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February 21st, 2009 8:16 AM by David W. Welch
That is the question I get pretty much daily. It may be a phone conversation with one of my customers; it may be a comment on my blog; or an e-mail asking questions about down payment assistance or the tax credit. Eventually, that question comes up and I can answer it from two perspectives.
First, I have to share that I personally have gotten a lot busier since the last quarter of last year. I saw it coming with the activity on my website. The number of visitors is way up and page views have nearly tripled since last summer. That is probably a result of a couple of things: the market picking up and my internet strategy starting to come together. When business got slow, I got to work on my web presence and it has really paid off. Just google "orlando real estate" or "orlando realty" or "winter park florida real estate" best yet "orlando real estate blog". The internet is driving about 75% of my business.
Second, what is going on in the market overall? Sales have improved dramatically from where we were last year. The last five months in a row sales have exceeded the prior year's sales. Our inventory level has consistently gone down since October of 2007 with the biggest drop coming in December of 2008. We still have a huge oversupply of homes for sale, but we are heading in the right direction. The increase in distressed properties is slowing down, but they are having a bigger impact on our market. Prices have dropped below where they should be given income levels and rents in the area. That means we should be at the bottom. Interest rates are fantastic, but it is harder to get a loan. Overall, I am encouraged -optimistic of course- but we still have a way to go to get back to a normal market.
I do believe though that if the foreclosure situation is addressed, we could see a dramatic improvement in our market. I think there is a tremendous amount of pent up demand for homes, but people are waiting for someone to give them the all clear to start buying. In the mean time, I have investors in New York, Texas, Canada and locally that I am working with picking up some pretty sweet deals.
David Welch, Real Estate Optimist