Osceola and Lake Counties, the construction engine will help support growth in the other categories.

The new home market is growing throughout the MSA, with the strongest absorption and significant pricing growth in the Orange County “A” submarkets of SW Orange, South Orange, and Clermont/South Lake. “We expect continued growth in construction activity in the area, although growth will likely flatten in the best locations as pricing increases slow demand,” says Crocco.

For information contact: Anthony Crocco at 407.875.9090 x820

About Metrostudy

Metrostudy, a Hanley Wood company, is the leading provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing and related industries nationwide.  Established in 1975 in Houston, Metrostudy provides research, data, analytics and consulting services that help builders, developers, lenders, suppliers, retailers, utilities and others make investment and business decisions every day.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Orlando, FL.