The post-housing-bust face of Metro Orlando looks different than it did during the high-flying days leading up to the Recession — it got younger, a new study shows.
Millennials became a more dominant force in Orlando’s recovering housing market than Baby Boomers during that time, according to a RealtyTrac analysis of Census Bureau data. The report considered millennials as adults under age 34 and boomers were ages 51 to 69.
“I definitely think there is a large number of people my age,” said Indiana University graduate Dina Magdovitz, 27. She moved to Orlando almost five years ago and works in communications. “Just since being here, the size of downtown alone seems as though it almost doubled.”
Unlike most areas of Florida, Orlando’s population reshaped from the downturn with a 10 percent decline in Baby boomers from 2008 to 2013, according to a RealtyTrac analysis of Census data. The number of millennials in Orange, Seminole, Lake and Osceola counties grew by 27 percent during that period.
The four-county region had 264,737 boomers in 2008 and that dwindled to 239,390 by 2013. Meanwhile, the number of millennials increased from 229,798 in 2008 to 292,836 in 2013.
For the housing market, the shift has driven higher rent demands and helped push the development of apartments throughout the region. Daren Blomquist, vice president for RealtyTrac, said the single-family home market will ultimately benefit as many of those renters eventually become buyers.
“You have a lot of demand on the rental side and so it tightens up the rental market but also provides a bigger pool of buyers,” he said “The disconnect is: What the boomers want to sell for, the millennials may not be able to afford. The good news for Orlando is that the median price of home is still somewhat in the grasp of wage earners.”
In its report released Wednesday, RealtyTrac designated Orlando as a market geared more to buyers than renters. The reason is that Orlando-area buyers spend an estimated 32 percent of their earnings on housing costs while renters in the region spend an average of 38 percent. Both of those spending levels exceed a benchmark of about 30 percent that is considered normal.
The findings are based on labor statistics showing the average weekly wages for Central Florida counties during the second quarter; they were $665 in Lake, $685 in Osceola, $828 in Seminole and $849 in Orange. Average monthly rents for a three-bedroom apartment in the metropolitan region were $1,400. Average home-sales prices were: $154,000 in Osceola, $165,000 in Lake, $175,000 in Orange and $186,000 in Seminole.
With interest rates edging up, Blomquist added, it makes more financial sense to purchase as both home prices and rents outpace wages. Purchasing, he said, affords buyers the chance to build some equity — as long as prices continue increasing.