Ocala’s hot housing market explained, where cash is king

Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 7:20 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - It’s a hot housing market in Ocala. According to recent numbers from Florida Realtors, the market has no signs of slowing down. Sales rose in the Ocala market by nearly 3% in February, and the median sales price on homes is up 39%. Data from the real estate brokerage site Redfin shows that on average, homes are selling in just 15 days after being put on the market.

“It’s still a very fluid market,” Realtor Laurie Ann Truluck said. “We have a lot of sellers in the market and we have a lot of buyers that are in the wings just trying to find their right home.”

Truluck began her real estate career 20 years ago. She grew up in Ocala and attended Florida State University in Tallahassee, according to her website. It does take a buyer a few times to have their offer finally accepted Truluck said. She added buyers need to make sure they have their finances in order first.

“The pre-approval letter you really need in this market,” she said. “We have to have a pre-approval letter or proof of funds to turn in with a contract and that really helps us negotiate the very best deal for you as a buyer.”

The Ocala/Marion County Association of Realtors (OMCAR) celebrated a century of work in Marion County Tuesday. A press release about the birthday bash states, their Board of Directors “chartered the Marion County Real Estate Exchange” on March 6, 1922, which has evolved into what OMCAR is today.

“When I started in 2000 we had a strong economy and we had a strong industry,” said OMCAR President, Virginia Wright.

And then in 2005, the housing bubble burst. According to a 2007 report published by the Economic Analysis Program at the University of Florida, “house prices in Florida rose by 82 percent in absolute terms.” The paper written by Gabriel Montes Rojas, Sandra T. McGuire, Susan Ivey, and Tom Durrenberger goes on to say home prices in the early 2000s were greatly impacted by the “rising importance of amenities as the baby boomers began to retire.”

Wright said the market was fairly stable until now. “It’s kind of priced out some of our local citizens,” she said. Realtor Larissa Ortiz agrees. The demand is more than what agents have in inventory, she said. At this point, Ortiz said, there are only enough houses on the market to last about a month.

“It’s going to be difficult for a regular person to have a house in the future,” she said.

Ortiz said there are people from all over the world including India, China, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico coming to Ocala to live, putting a massive strain on the housing market.

“Some people get frustrated because some properties have 16 offers, some properties have three offers, five offers so you have to compete with all of these offers at the same time,” Ortiz said. “What Virginia says is if you have cash, it’s better for the seller.”

A market proving that cash is king.

Copyright 2022 WCJB. All rights reserved. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.