Soaring cost of materials, developer fees send Polk housing prices through the roof

The cost of homes continues to soar, but the new higher prices are not putting off buyers. Homes are selling almost as soon as they go up for sale.

"I am seeing $30,000 to $50,000 more than what they were selling for last year," said Amy Harris of Dream Realty Group in Lakeland. "They’re only staying two days on the market because we have 12 to 30 offers on each house that is being listed," she said.

It is not only existing homes that are getting exceptionally pricey. The soaring cost of materials is driving up the cost of new construction.

Zack Diaz of Diaz Family Homes in Lakeland says the price of most lumber has tripled recently, and there seems to be no end in sight.

"I have had suppliers who are reaching out to me, even this week, saying be ready for price increases consistently throughout the rest of this year at least," he shared.

READ Experts predict 'obscene' homebuying market to fizzle as many become priced out

In Polk County, there is another factor that is affecting the cost of new homes. For years, the county has kept developer fees artificially low, but county commissioners just decided to raise them.

Developer fees include the cost of inspections and things like traffic studies. A developer that is paying about $6,000 per house now, can expect to pay more than $20,000 for the same services in the next two years. Those costs are then passed on to the buyer.

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