When Is the Best Time to Buy a House in Florida?

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Florida is a popular destination for homebuyers, thanks to its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and diverse communities. But when is the best time to buy a house in Florida? The answer depends on a variety of factors, including market trends, interest rates, and your personal preferences.

We explored the best time to buy a house in Florida and what you should consider before making a purchase. In addition, we talked to an expert in Florida real estate to get firsthand insight into the local housing market.

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When is the best time of year to buy a house in Florida?

To find a good deal, fall is often considered the best time of year to buy a house throughout the U.S. According to a report by Attom Data, October specifically is the best month for homebuyers, and the other fall months are great for buyers, too. Buyers pay an average premium of only 3.3% in October compared to the 10.5% average premium they would experience on a home purchase in May. But nationwide, October may not be best for selection.

In Florida, these same trends follow, but there is likely a less extreme difference between spring and fall purchases. The warm weather not only makes buying a home in the state attractive year-round, but it also brings in a large number of retirees who aren’t tethered by things like school calendars.

“The great thing about Florida is that there’s so much opportunity for so many different people…I think year-round is a fantastic time to buy in Florida,” advises Tim Ekelund, a Pensacola-area real estate agent, who works with over 71% more single-family homes than the average agent in his Florida market.

I think the only time it would be harder is when it’s probably peak season when it’s really busy with tourists. It might be the only [bad] time because it might be hard to get into rentals, or maybe you want to look for a beach condo. Getting into that condo may be a little bit more difficult during peak season of the summer or spring break than it would be on an off weekend or off month.
  • Tim Ekelund
    Tim Ekelund Real Estate Agent
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    Tim Ekelund
    Tim Ekelund Real Estate Agent at 1st Class Real Estate Gulf Coast
    Currently accepting new clients
    • Years of Experience 10
    • Transactions 596
    • Average Price Point $238k
    • Single Family Homes 548

Are there “worst times” to buy a house in Florida?

Florida’s sunny disposition makes it attractive to homebuyers almost year-round, but that doesn’t mean it’s always a good time to buy.

“I think the only time it would be harder is when it’s probably peak season when it’s really busy with tourists. It might be the only [bad] time because it might be hard to get into rentals, or maybe you want to look for a beach condo. Getting into that condo may be a little bit more difficult during peak season of the summer or spring break than it would be on an off weekend or off month,” says Ekelund.

If you want the best buyer experience and the most home options, you should avoid buying during the peak tourist seasons of summer and spring break.

What’s unique about the Florida housing market?

With over 22 million people living in the Sunshine State, Florida is the third-largest state in the U.S. by population. And that number continues to grow — state government officials estimate that Florida will gain an average of 834 new residents each day between April 2023 and April 2027. The state’s uniqueness and what the housing market offers are part of what draws more residents there.

Known for its warm weather year-round and world-renowned theme park destinations, like Disney World and Universal Studios, Florida draws a wide variety of residents and tourists alike. The constant flow of tourists means that real estate investors can find plenty of opportunities for short-term rentals. The warm weather draws a high volume of retirees, college students, and sunshine enthusiasts to make a home, too.

The weather and the favorable climate aren’t the only things that make Florida unique, though. “What’s interesting about Florida is you could have a 1900 craftsman-style home, and then you go a couple of houses down and there’ll be a brand new build that looks like a Florida cottage…coming here and seeing the uniqueness of the architecture and the lay of the land, I think it makes Florida very unique,” says Ekelund.

Is it a good time to buy a Florida house in the current market?

Like most of the U.S., the real estate market in Florida has been a roller coaster ride over the past few years — with a 19% increase in home sales from 2020 to 2021. But 2022 saw the Florida real estate market slow down. As of Q4 2022, the number of closed sales for single-family homes decreased by 33.1% from the previous year and the number of new listings was down 17.1% from the year before, according to Florida Realtors.

That doesn’t mean it’s a bad time to buy, though. You may just have to adjust where you look in the state to find your dream home. Ekelund says there are signs that the market is active and fit for buyers.

“Up in the panhandle, the market has still been on fire. Yes, it has dropped but also inventory is up. So it’s a healthy sign that the market is still driving,” says Ekelund. He adds, “I think the housing market here in Florida is going to continuously stay healthy…people are moving to Florida and they’re going to keep moving here. Especially up in the panhandle, there’s a lot of hidden gems still around that people just don’t know about yet.”

What’s the best way to get started buying a house in Florida?

Feeling like you are ready to buy a house in Florida? The best way to get started is to assess if you truly are ready to buy a house. Determine whether you have enough money saved up for a down payment, evaluate your credit score, and make sure you have a secure job.

»Planning tip: Try HomeLight’s Home Affordability and Downpayment calculators

Once you feel like you’ve checked off all the prerequisites for home buying, start looking for a real estate agent. Search for agents in areas you hope to buy to find someone who will know the local market. It’s a good idea to talk to several agents before you choose one. You’ll want to find someone you feel comfortable with and who has a good amount of experience.

HomeLight can connect you to a top-performing agent in your selected market. We analyze over 27 million transactions and thousands of reviews to determine which agent is best for you based on your needs.

Once you find an agent, they will work with you to understand what you want in a home. Then, you can start searching for and viewing properties.

What are the best cities to buy a house in Florida?

Not sure where to search for homes in Florida? Check out these top choices:

  • Altamonte Springs: Looking for an affordable place to buy a house in Florida? Look no further than Altamonte Springs, an Orlando suburb with a lot of job opportunities.
  • Jacksonville: This northeast Florida city is one of the more attractive cities for house flippers in Florida.
  • Miami: If you can foot the bill for a Miami home (median list prices around $540K), locals love this city for its vibrant culture, thriving nightlife, and enticing food scene.
  • Orlando: Orlando houses four major theme parks. Look here if you are interested in moving closer to the worlds of Disney, Universal Studios, Sea World, or LEGOland.
  • Pensacola: Ekelund recommends Pensacola as a top location choice due to its small city vibe and proximity to other neighboring states.
  • St. Petersburg: Once a small town attractive to retirees, this city now attracts Millennials and Gen-Xers, too, due to its charming historic buildings and growing arts scene.
  • Tallahassee: As the capital city of Florida and home to Florida State University, there’s a lot going on in Tallahassee, but median home prices still remain reasonable compared to the median prices throughout the state.
  • Tampa: Real estate investors like Tampa for its thriving economy, but anyone looking to buy a home will find the city and its many employment opportunities attractive, as well.

»Learn more: 6 of the Best Retirement Communities in Florida

How else might I get a better deal on a home in Florida?

Even in a seller’s market, there are ways to search for a better deal when you purchase a home. Having an agent who can help you look for these deals, if that’s what you want, is important. Make sure you talk about finding deals on properties when you are interviewing agents.

Here are a few things to try to get a bargain price on a property:

  • Work with an agent who can negotiate: “Having that sales experience and being able to negotiate is really important,” states Ekelund. He cautions that not every agent has negotiation skills, and you want an agent who will work to get you the best deal.
  • Look for bank-owned or short-sale properties: These are typically homes that have gone through foreclosure or are about to, so you can often get a lower price for the home.
  • Shop around for mortgage lenders: Just like with agents, you should talk to several mortgage lenders. You can often get a better deal for a mortgage with one lender than you may with another.
  • Consider your wants versus your needs: When you’re looking for a house, it’s good to dream big, but letting go of a few wants may help you find more options for a good deal. For example, opting for a smaller yard may help you find a beautiful home with a more preferable price tag than other options.

A few final tips for Florida home buyers

Overall, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of when is the best time to buy a house in Florida. However, there are a few general trends and tips that can help you make an informed decision:

  • Look for market downturns or recoveries: Buying during a downturn or early in a recovery can give you more negotiating power and more inventory to choose from.
  • Keep an eye on interest rates: Low interest rates can make it easier to afford a home and result in lower monthly mortgage payments.
  • Consider your personal preferences: Think about factors like weather, school schedules, and other personal preferences when deciding when to buy.

Of course, your lifestyle and needs should play a role in deciding when to buy a house in Florida. Try to balance the best seasons for buying a home in Florida with your needs and the needs of your family. You can find great options throughout the year if you know where to look.

Bottom line: When is the best time to buy a house in Florida?

Ultimately, the best time to buy a house in Florida is when it’s the right time for you. By considering market trends, interest rates, and your personal preferences, you can make an informed decision that meets your needs and fits your budget.

Whenever you decide to start your home-buying journey, we always recommend working with a top real estate professional. An experienced real estate agent can help you navigate the market, find the right property, and negotiate the best possible deal.

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