It is quite common that around this time every December, end of the year recaps in various markets are released. You may hear a top 20 songs on the radio or see lists of best movie releases in 2011 on the television. Whether you care about what comes in at #1 on any list, it serves as a brief snapshot of what was news worthy that year. Here are a few of the more interesting and significant real estate stories of 2011 for you.
Mortgage rates hit an all time low, and dropped to 3.94 this year according to the National Association of Realtors. In some Florida cities, including Tampa, home ownership became cheaper than renting! On the flip side, the unemployment rate made some of those buyers and investors hesitant to go forth with a transaction. Some people may look back on 2011 as the best time in years to buy real estate and make an investment.
The Florida Legislature also showed signs of brighter days to come. In November 2012, Florida voters will be able to vote on Amendment 4, “scrap the cap”, which deals with Florida’s affordable housing trust funds. If Amendment 4 is approved, it will lower the property cap increase from 10 to 5 percent on non-homestead real estate. Scrap the cap will also give first time home owners property tax breaks that diminish over time. This could prove very helpful for investors in the Tampa Bay area.
Social networking went from something businesses did when time permitted, to a day to day, must do activity. With the number of users on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn constantly rising, realtors, apartment communities, and investors are utilizing these web based tools to connect with others at a higher more personal level.
While looking back on the 2011 year in real estate, we saw many ups and downs, but more importantly we can say that we have learned to weather any storm. While still fighting to get back to a more stable market, we now have more experience and know how to deal with pressing issues. Knowledge base on buying and selling short sales and foreclosures had to expand in order to keep up with the market trends locally in Tampa Bay as well as state wide. If we can take this momentum, knowledge, and experience into 2012, we are sure to have a better year in the real estate world.