Taking a look at all facts of my own backyard I have come up with several predictions for 2010. My area covers three counties. These are Okaloosa County, Walton County, and Bay County, Florida. Located along the Gulf of Mexico in the Florida Panhandle. It is simply one of the most beautiful places in the United States to live and work.
In the last 12 months there have been 2,200 jobs lost locally. This is not as high as the National Average and rates around 8.4% locally.
I see oil prices going up and pump prices to go as high as $4 to $5 per gallon again this year.
Traditionally, oil prices and interest rates go in the same direction and I predict that interest rates will go from 5.75 to 6.75 this year.
Commercial properties will experience the biggest drop this year. I predict a 48% decline. However, it will be a great time to buy commercial properties.
The most important factor to follow is number of sales. Locally, we are in a recovery mode. Buyers who have not yet bought have missed the best deals aligned with some of the best interest rates available. As interest rates rise this year, if buyers were waiting for prices to drop even more will be saddened to know that their monthly mortgage payments will actually go up and not down with this combination. Interest rate increases of just 1% can make a house payment 10% higher.
I see at least 14 more months of foreclosures locally. We have a lot of inventory to get rid of.
My prediction is that my local market will see a 20% increase in values over the next 24-36 months provided we do not have a major hurricane or a terrorist attack.
Foreget new construction. We have enough inventory and until it is moved I do not see new construction selling again for another 4-5 years.
Lastly, I am about to watch the Superbowl. My prediction is that the New Orleans Saints will win this one. If I am right, then the above information is pretty accurate too. Enjoy the game!