Sarasota, Florida (Shutterstock)

Appraisal values grow on the Gulf Coast, wane on the West Coast 

Florida was the big winner in a newly released dataset from the FHFA showing quarterly and annual appraisal values for the top 100 U.S. metros.

December 16, 2022
3 minutes

Key points:

  • Median home values, based on appraisal data, were up year-over-year in 98 of the top 100 metros — but only 9 metros saw quarterly gains.
  • Q2 to Q3 declines ranged from less than 1% to over 11% across 81 metros, while values in 10 metros remained flat.
  • Seven of the top 10 metros with the highest annual growth were in Florida, which continues to see an influx of new buyers.

While median home values rose in nearly all of the top 100 metros year-over-year, a quarterly comparison tells a very different story, according to a first-of-its-kind report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The FHFA's new metro-level dashboard displays home value data based on appraisal records from their Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD). In the inaugural report, only nine of the top 100 metros saw values rise from the second to third quarter, and 10 remained steady. The majority — 81 metros — experienced declines, from a mere 0.1% dip in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to 11.3% in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn. region.

Highest growth along Florida's Gulf Coast

The bright spot in the data is the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton metro area, situated on Florida's west coast between Tampa and Fort Myers, which posted the biggest increase year-over-year. The median single-family home appraisal jumped 29% over the past year, from $403,000 to $520,000. 

The region was one of a handful to also see quarterly gains, with appraisal values rising 2% between the second and third quarter, from $510,000 to $520,000. 

Sarasota-area Coldwell Banker agent Carri Radford said the gains didn't necessarily feel significant, especially after the heady days earlier in the pandemic when people were making offers $100,000 over ask.

"August, September, something happened and totally tanked the market," she said. That "something" was the combination of  Hurricane Ian and rising interest rates. "Between those two things, houses were sitting on the market for 30 days plus."

Things began to turn in mid-October, which she attributes to the seasonality of Florida real estate, as snow birds begin flocking south. "Prices have kind of stabilized," she said. 

Relocation buyers have given Florida a boost

Radford credits those out-of-state buyers with keeping her market stable. Often relocating from more expensive regions like New York, New Jersey and even Washington state, those buyers are more likely to make cash offers without worrying about interest rates. The pandemic spurred a wave of migration, particularly to Florida and a handful of other Sun Belt regions. The sentiment Radford heard from these buyers was "the feeling that 'life is too short — we're eventually going to retire in Florida, let's just go now.'"

"It's still a seller's market but not nearly as cutthroat as it was the past two years," she said. It's making her job more fun. "People are negotiating now," she says. "They're putting in offers below [asking price] and negotiating up."

Florida metros nabbed seven of the top 10 spots on the list for year-over-year growth. The region is attracting new buyers because it's beautiful, warm, and "we don't have California prices," Radford says.

Bay Area sees biggest declines

Indeed, the two metros suffering the steepest drops in appraised values — and the only metros on the list with year-over-year declines — are both in the Bay Area. At the bottom of the list, the San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City region saw an annual decrease of 5.4%, from $1.75 million to $1.655 million, and a sizable 10.5% percent drop in the most recent quarter. The neighboring Oakland-Berkeley-Livermore metro had similar numbers: a year-over-year decline of 4.1% and a quarterly drop of 10.3%. 

The new UAD Aggregate Statistics Data will be released quarterly moving forward, providing aggregate appraisal numbers for the nation's top metro areas.

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