Home > Third Quarter 2006 Newsletter.
 

When the stock market hits a series of record highs, the inexperienced rush in and often get burned. When it hits a series of new lows, the smart money starts investing. Other than the shelter it offers, Real Estate is no different. We had almost 10 years of uninterrupted growth before the current slump started last October. There are three markets:

The primary residence market normally requires the sale of a current residence. The northeast and mid-west markets have slumped to pre-2003 levels, and these areas will lag until the market fully recovers. This market is far from dead with new home sales actually rising 4% in August. Many baby boomers looking for their retirement homes are in a financial position to buy before they sell. Families from Europe and the Americaís who want to live in a country with a more stable government are doing the same. This group relies on the Internet to research for available properties.

The second home market normally does not  require the sale of a property and remains strong. This market is fueled by Europe, Central and South America and our baby boomers. This group searches the Internet for bargains and has the money and desire to buy when they find what they want. The exchange rate is often in their favor making our market seem like a bargain.  This segment remains strong.

The small investor got caught up in the investment property markets record setting real estate trends and rushed in when lenders were offering zero down adjustable rate mortgages. The small investors are the primary cause of the current down swing. Smart money is sitting on the sidelines waiting for the weak to panic.  This group includes the flippers who buy, fix and resell. Investors donít buy unless itís a bargain. With adjustable rate mortgages often increasing monthly payments by several hundred dollars; investors can afford to wait on the foreclosures. 

Buyers want a property in move-in condition. Less than 1-2% of the market is willing to buy and repair a property. The ones who are willing are usually forced into this situation due to economics. If you donít want to fix it, they donít either. Condition is something you can control.

Price is the most important variable in the decision making process. Everyone wants the most they can get for their money. If you are over-priced hoping somebody will negotiate with you, your property will remain on the market a long time. People search by price range, and you must be in the correct price range and offer a competitive value.

Features are constant. You canít move your property and put it closer to this or that. You canít do a complete overhaul to add features without destroying any hope of a reasonable return. You have to wait until you find a buyer who wants what you have. They are out there just as you were.

MY PREDICTION: I see many buyers coming to the gulf coast of Florida to capitalize on low prices, low interest rates, high inventory, weary sellers, and beautiful weather. I see a robust economy, low unemployment, bad weather up north, and Americans with an appetite for real estate.  I do not see a return to the boom times of 2004, but I see a slow and steady increase in prices and a slower decrease in inventories.  Anecdotal evidence already points to increased activity (Interviews with title companies, residential resale agents, etc.)  If we are not at the bottom yet, we are darn close.

I see the Internet as the most important way sellers can reach buyers. Thatís why I have a growing number of local sites and 6 national directories to market other Realtors. My sellers receive as much exposure as possible. I program the sites and make the changes necessary allowing them to rank well in the search engines. 

Year-to-date / waterfront and waterview condos and townhomes only (no condo-hotels).

Belleair Beach, Belleair Bluffs & Belleair. There are currently 62 condos listed. Sales during the first three-quarters of 2006 were 25 which represent a decline of 30 from the same period last year when there were 55 sales. 

Clearwater and Sandkey. There are currently 840 condos listed. Sales during the first three-quarters of 2006 were 267 which represent a decline of 268 from the same period last year when there were 515 sales.

Dunedin. There are currently 114 condos listed. Sales during the first three-quarters of 2006 were 49 which represent a decline of 11 from the same period last year when there were 60 sales.

Gulfport. There are currently 53 condos listed. Sales during the first three-quarters of 2006 were 25 which represents a decline of 12 from the same period last year when there were 37 sales.

Largo. There are currently 32 condos listed. Sales during the first three-quarters of 2006 were 14 which represent a decline of 8 from the same period last year when there were 22 sales.

Madeira Beach. There are currently 141 condos listed. Sales during the first three-quarters of 2006 were 34 which represent a decline of 47 from the same period last year when there were 81 sales.

North Redington. There are currently 61 condos listed. Sales during the three-quarters of 2006 were 19 which represent a decline of 18 from the same period last year when there were 37 sales.

Palm Harbor. There are currently 5 condos listed. Sales during the three-quarters of 2006 were 3 which represent a decline of 1 from the same period last year when there were 4 sales.

Redington Beach. There are currently 5 condos listed. During the three-quarters of 2006 there was 1 sale which represent a decline of 3 from the same period last year when there was 4 sale.

Redington Shores. There are currently 162 condos listed. Sales during the three-quarters of 2006 were 29 which represent a decline of 19 from the same period last year when there were 48 sales.

Seminole. There are currently 27 condos listed. Sales during the three-quarters of 2006 were 8 which represent a decline of 12 from the same period last year when there were 20 sales.

South Pasadena. There are currently 112 condos listed. Sales during the three-quarters of 2006 were 39 which represent a decline of 70 from the same period last year when there were 109 sales.

St Pete & St Pete Beach. There are currently 447 condos listed. Sales during the three-quarters of 2006 were 511 which represent an increase of 212 from the same period last year when there were 299 sales.

Tarpon Springs. There are currently 83 condos listed. Sales during the three-quarters of 2006 were 38 which represent a decline of 15 from the same period last year when there were 53 sales.

Tierra Verde. There are currently 67 condos listed. Sales during the three-quarters of 2006 were 20 which represent a decline of 36 from the same period last year when there were 56 sales.

Treasure Island. There are currently 197 condos listed. Sales during the three-quarters of 2006 were 67 which represent a decline of 95 from the same period last year when there were 162 sales.