We can all agree that the real estate frenzy that started during the Covid pandemic has ended. Hallelujah! The crazy and unsustainable increase of property values has stopped. The market has stabilized, and buyers now have more negotiating power than a year ago. That said, it is my opinion that buyers and sellers are experiencing about equal power in negotiating deals in most of the Florida markets. Although there are now more homes for sale than a year ago, supply of inventory will likely remain limited.

Prices have leveled off primarily because of the impact of higher interest rates on the cost of housing, as was expected. It was necessary to cool down inflation. Additionally, a lot of people are waiting to see what happens to the economy and their investment portfolios in 2023.

A significant number of would-be sellers have substantial equity in their homes and are either locked in at a very low mortgage rate or own their home outright. They are less inclined to sell at this time. Additionally, new buyers continue to flock to Florida from all over the country and the world.

There is a new dynamic between sellers and buyers, and it will play out interestingly this year.

Interest Rates and Homeownership
Almost 70% of homeowners in the United States have mortgage interest rates below 4%. Homeowners locked into low mortgage interest rates such as 3% will be reluctant to sell unless faced with a life circumstance that will cause them to move. (

Increased mortgage rates have made it more expensive to own a home and many would-be buyers are either priced out or postponing their purchase for a while. Higher interest rates have also affected investment portfolios, and many are on the sidelines waiting to see what happens with the economy in 2023 before deciding to buy and/or sell.

On the other hand, many homes are owned outright especially in South Florida. For single family homes that sold in excess of $1,000,000, over 50% were cash deals in South Florida in 2022. For condominiums that sold for over a million, at least 75% were cash deals. A million dollars does not get you too far in Florida anymore. With over half of the purchases of real estate being cash deals, it is predicted that money will continue to flow into real estate holdings but at a slower pace than in 2021-2022. The luxury real estate sector in South Florida is forecasted to remain robust for 2023 because that class of buyers is not affected as much by the higher interest rates.

Employment, Strong Business Sectors, Wage Increases
Unemployment in Florida hovers around 2.6% below the national average of 3.7%. The top business sectors include tourism, agriculture, aviation/aerospace, cleantech, homeland security, information technology, life sciences, international trade and financial institutions. An impressive number of financial companies moved to Florida from New York, Chicago and Silicone Valley in 2022 and created new well-paid jobs.

Wages increased on average 10% in South Florida between 2021 and 2022. Of course, there is a significant disparity between the lower earning segment of the population and the top tiers. For too many people the cost-of-living has outstripped their earnings. Even so, employment opportunity remains steadfast in Florida, and having no state individual income tax seals the deal for many.

Institutional Buyers Competing
More than ever before, investment companies are gobbling up single family homes and building rental apartments. They compete with would-be homeowners who in turn are required to rent. By many accounts, it is estimated that over 20% of single-family homes in the United States were purchased by investors in 2022. Despite this new challenge, I advocate for renters to buy a property even if it’s not their dream home. Historically, owning a home has been the path to building wealth, and that remains true today.

Florida Population Growth
“Florida now is the nation’s fastest-growing state for the first time since 1957, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Vintage 2022 population estimates. . . .” Florida’s population increased by 1.9% to 22,244,823 between 2021 and 2022.” ( This trend will continue, and it will cause the real estate market to remain strong for years to come. Furthermore, this census does not account for vacation homeowners and the millions of tourists who visit Florida each year.

Popularity of the Florida Lifestyle
It may be subjective to quantify, but Florida’s popularity is palpable. Florida is beautiful. The beaches, the waterways and the tropical landscape are spectacular. Take a look at any tourism brochure, and you would want to be here too (especially if you are caught in a winter snowstorm elsewhere). Many are now willing to pay much more to reside here than in other states. The numerous brand-new resort communities are attractive to retirees. In many Florida cities, you will now find world class dining, shopping, entertainment and sporting events. It is a dream for many to live the ideal Florida lifestyle.

Buyers are smart.
I find that buyers are now more educated than ever about the real estate market. Buying a property is a terrific financial commitment, and buyers want to be informed about every aspect of real estate that affects their decision. How much will the property appreciate in value in the coming years? Does the home fit the buyers’ lifestyle expectations? Does the structure comply with current hurricane building codes? Is it in a flood zone? How much does insurance cost? What will be the property taxes? Is the neighborhood safe? What is the property’s condition? How much will it cost to repair, remodel and/or upgrade? If it is new construction, how much more does it cost per square foot than for an older property?

In my experience, once buyers have a good grasp on the entire picture, they will make the right offer.

Sellers are adjusting.
Of course, I will ask to list your property. I promise to sell it better than any other real estate agent. That said, do not rush your decision to sell unless absolutely necessary. You are not likely to get a premium for your property like in 2021-2022. Depending on the condition of your home, its price and location, it may take several months to sell. There are many buyers looking at properties, but they are taking their time. Identify your goals and reasons for selling. I am excellent at providing you with in-depth analyses. It’s important to be informed, and it may be necessary to invest a little money in preparing your home for market.

If you are considering selling your property, interview at least three reputable real estate professionals before choosing one. Do not go with a real estate agent who overpromises and misrepresents market conditions or because she or he happens to be your favorite relative or friend. Please make sure to interview me.

Yara Bashoor, Esq.
Global Real Estate Advisor
One Sotheby’s International Realty