Florida homeowners are cautiously optimistic about their state’s real estate market, with most believing their homes’ values will rise in the next year, but showing mixed views on whether now is a good time to buy, according to a new survey.

Fifty-eight percent of Florida homeowners responding to the survey said they think the value of homes in their community will rise over the next 12 months, despite indications that the state’s five-year housing boom is waning.

Home sales in Florida fell 24 percent in May from the previous year, according to the Florida Association of Realtors, and median home prices were up 11 percent from the same month last year.

Florida homeowners were split about whether now is a good time to buy real estate: 42 percent said now is a good time to buy and 42 percent said now is a bad time to buy, according to the survey. Seventy-one percent cited affordability as an obstacle to purchasing a home.

Hurricanes were still on homeowners’ minds, with 47 percent of respondents saying they were concerned about being hit by a storm. Sixteen percent of homeowners cite the impact of a housing bubble as their biggest concern, even fewer cite rising mortgage interest rates (13 percent), depreciating home values (5 percent), or becoming the victim of real estate fraud (1 percent) as their biggest real estate concern in Florida. 

In other findings, 41 percent of respondents said that understanding real estate laws is the most confusing part of buying a home. Other confusing aspects of the home-buying process included understanding the closing process and paperwork involved.

The annual survey of more than 1,000 Florida homeowners was commissioned by Florida-based Attorneys’ Title Insurance Fund, a title insurance underwriter.

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