March analysis of housing market looks at permits, affordability

GrowthSpotter has engaged John Burns Real Estate Consulting, LLC to offer its subscribers exclusive intelligence, analysis and data for the Central Florida Metro every month. John Burns Real Estate Consulting provides independent research and consulting services related to the US housing industry.

Lesley Deutch, SVP Consulting and John Burns' Florida expert, offered her analysis of March's economic hot buttons for Orlando:


Orlando's economy is strong: Employment growth is among the fastest in the state of Florida, with the MSA adding 46,700 new jobs over the last twelve months, a 4.4 percent year-over-year increase.

  • Leisure and Hospitality (the Tourism sector) is driving that growth, adding 15,300 jobs over the past 12 months.
  • Despite the buzz of activity in the housing sector, total permit issuance in Orlando was down 1.5 percent over the past 12 months, compared to the year prior. (12-month rolling average permits of 15,905 versus 16,150 last year.)
  • Single-family permit issuance is up 3 percent over the past 12 months, while multifamily permit issuance is down 7.9 percent. Single-family permits represent 61 percent of total permit issuance with a 12-month rolling average up 3% to 9,763.
  • John Burns Real Estate Consulting is expecting Orlando permit issuance to reach 18,500 by year-end 2015. The rolling annual rate was 15,905 in March.

A potential challenge to the housing market:


In her analysis, Deutch wrote that affordability is declining in Orlando, although the MSA overall remains an affordable market. The Burns Affordability Index measures a metro area's affordability on a scale of 0.0 to 10.5, with 5.0 being the MSA's historical average. Currently, Orlando is a 3.1 and rising each month.

While home prices in Orlando are still rising rapidly, the pace of increase has moderated. Most recently, the Burns Home Value Index showed a 5.3 percent year over year increase in home prices. This compares to 2014's 6.6 percent increase and 2013's 13.9 percent increase.

Lesley Deutch leads all John Burns Real Estate's custom consulting projects in Florida. She has more than 15 years of experience in real estate and economic research. Before joining John Burns Real Estate Consulting in 2008, Deutch served as Senior Research Manager for Montecito Property Company's Strategic Market Intelligence Group and was a Principal of Focus Real Estate Advisors.  She spent eight years on Wall Street working in public finance for Lehman Brothers and as a Vice President in the Global Real Estate division of Bankers Trust and Deutsche Bank. Deutch has a B.S from the Wharton School and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. She works from the company's Florida Office in Boca Raton, where she can be reached at 561-998-5841. or 407-420-6261