Why Lakeland-Winter Haven ranked second in the ranking of regions most at risk of falling home prices

LAKELAND, Florida (TodayNews) — A new report by CoreLogic ranks Lakeland-Winter Haven as the nation’s second-largest metropolitan area with home prices likely to fall in the next 12 months.

“Housing prices are a little high,” said Dr. Selma Hepp, chief economist at CoreLogic, a California-based residential real estate data and solutions company.

The report took into account factors such as unemployment, rising incomes and delays in mortgage payments.

“We are also looking at the increase in house prices up to this point, which in your region has been 70% since the start of the pandemic. So that’s almost double what we’ve seen nationally,” said Dr. Hepp.

Collectively, Dr. Hepp said this is how CoreLogic found that Lakeland had a probability above 70%, meaning “very high risk” of lower house prices.

The North Port Sarasota-Bradenton area came in third. Four of the five districts were in Florida.

“It’s really about affordability for locals when it comes to buying homes in the area,” said Dr. Hepp.

“I definitely disagree. There will be no slump next year,” said Chris McLaughlin, who owns the KW McLaughlin Group, a Keller Williams real estate team with offices in Lakeland, Winter Haven and Tampa.

McLaughlin says demand remains above supply in Lakeland’s growing area, and homes are more affordable than in surrounding areas.

“Lakeland is right between Tampa and Orlando. We are in Florida. We have a booming economy. We have a low unemployment rate, and these are the factors that will drive the price up or down,” McLaughlin said.

There are 619 homes available on the market in Lakeland with 1.6 months of inventory, McLaughlin said.

“It’s still a seller’s market,” McLaughlin said.

CoreLogic’s Dr. Hepp pointed out that there are 43 other metropolitan areas in the country with similar levels of risk as Lakeland and North Port.

You can read the CoreLogic report on its website.

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