Trends That May Affect the Parkland Real Estate Market in 2019


Slower and steadier will characterize 2019's housing market.  That follows a 2018 that started off hot but softened into the fall as buyers – put off by high prices and few choices – sat out rather than paid up.

Affordability issues will remain a top concern going into 2019, exacerbated by rising mortgage rates. But some of 2018's more intractable issues will begin to loosen up. The volume of for-sale homes is expected to rise and diversify, while the number of buyers is forecast to shrink.

"For home sellers, they need to recognize those days of frenzied market are over. They must price competitively to sell their home," said Lawrence Yun, the chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. "For buyers, there will be challenges when it comes to rising interest rates, but they don't have to make hurried decisions anymore."

Still, some cash-strapped first-time buyers will simply be priced out, while a cohort of potential move-up buyers will decide to stay in their existing home, make renovations and enjoy their current low mortgage rate. Price increases will moderate, and everyone in the market will need to adjust.

Finally, more homes to choose from

One of the biggest complaints among buyers in the last several years is that there weren't enough homes for sale. In fact, the supply of houses hit historic lows in the winter of 2017 and has yet to rebound substantially. That fueled bidding wars, price increases and frustration.

The supply crunch is expected to ease some in 2019 with inventory rising 10 percent to 15 percent, according to Yun. But the increase will be skewed toward the mid-to-high end of the market – houses priced $250,000 and higher – especially when it comes to newly built houses, said Danielle Hale, chief economist of

That’s good news for move-up buyers, but not so much for the first-time millennial buyer. “There’s still a mismatch on the entry-level side,” she said.

Affording a home remains hard

Housing values are still expected to increase next year, but not at the gang-buster pace seen in recent years. NAR’s Yun forecasts modest price growth between 2 percent and 3 percent, down from close to 5 percent this year and over 5 percent in 2017.

At the same time, mortgage rates are expected to hit 5.5 percent by the end of 2019. Both factors make it more expensive for buyers to purchase a home. Hale estimates that the expected increase in prices and interest rates translates to an 8 percent rise in the average monthly mortgage payment.

Interest rate trap

Shrinking affordability will convince some buyers – especially first-timers – to sit out the market altogether next year because they can’t make the numbers work.

Homeowners considering selling their home may also stay put because of rising mortgage rates – a so-called interest rate trap. Most outstanding mortgages have an interest rate of 4.5 percent or less, according to a report this year from Black Knight, a data analytics firm.

"They have a nice low mortgage rate, lower than the current rate, so there’s no reason to move,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist of First American Financial Corp., a provider of title insurance. “It’s essentially more expensive to buy their own home back.”

Tax worries linger

The first few months of 2019 will reveal exactly how the new tax changes affect homeowners. One key rule is the new cap on the mortgage interest deduction.

Before, homeowners could deduct interest they paid on up to $1 million in mortgage debt – including interest on home equity loans and lines of credit – reducing their taxable income.

Now, you can only deduct interest on up to $750,000 in mortgage debt. Interest paid on home equity loans and lines of credit is deductible only if the funds were used to pay for home improvements or renovations.

The only taxpayers who will exceed those limits are high-end homeowners and buyers and those with multiple homes with mortgages.

Here's the bottom line

If you're a seller: Price realistically and be ready to cut the listing price or offer other incentives to get a deal done. “It’s still a seller’s market, but not like it was,” Hale said. “Sellers need to be mindful of competition, especially for more expensive properties.”

If you're a buyer: Don't worry about going slow when making decisions. “There is less buyer competition and more inventory,” Yun said. “Buyers can take time to find the home that fits into their budget.”

March 6, 2019

Florida Bound: 7 Important Things to Know Before Moving to Florida

moving to florida

Are you thinking of moving to Florida? In addition to copious amounts of sunshine, oranges, and happiness, you'll also enjoy low taxes and a low cost of living. 

There's a reason that cities in Florida rank as the #1 family vacation destination the #2 best nightlife scene in America. 

If you're considering becoming one of the 21.6 million Floridians living down south, there are a few things you should know. In this article, we're breaking down the seven must-know things you should be aware of before making the move. 

Whether you're moving there to spend your golden years in the golden sunshine or eager to soak up the culture in Little Havana, you'll want to keep reading. 

Grab your sunglasses and a glass of orange juice; we're getting started.

7 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Florida

Before you pack your bags and head down to the sunshine state, let's go over some basic things you need to know. 

1. There's A Lot to Do Here 

If you're a golfer, you'll be happy to hear that Florida has the most golf courses than any other state--over 1,250 courses! It's time to grab your clubs and practice your swing. 

Do you like to gamble? If so, Florida just became your new heaven. There are many different gambling options that are legal here. Good luck!

You didn't think we were going to forget to mention Disney World, did you? Florida is, of course, the home to the Disney Empire, which stretches over 47 square miles of land. 

If you've got kids, grandkids, or are a big kid yourself, you'll want to take advantage of living in the same state as Disney World. Plus, it makes a good bribe to get people to visit you.   

2. It's Not All Beaches

Each town in Florida is very different, offering everything from culture, food, activities, and environment. The vibe in Miami is certainly a lot different than that of The Villages.

There's a lot of variety to Florida. From canals, swamps, and lush forest, there's more than just beaches. Take a trip through St. Augustine, America's oldest city or spend time watching the Daytona 500.

But if you did come here for beaches, we've got plenty of those too. 

3. Beware of Tourists

The curse of living in such an incredible state with dreamy weather and picture-perfect beaches is that people are going to want to share it with you.

After all, you're making the move for likely the same reasons they want to visit. You can't blame them. 

Thankfully you won't find yourself fighting off tourists in every city in Florida. You'll find them in the likely areas: Orlando, Miami, Key West, Fort Lauderdale, and Daytona. 

Spring breakers flock to Florida in February, March, and April so you'll want to prepare for that if you're in popular locations like Panama City Beach or South Beach. 

4. And Politicians

You should know that Florida is a swing state so your vote carries a lot of weight. Expect a lot of political ads, billboards, and campaigns everywhere you look when it's election time. 

With 4.4 million Republicans and 4.6 million Democrats, it's a close call. But what makes this state a swing state is the 3 million registered independents, which politicians fight for.  

5. Look Out For Nature

Hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, sinkholes, alligators...Florida's got them all. 

If you're making a permanent move to Florida, you'll want to brush up on your hurricane and tornado preparedness skills. Always keep emergency supplies readily available and keep in mind the best places to take shelter, should an emergency occur. 

Once in a while on the news, you'll hear a story about how a family found an alligator in their pool. It's not uncommon when you share the state with over one million of these scaley guys. 

Alligators will often ignore humans unless they become frightened. If you're bitten make a lot of noise and poke the eyes.

Sinkholes are making the news more and more these days in Florida but if you're not from the area, you've likely never heard of such a thing. 

A sinkhole occurs when water erodes bedrock causing the surface of the earth to collapse in on itself, leaving a gaping hole. This is most common in places with large amounts of limestone, like Florida. 

6. The Taxes are Low and Cost of Living is Cheap

Florida has the 2nd lowest taxes per capita, after Alaska. The Governor, Rick Scott, boasts that they've cut taxes 55 times!

This doesn't necessarily mean your taxes will be low (it's a result of many factors) but it's likely. 

The cost of living in Florida is also generally lower than most states, especially if you stick to cities like Kissimmee, Palm Coast, and Cape Coral. 

7. Not Everyone Is Old...But A Lot of People Are

You've no doubt heard that Florida is the home for old people, after all, senior citizens do make up one-third of the population. Maybe you're a seasoned American yourself and looking to make the great migration. 

The critical thing to know is, it's all about where you settle. Making Panama City Beach your home will be a very different experience to Ocala, for example.

Research and find your ideal environment first, then set up camp. We recommend you visit the area in every season before you move anywhere.

Still not convinced you want to move to Florida? Here are eight more reasons

Looking to Make the Move? We Can Help

If you're moving to Florida and looking for the perfect place, let us help.

At McKenna Realtors, we've spent the last 30 years eagerly helping people like you find their dream home in southern Florida.

Take a look at our gorgeous homes and let's make you an official Floridian. 

Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 12, 2019

Finding That Dream Home: 8 Reasons You Should Move to Florida

Are you contemplating packing up and moving? You aren't the only one. The average American moves more than 11 times during the course of their life.

People move for all sorts of reasons--new job opportunities, better cost of living, or simply for a change of scenery. 

Are you thinking about making a move to Florida? Check out these 8 reasons why it is a good idea.

1. There's a Wildlife Scene

Alligators and the Everglades get a lot of attention in Florida. In fact, anyone with only a casual knowledge of Florida may not be able to tell you what other wildlife is plentiful in the area.

But there's far more to the wildlife scene in Florida than just alligators. 

The state is home to very diverse ecosystems full of life. Keep your eyes peeled for Florida panthers, black bears, manatees, skunks, many species of bats, otters, dolphins and much more.

2. The Beaches

Beaches are abundant in Florida. It almost doesn't matter where you live, you'll have easy access to at least one, if not several, beaches. In addition to all that ocean wrapping around the state, there are 4,308 square miles of rivers and lakes to explore in the interior.

Enjoy spending some time in the sun on your day off. You can simply relax and work on your tan, or have fun joining in on the numerous water activities that are available. 

3. The Jungles and Swamps

Just like there's more to the wildlife than alligators, there's more to Florida's nature scene than just the beach. When you (eventually) get tired of lounging on the beach and gallivanting in the waves, be sure to check out the interior. 

Of course, the most famous place to start is in the Everglades. Take a tour through the park for your chance to see alligators, pythons, iguanas, and many more animals.

The park itself is a testament to the diversity of nature in Florida. Inside you'll find not only see the famous estuaries but also prairies and forests. If you move close to the park it warrants more than one visit!

4. Theme Parks Galore

Of course, you're probably well aware that Disney World is in Florida. Even if you don't move close to the famous park, take a weekend trip to go and enjoy the magic. 

But Disney World isn't the only fabulous theme park in Florida. Orlando also boasts fun places like Legoland, Universal Studios, Discovery Cove, and Wet N Wild. If you end up moving closer to Tampa, be sure to check out Busch Gardens and Adventure Island. 

These are only a drop in the bucket. There is a myriad of other theme parks scattered throughout the state. You'll never have an excuse to say that you don't have anything to do on a given weekend! 

5. The History

If you're looking for a calmer sort of adventure, take some time to tour some historical sites. The state boasts the oldest city in America, St. Augustine. The Spanish first established the settlement back in 1565. 

Entrepreneurs in St. Augustine have capitalized on the cities long and rich history. You'll find entertaining ghost tours on every corner in this historic spot. Needless to say, it is well worth your time to take a trip to St. Augustine.

Due to its geographical position, Florida has a long and colorful history of the highly romanticized pirate's life. Though being an actual pirate wasn't a comfortable life, joining in on the pirate festivals sure is a great way to have fun. So, dust off your eye patch, find a pet parrot, practice your "arrgh!" and head out to look for hidden treasure. 

6. Sports

Are you a sports lover? Florida offers plenty of excitement in that department as well. 

Spring is the time for baseball in Florida. You can check out the Grapefruit League baseball teams as they train. The best part is, the games are relatively affordable so you can enjoy quality sports without paying top dollar.

Baseball isn't your thing? That's okay, there's also plenty of football action in Florida. Choose your favorite team from the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Miami Dolphins.

If fast cars are more your speed, Florida has something for you too. The famous Daytona 500 is a state staple and something you should check out regardless of if you are a car racing fan or not. You might just become one after moving to Florida.

7. Diversity

Florida's position has made it a uniquely diverse section of the country. Is it your dream to learn Spanish? Living in Florida will give you lots of opportunities to practice. In some parts of South Florida billboards and store signs are written in Spanish and the cashiers will even speak to you in Spanish.

Latin American cultures aren't the only ones you'll find in Florida. Other Caribbean cultures like Jamaica and Haiti are a strong presence in Florida. Plus, people move to Florida from all over the United States, bringing with them their own cultures and diverse ideas.  

8. Delicious Eats

With all these different cultures mixing together, you can bet the food in Florida is pretty amazing. Enjoy a Cuban sandwich for lunch and have a spicy Jamaican dish for dinner. Or go for a "Floribbean" dish, the resulting mix of flavors coming together from a variety of cultures.

We can't mention food in Florida with mentioning the seafood. Fresh seafood abounds in the state and they certainly know how to make it delicious. Go on an adventure one day and search out a seafood place in a little beach town to discover the amazingness that is true Floridian seafood.

Ready to Move to Florida?

Has this list piqued your interest? Maybe it has sealed the deal and you've decided that it's time to move to Florida.

You're going to need a place to live once you get there so check out these amazing options!

Posted in Market Updates
July 31, 2017

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Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

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We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates