In the midst of negative reporting regarding the Florida real estate market, silently investors and foreigners are coming into Florida scooping up bargains. Why, because Florida is on sale.
Home sale prices in Florida are down roughly 30-40% across the board. Add to that the favorable exchange rates foreigners enjoy now, and foreign buyers are able to buy much more in Florida than they can back home. The dollar is down against many currencies, making real estate a bargain over here in the US.
In fact, US investors who started coming back into the SW Florida real estate market in the past few months are now competing with foreign investors for the best bargains. And home buyers are sitting on the sidelines oblivious to it all becuase they read the newspapers and fear the market is going lower.
The Ellis Team at RE/MAX is working with buyers from England, Russia, Canada, and Israel just to name a few. We’ve heard from a Sarasota agent who is working with multiple investors from UK, and another FOrt Myers broker who is working with a UK investor looking to place $150 million into the Florida market for long-term investing.
Investors usually pop back into the market first because they study numbers, whereas first-time home buyers and move up buyers buy more on emotion, so they tend to wait for the all clear fearing prices could still come down more.
We expect foreclosures to peak in 2008. Builders are no longer putting downward pressure on prices as they’ve already cleared out most all of their unsold inventory, and they’re not building new construction below cost, like they did with the unsold inventory.
Credit markets are beginning to loosen as more programs are trickling back. Property taxes will go down in 2008 as a result of 2007 price declines, and legislative action. We’ve seen significant improvement in insurance rates as well. Most all signs point to a recovering housing market in 2008. We would like to see inventory numbers fall, and employment rise. The real estate impact has had a toll on employment numbers.