by: Mac Martin, ALC (Accredited Land Consultant)
What a tough position to be in! My company, Martin Realty FLA, is in the business of marketing property. With over 300 years of combined sales experience under our belts, our team of 13 professional realtors is the best at selling for customers around the state. So, what's the deal with this market?
We all see the headlines that say "sales hit 10-year bottom". The TV constantly shows maps of the US with huge price drops and slow sales statistics across the country. Some pundits fear an economic recession that is going to be driven by the high rate of mortgage defaults and foreclosures. I think real estate has been in a recession for about a year now.
Florida is especially hard hit because of the run-up in land and housing prices of 2004-2005. Investors were buying everything and bidding-up prices on speculation. Record low interest rates and easy financing were available. Many people were flipping (reselling the property for a higher price) and making big profits in very short periods of time.
As prices kept rising, the buyers started balking. Many people paid high prices - expecting to resell or develop the property. Insurance has skyrocketed because of natural disasters (remember Charley and Katrina?) and property taxes went up higher based on new appraised values. To compound the problem, new homebuilders over-shot the market and have many brand new homes and condos to sell.
Now, property is worth less money than was paid and some of these investors are not paying the mortgages. This has set the stage for a huge snowball of possible economic events. If there is less building, then there is less employment, which means less income for people to spend, causing less demand for consumer products, which means that manufacturers (world-wide) don't make as much stuff so they don't need workers, and so on and so on.
However, recently, Hank Fiskind, the famous Florida economist, came out with his predictions, among which was that the real estate market would be flat for the next year or two. Yippie-i-o-ki-ay! Actually, that is the best news we could ask for. Under this scenario, prices won't go up or down much. Now, with a flat market, you can start planning ahead and stay ahead.
I am watching many high-priced properties leave the market. At the same time, if a property is still available, that means the owner really wants to sell. In other words, even if the price seems high, the owner still wants, or needs, to sell... so make an offer. Both Hank and I believe the market is stabilizing and prices are leveling off. So now is a great time to buy!
For those of you thinking of selling - be smart about it. Consult a real estate professional. Ask about current market conditions, how similar properties are being priced, as well as any "innovative" methods being used to move the property. If you want or need to sell, be competitive. For the right reasons, people are still moving and changing and upgrading and investing. Best wishes.
For this and other real estate information, contact Gordon Mac Martin, ALC Owner/Broker Martin Realty FLA at 207 East Magnolia St, Arcadia, Fl. 34266, (863) - 494-2100 or email@example.com
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