Winter 2012 Real Estate Report

Brighter Days Ahead

Talk among economic analysts and real estate
professionals has taken a turn for the better recently.
Market reports indicate that the Florida real estate
market has hit bottom and is beginning to rebound.
The initial signs of a recovery are evidenced by
recently published economic statistics as well as by
statements by market specialists.

The Director of the University of Florida’s Bergstrom
Center for Real Estate Studies, Timothy Becker, has
declared, “Results of our first quarter survey indicate
that the real estate market in Florida has hit bottom
and is in the process of stabilizing across most
property types.” Becker also said that,” private capital,
both foreign and domestic, is continuing to enter the
state in search of quality investment deals. They see
the fundamentals of the economy stabilizing and they
see the opportunity to get quality assets at a good
price.”

Some of the brightest spots in the real estate market
recovery are the larger cities. Orlando, Tampa,
Sarasota, and Jacksonville as well as the Miami-Dade
and Broward counties are recovering more quickly
than the rest of the state, with their diverse economies,
steady migration and influx of foreign capital.
Even federal statistics show signs of positive results
for Florida. The index of Florida’s economic growth
increased faster than it has since 2006. This is
according to the Federal Reserve’s state-by-state
index of economic activity. Florida posted a 32-month
high for December as hiring expanded and wages
improved.

While we have experienced setbacks in housing
values the past few years, Florida appears perfectly
positioned for future success. The unrealistic frenzy of
2005 has been replaced with cautious optimism, as it
should be.

With 1.6 billion baby boomers around the globe
retiring within the next 20 years, developers and
investors are keenly aware that Florida will be among
the top choices for retirees. With no state income tax
and a wide variety of lifestyle and budget options, the
state is expected the regain the growth momentum
enjoyed in decades past.

In some cities such as Sarasota, housing inventory
is low compared to years past. Local realtors are
swamped with buyers, especially Canadians, looking
to take advantage of the weak dollar and low interest
rates. Consumers are beginning to feel a sense of
urgency not seen in several years. They want to be
sure they secure their slice of paradise before prices
increase.