What is my "agenda"? When I state that it appears that there are close to 150k active foreclosures in the Tampa Bay real estate market. (Hillsboro, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties)
Statistics are made to be slanted depending on what one is "selling". Everyone who writes, especially bloggers and other journalists and other salesmen like you and me, have agendas. This is the way to read the news and advertisements...what does the writer want us to do and think?
Such as..."has the market bottomed"? And, whether you should wait to buy or sell among many other questions.
RealtyTrac, a subscription service primarily for consumers who are interested distressed properties, publish a lot of statistical data on foreclosure trends but also show "opportunities" as on specific properties. As a professional in the business, I ignore the "opportunities" as it tends to be very dated. However, their statistical work is the fodder for many blogs and articles that write about these trends and it is very helpful in that area.
In 2009 there were 62,719 new foreclosure judicial procedures filed in Tampa Bay (4016 in December of 2009). In 2008 there were 53,630 filed...most still in the pre-foreclosure status (still in the court system) plus those filed in 2007 still in the system and those in 2006. Sounds sort of crazy?
It is actually hard to buy properties here even though we have a huge supply of homes for sale and a huge shadow inventory of sellers who are just looking for the chance to sell. The reason that it is hard is that there are a HUGE number of buyers coming into our market to buy properties "at pennies on the dollar". These buyers are from everywhere!
There is essentially a two tiered market for sellers here:
The first is those that feel that they have "equity" in their homes and will sell at only prices that are above the true market price.
The second is the market for "distressed" properties (short sales and bank owned properties). These properties tend to be priced around the market price. However, the sellers cannot really say to buyers what they must pay to own the property. There are a huge number of buyers that want these properties. At the same time, the mortgage holders on these properties cannot seem to get their arms around the reality of the Tampa Bay marketplace and drag out any sale for sometimes....years! Homes that have gone all through the foreclosure process and are now empty bank owned properties are deteriorating steadily.
The bottom line is that Realtors representing buyers and sellers have to been sharp, plugged in, professional, and must manage their time effectively as we in the business are paid only on transactions....we are not paid for our time.
The good news is that Realtors "in the thick" of this market....savvy, plugged in working 7 days a week for long hours are never more in demand. Florida with its 350,000 real estate agents who skated by on getting paid by their friends and relatives for easy buying and selling of real estate in the boom years while holding a full time job doing something else or otherwise working in the business only part time are history!
The effect of all of these changes will be to raise the socio-economic status of professional Realtors to a level not seen for many decades...but it is not for the faint of heart!