Jennifer Warner, Florida Realtors

Jennifer Warner, economist and director of economic development for Florida Realtors

The Citrus County housing market has exploded in the past two years and shows no sign of cooling off.

But a dwindling supply of home inventory and wage stagnation is causing skyrocketing prices, putting home ownership out of reach for many.

Those are the conclusions of Jennifer Warner, economist and director of economic development for Florida Realtors. Warner, was the guest speaker at Friday’s Citrus County Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Plantation on Crystal River.

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“There’s literally nothing out there for (many people),” Warner said to an audience of about 115. “(The) demand is outstripping supply.”

New-home construction, she said, is not keeping up with demand.

The median sales price for all property types in Citrus County was $162,000 in the fourth quarter of 2019. That shot up to about $230,000 in the second quarter of 2021 - a 21% increase.

But she said median income has not kept pace and is forcing some to abandon the idea of homeownership and pay exorbitant monthly prices for rentals.

“There’s really no relief in sight,” Warner said. “We’re going to be living with this for awhile.”

County lobbyist Gene McGee told the crowd the chamber is addressing the matter by participating in Prosperity Citrus.

The initiative provides a ‘helping hand’ to low-income residents who don’t have the resources (a car, job or home) to better their circumstances.

People who own a home right now, are profiting on the stock market and a home that is rising in value have it pretty good right now, he said.

“But if you don’t, you don’t,” he said. “And that’s a real problem.”

 

Contact Chronicle reporter Michael D. Bates at 352-563-3205 or mbates@chronicleonline.com. To see more of his stories, visit  tinyurl.com/y6kb23vv.