Orlando is expected to post some of the hottest real estate gains in the United States during 2017.
Home values throughout Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Lake counties are expected to increase 5.7 percent during the next year — the highest rate among the country's top 100 metro areas, according to real estate analytics.
"It's actually a thriving market in the sense where people can find employment and buy a house," said Svenja Gudell, a chief economist in real estate. Analysts see that unemployment remains low and wages have and wages continue to rise.
If predictions hold true, Orlando home-price growth this year would exceed the 4.6 increase in home prices expected nationally.
Limited supply, rising home values, ample jobs and income growth elevated Orlando to the nation's top market position among the 50 largest metro areas for the current quarter, according to real estate analyst Ten-X. Three other Florida metropolitan areas trailed directly behind Orlando in the ranking: Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa — all also among the hardest hit nationally during the recession.
"The top 20 cities in our report include many that were devastated during the foreclosure crisis — especially in states like Florida — and as home prices continue to recover, they still represent buying opportunities for homeowners and investors alike," Ten-X Executive Vice President Rick Sharga said.
Orlando's outlook for the coming year follows two years of booming price increases for a region that suffered during the housing bust. In the core Orlando market of Orange and Seminole counties, median prices have more than doubled from a bottom of $94,900 in January 2011, according to Orlando Regional Realtor Association.
But there is room for more price growth in the Orlando area, in part because home prices are 17 percent below their 2007 peak, said Sharga.
Ten-X reported Thursday that Orlando jumped from fourth to first during the last two quarters to overtake Fort Lauderdale as the country's top market, when all factors are considered.
Orlando has the highest expected home appreciation for 2017, ranked fourth-hottest market overall. It’s a sign of a good, strong market.