In this edition of “Neighborhood Update”, I’m going to give some insight into what is happening in my own neighborhood of Conway.
Conway is a really cool community in very close proximity to both the Orlando International Airport and Downtown Orlando. The availability of highways and toll roads provides ease of access to almost anywhere in Central Florida, yet most communities have a sprawling feeling and lovely tree canopy that are hard to find in other, newer areas of town. Most notably, the Conway community is nestled among the 3 lake chain of the Conway Lakes and provides ample outdoor opportunity to include fishing, skiing and of course, booze cruising. There are many parks, to include Barber Park and Warren Park, which offer amenities including tennis courts, jogging trails, lake access, playgrounds, a roller hockey rink and a broad array of organized athletics. Area hot spots for dining include Fish on Fire, Belle Isle Bayou, and the delicious Gnarly Barley.
My family moved to the area when I was in the 8th grade after living in another part of town, and after I spent several years living downtown, I moved my own family back to this area. We are very pleased with our son’s elementary school, Shenandoah Elementary. Conway Middle School is the county’s zoned middle school option. I have my older two children (5th and 6th grades) in magnet and charter programs for various reasons, largely because of each child’s specific talents and needs. The majority of the 32812 zip code is zoned for Oak Ridge High School, with portions of it zoned for Boone High School. These particular school zones likely have an impact on buying decisions. For many, like myself, charter schools and magnet programs expand the options.
For me, the appeal of the area is rooted in several qualities. First, of course, is the influence of the lakes. I’m not much of a skier myself, but I love the wildlife and the flora that are associated with an area that has grown up over the course of 75 years around a chain of lakes.
I also love how convenient Conway is to everything, without being located directly in the hustle of Downtown Orlando. We use Conway Road or Bumby to navigate our way North/South, and Michigan and Curry Ford to get East/West.
By far, my favorite thing about this area is that at the moment, Conway is one of the most affordable neighborhoods where you can find some KILLER Mid-Century Modern architecture. Other neighborhoods that are noted for this type of architecture like Audubon Park, Bel Air or Orlando Country Club are either getting too expensive or don’t accommodate families because of the smaller sizes of the homes.
One of these neighborhoods is Lake Conway Estates, which currently has a few active listings that demonstrate some MCM touches. This particular subdivision developed during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s and has private lake access available to it’s residents. Many of the homes still have not been renovated and it is attracting many first time home buyers that want a stylish, older home, but are priced out of other Orlando markets.
Metropolis Real Estate Solutions, LLC currently has a pending listing located at 4216 Quando Dr., in the subdivision of Lake Conway East. This home is a typical Conway home, built in 1976, having 1718 sq/ft, a 2 car garage and swimming pool. It is a 4 bedroom/2 bath home in average condition. We initially listed the property for $233,700, reduced the price to $229,900 after 20 days, and accepted a strong offer after a typical market exposure of 70 days.
It should be noted that there is a very broad range of home styles and designs, with living areas ranging between 888 sq/ft and 6,880 sq/ft, represented in the figures above. This is the reason why we base our conclusions on Median Prices versus Average Prices as you would see in the statistical data used by Zillow (I said…don’t get me started!). By using Median Values, we can shave off the less common low end and the equally uncommon high end, to derive figures that are more likely to apply to the majority of the real estate activity.
As you can see in the chart above, the number of closed sales has decreased dramatically in the most recent 90 days compared to the prior 90 days. This may be because a portion of the most current 90 days included December, however it would not seem that the November holidays slowed activity.
Also notable, there has not been an extreme decline in the number of Active Listings over the 12 months. This would seem to indicate that sellers are not yet aware that the buying pool is beginning to diminish and that the housing supply has increased from 4.59 months to over 1 year. That is an abnormally lengthy marketing period for the typical seller and one that would continue to support that the market is shifting from a sellers market, to a buyers market in the Conway area.
The Median Sales Prices have declined approximately 7% from where they were 1 year ago. Given the apparent oversupply of available properties, it is likely that this trend will continue until the supply drops or there is a sudden stimulus to bring more buyers to the market. I ran a second search to weed out the number of distressed listings that are currently occupying the market and found that of the 173 active listings, only 78 of these (45%) are noted to be arms-length. 51 are short sales, 36 are foreclosures and there are 8 that don’t reflect any sale provision at all. This could be the reason why the area is experiencing an abnormal decline where other markets like the nearby 32806, 32822 and 32809 zip codes are still experiencing improving or stable market conditions.
What I’m telling you is…It’s a GREAT time to be a buyer in 32812.