A shortage of Orlando houses on the market — particularly in affordable price ranges — is a concern for the region's leading industry group.

The core Orlando housing market, which includes mostly Orange and Seminole counties, had the lowest year-end supply of listings in more than 10 years. Home prices grew 10.7% during the last year, according to a report released Tuesday by the Orlando Regional Realtor Association.

"We also expect low inventory to continue to exert its influence on the market in 2018, especially in the highly desired low-priced categories," said Lou Nimkoff, president of the association. "In fact, the lack of affordable housing in Orlando is a concern that Realtors anticipate will be at the forefront of community discussion in 2018."

Orlando, Fla., housing
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Orlando's house-hunt competition was further apparent in a recent Zillow report showing 17% of Metro Orlando houses selling for more than the asking price during 2017. The amount buyers paid over asking price was a midpoint of 2.6%, or about $5,000. The bidding-war competition isn't new for the region. Five years ago, more than 22% of Orlando houses sold for more than the asking price, according to Zillow.

The Orlando Regional Realtor Association reported the Orlando market closed out the year with a median price of $230,000, which was up from $224,995 in November; members of the association closed on 3,006 sales for December. January could shape up to see a slower pace of sales because the market had fewer pending sales, 3,792 in December, fewer than at any year-end since 2008.

Other than prices rising and supply tightening from 3 months in November to 2.5 months in December, Orlando-area buyers who purchased last month faced similar forces as those who bought a house a month earlier in November. Negotiating power remained largely unchanged, with sales prices about 97% of the most recent listed price and the average days on market sitting at 62 days. Interest rates remained flat at 3.97% in December.

Within the four-county Metro Orlando area, Lake and Osceola counties, with their residential construction booms, saw the largest price increases. During 2017, prices rose 7.9% in Osceola, 7.2% in Lake, 3.8% in Seminole and 2.8% in Orange.

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