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January 8th, 2008 11:43 AM by David W. Welch
Economist Hank Fishkind, who specializes in the Florida real estate market sees Orlando's economy as the strongest in Florida. He expects prices to remain about where they are for some time as the inventory remains high. The stong and increasingly diverse local economy should help prop up the sagging real estate market. He sees flat new home starts for 2008 for Orange county with moderate increases in some of the surrounding counties, and a significant increase in Lake county where new construction has been off the most in 2007. Read the whole article at www.orlandosentinel.com in the business section.
Dr. Fishkind is a bit more optimistic than other economists, and that may be why I like his reports so much. He also is local and specializes in our market unlike many of the economists that get quoted in the national media. I believe that the inventory remains the biggest factor in our housing market here locally. At the current sales rate there is a 25 month supply of homes available for sale. Even if the sales rate were to rise to 1,800 per month, there is a 14 month supply of homes for sale. I believe 1,800 is where we should be with monthly sales in a "normal" market. I don't know that we will see that this year, but I do expect to see sales in the 1,400 range by summer. www.davidwelch.com