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July 24th, 2009 9:10 AM by David W. Welch
Orlando real estate sales have been up for months now. In fact, I believe we are looking at about nine straight months of year over year improvement. If you watch the stock market and oil prices, they appear to indicate that sentiment is moving to the positive side as far as residential real estate is concerned. Of course, I am the real estate optimist so I knew it would just be a matter of time before others would begin to see the light. Eventually, the positive sentiment will lead to increased consumer spending. This in turn will begin to lift us out of the recession creating more jobs. When job creation returns watch real estate really begin to pick up. Of course, so too will interest rates and prices will likely begin to go back up as well.
Here in Orlando, real estate sales have been on an upward trend since January 2008 while prices really began heading down since about that time. We have seen prices level off for about four months now with the median price since April hovering around $130,000. Unemployment will remain high for a bit longer, which is typical in this type of economic cycle. Employers are hesitant to make new hires until they have confidence that sales will support the new jobs. When job creation begins again, the opportunity to take advantage of our current buyers market will certainly be over. The $8,000 tax credit expires in just a few months. The Fed will likely stop buying up mortgage backed securities by years end which has been helping to keep mortgage interest rates low. Even though everyone keeps predicting a new wave of foreclosures, we have actually seen fewer coming to market. All in all, the Orlando real estate market has stabilized. We will see slower sales over the next few months which is typical of the time of year. I expect they will continue to exceed last years sales. If banks begin approving the back log of short sales (over 3,500) with pending contracts, we would actually see a huge surge in sales. Either way, we are looking at a much stronger year.
Orlando Real Estate, David Welch Real Estate Optimist