We hate to say we told you so. In an NBC interview in October 2005 we predicted sales would fall to 2002 levels. In July we crossed that threshold. We were at 2004 levels in May, however we fell below 2004 levels in June and below 2003 levels in July.
The chart clearly illustrates what’s happening with our sales numbers here in SW Florida. All this is occurring while inventory levels are going up, which gives us an indication it will take awhile to sell off all the excess inventory. In fact, until sales head back up again, inventory levels are likely to increase further in SW Florida, as more homes are coming on the market than actually selling.
There is some good news though. 2002-2005 were each record years in the SW Florida real estate industry. Once our market moderates and we work through some of the inventory, a stable market awaits us all. We have fairly steady demand, so that’s not the issue as more people move to Florida everyday. All we have to do is work off the extra supply and our market will be healthy and vibrant again.
The SW Florida real estate market is on a diet right now, and once the extra pounds have come off, we’ll be a lean mean fighting machine. Nobody likes a diet, and they are hard work. Many agents have only been in the business a few years and have only seen the Boom times. Agents are dropping like flies, and that’s a good thing.
In a future article, we’ll examine how many agents there are in the SW Florida real estate market today compared to year’s past, and we’ll evlaluate how many there should be based upon the volume of today’s business.