More People, Less Houses, A Shortage of Materials

The United States is facing a housing crisis of unprecedented heights as states battle a shortage of construction material, dwindling number of workers, high demand for inventory and skyrocketing prices—both for sale and rent. Florida adds yet another crisis factor: more than 300,000 people moved to the Sunshine State in a 12-month period, which has made the real estate industry challenging. Valor Capital’s Chief Organizational Officer Regina Sotomayor explains what it means to the real estate industry.

There’s a housing crisis in the United States, the likes of which has not been seen since the Great Depression of 1929.(1) However, today’s underlying cause has not been a stock market crash, but a viral pandemic. As a result of COVID-19, there has been a marked shortage of construction material and a significant decrease in workers.(2) As construction of new dwellings decreased, the demand for existing inventory increased, which then led to a substantial rise in rent and the asking price for housing units—in Florida, both houses and apartments increased more than 20% between 2020 and 2021.(3)

This has made the real estate industry face innumerable challenges. Exacerbating the problem are 2 factors: According to a 2020 report, only approximately 30% of contractors finish their projects on time and within budget,(4) and a report by Florida's Office of Economic and Demographic Research detailed how the Sunshine State saw an influx of an estimated 329,717 new residents between April 2020 and April 2021.(5) “Florida is a hot commodity at the moment. Demand cannot keep up with supply,” says Regina Sotomayor, Chief Organizational Officer at Valor Capital.

According to a report by the National Association of Realtors®, “decades of underinvestment and underbuilding have created a shortage of housing that will require a concerted, long-term nationwide commitment to overcome.”(6)

“When you take into consideration how the lack of workers, materials, inventory and people staying put in their homes because they now work from home has coalesced into one giant crisis, one might feel the problem is unsurmountable . But it is not. Construction is going up across the nation and new dwellings are being built,” Sotomayor said. “As America continues to open up post-pandemic, people are beginning to move and that includes relocating to new cities.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the Central Florida I-4 Corridor—the cities from Tampa Bay to Orlando—is growing at an accelerated rate. “Recent growth in the area shows signs of Tampa and Orlando becoming a true ‘megaregion,’ a term those in the industry use to describe cities that grow into each other and produce billions—if not trillions—of dollars into the economy,” the newspaper reported.(7)

Signs of this growth are evident with Valor Capital’s own project in Clearwater, Fl. Serena by the Sea, a $70M, 80-unit state-of-the-art upscale property located between downtown Clearwater and Dunedin, not only is it ahead of schedule, but it was recently announced they will deliver the units to homeowners right on schedule, according to Sotomayor.

“Developers are rising to the challenge everywhere in Florida. At Serena by the Sea, we have seen unprecedented sales since we opened to the public. In fact, we only have 13 units left,” Sotomayor said. “We are our own builder and contractor, which means that we can control every aspect and avoid unnecessary delays.”

Valor Capital also explained how one of the factors leading to the success of Serena by the Sea is embracing and fortifying the community.

“Having a sense of communal belonging is very important to us. While preparing the construction site, some houses were scheduled to be demolished and before that happened, we invited several stations of the Clearwater Fire and Rescue Department to practice on these houses. They did roof entries and many other exercises. Afterwards, they showed the community children how their trucks and equipment worked. We had a great fun day with these heroes of the community,” Sotomayor added.

Since the building broke ground, there’s been a new development. Serena by the Sea is now accepting VA loans, said Sotomayor. To showcase the success Serena by the Sea has seen, Valor Capital is hosting a holiday-themed masquerade open house on Friday, November 19, from 5 to 9 p.m. at 400 Cleveland Street in Clearwater.

“We are holding this event to give the area’s realtors and prospective residents the opportunity to experience luxury living at its finest. There are still a handful of units available, for which we will be offering discounts and incentives,” she said, adding “A video will be shown to showcase how successful the project has been since we announced it to the public.”

The holiday-themed masquerade party—with colorful and whimsical masques provided at the entrance—will be catered by the renowned Rolling Spirits. In addition, there will be live indoor and outdoor music.

“Plus, we have a surprise show to the delight of everyone,” added Sotomayor.

The event is sponsored by Valor Capital’s preferred lender Truist and by Serena by the Sea’s provider of fine kitchen appliances, BSH Group better known for their luxury brands: Gaggenau, Thermador and Bosch.

1. Watts, Jill; “As Coronavirus Magnifies America’s Housing Crisis, FDR’s New Deal Could Offer a Roadmap Forward”; 24 April 2020; Time Magazine;
2. Viewpoint Blog; “COVID-19 Impacts on the Construction Industry”; Accessed 15 Nov. 2021; Trimble;
3. Martin, Marla; “Fla.’s Housing Market: Media Price, New Listings Rise in July”; 23 August 2021; Florida Realtors® Organization;
4. Wolfe Jr., Scott; “2020 Report: Construction Suffers from Wasted Time &$ Slow Payment”; last updated: 30 Sept 2021; LevelSet;
5. Murphy-Redd, Kelly; “Florida, Here They Come”; 15 September 2021; One Okaloosa Economic Development Council;,-here-they-come
6. Smith, Kerry; “Housing Crisis Requires Once-In-A-Generation Response”; 16 June 2021; Florida Realtors® Organization;
7. Berdychowski, Bernadette; “How Tampa and Orlando could become the next ‘megaregion’ “; 13 October 2021; The Tampa Bay Times;

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