ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The real estate market plays a vital role in Florida's growth, and figuring out what lies ahead in 2016 is a key question for policymakers, residents and Realtors®.
Several highly respected and nationally known economists will share their insights at Florida Realtors® 2016 Real Estate Trends on Jan. 28, 2016, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The session is a highlight of Florida Realtors' annual Mid-Winter Business Meetings, which take place from Jan. 27-31, 2016, at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld, 6677 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Fla., 32821.
Speakers include Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com, who will discuss current housing trends; Dr. Elliot Eisenberg, chief economist for GraphsandLaughs, LLC, and a former senior economist with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), who will offer insight about the state of new home construction and the direction of the overall economy; and Dr. Brad O'Connor, Florida Realtors chief economist, who will unveil what's next for Florida's residential real estate sector.
"In 2015, we saw very strong growth in both sales and prices for existing homes in Florida, particularly over the first three quarters of the year," O'Connor says. "This growth was a direct reflection of Florida's healthy rate of job creation over the past year, as well as a rising level of in-migration of residents from outside the state. We expect these positive trends in Florida's economy to continue into 2016, which is in stark contrast to much of the rest of the country, as nationwide growth in GDP and employment is expected to remain somewhat sluggish, at best.
Florida Realtors expects sales of existing homes in Florida to rise by about 8-10 percent in 2016, accompanied by a 5 percent increase in home values, according to O'Connor. He adds, "While these figures are still well above long-term historical trends, they suggest a somewhat calmer year in Florida's residential real estate markets compared to last year. Mortgage rates are expected to rise for the first time in the past few years, by about one percentage point in our estimation. This increase may have a dampening effect on housing demand, but rates will still be historically low, so the overall impact will be slight."
"We encourage Realtors and others interested in the state's future to come to the Real Estate Trends to see what's in store this year," says 2016 Florida Realtors President Matey H. Veissi, broker and co-owner of Veissi Associates in Miami. "Learn what trends may be developing for 2016 – the insights you'll gain could help increase your productivity, expand your network and offer future business opportunities."
Florida Realtors® serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 155,000 members in 55 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.