Welcome Blogosphere!! This is my first post to the virtual world...certainly not my last. I have been active in the Greater Sarasota market since 1992. When I got into real estate, we were in a Buyer's market (like today). We didn't bank on listings selling in 6 months either...it was supply and demand. Today, 11/2007, we face an unnatural market. During the 2003-2005 period, Sarasota grew significantly in values. Of course, the stock market correction after 9/11 certainly helped make real estate more REASONABLE as an investment. The problem is that many people got into investing because it SEEMED so easy. Everybody was making money and going great guns to satisfy this demand (unfortunately artificial) to create and build homes.
I know that I'm preaching to the choir for those of you from my area. However, let's take a look at where we are now.
We've seen prices slide down 20-40% across our area from the peak in fall 2005. We've had two hurricane seasons that have been non-events. We've seen the Florida legislature pass tax reform to cap annual tax increases to 4% (adjusted only for ACTUAL population growth), we've just passed an amendment to go on the ballot on 1/29 to make our Homestead savings "portable" and to cap businesses and second homeowners of 10% annual, and we had sweeping legislation to reform our insurance industry (making the long term health of our insurance industry sound).
DEAR Snowbirds, Canadians, Europeans, and everyone ELSE looking for a piece of the Sunshine State....MAKE YOUR MOVE NOW! You have 3 months until Floridians know that they can take their tax savings with them when they move...that WILL make a difference in our market, and it will give optimism to Sellers (not good for you if you're buying).
I believe we are in "the bottom". We will be here for a few months, but then we will stabilize and get back to growth of 3-7% annual starting in 2009.
If Florida was a mutual fund....IT IS TIME TO BUY. That's it for this blog. I hope you liked it. I WILL be back!!