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January 5th, 2011 8:03 AM by David W. Welch
The home buyer tax credit is over, it has been for months. The great deals on Orlando real estate and low interest rates remain. Rates however, have been creeping up over the last several weeks even with The Fed continuing to pump money into the market buying up bonds. Banks continue to move forward on foreclosures, but it appears at a slower pace. Employment numbers have been improving - not as fast as we would like, but they are better than they have been. As the economy begins to improve, home prices will start to go back up, interest rates will climb and new jobs will help put an end to short sales and foreclosures.
Realtors are often accused of always saying now is the time to buy, but really, now is the time to buy here in Orlando. Nobody can predict exactly when prices will start going up, but there are some indications. First, the inventory of homes for sale here in Orlando was about 50,000 just a few years ago including new homes under construction. Today there are just under 15,000 homes listed on the MLS which now includes a lot of the builder inventory. Sales were way up in 2010 over 2009, so increased demand with a lower supply usually puts pressure on prices. For the most part the steady pipeline of foreclosures has been snapped up by investors and home buyers as fast as they hit the market. The number of short sales has been on a steady decline for over a year now. Many are getting approved, and many are being foreclosed. The total number of active and pending short sales is declining either way. There are fewer than 11,000 active and pending now, and over 13,000 at their peak.
With the number of delinqency filings and high unemployment, we will continue to see foreclosures for some time. However, with the recovery beginnning to take hold and the decline in the inventory of homes I just don't see how prices can get much lower than they are. Keep this in mind too, many of the hardest hit - condos - have turned over. I wrote about one community a few months ago where two thirds of the units have already turned over. At the low point they only had nine owners paying dues out of 360. Now they have over 240 paying dues.
David Welch Real Estate Optimist, Orlando Real Estate, Any Home-Any Phone