Where Is The Pendulum?

joel-schemmel-web-cms_9409_2028The Market has Life!

I received offers on two of my Siesta Key multi-million dollar properties within a day of each other.  Both from agents who said their buyers had been looking for a year or more.  A recent article in the Sarasota Herald Tribune, (yes, our Sarasota Herald Tribune) talking about signs of recovery, bidding wars on homes and how the lower end of the market is no longer a buyer’s market.  A report from US Trust – Private Wealth Management stating that the bottom of the market passed in early 2009.  Reports from across the country of market rebounds in California, Texas, etc.  Multiple articles about how foreclosure filings in Florida and specifically Sarasota County are down substantially from year to year.

At an event we hosted together with Real Magazine on 9/10/09 at 4141 Higel Avenue on Siesta Key, over 100 agents and real estate related professionals gathered to preview the property and enjoy each other’s company.  The discussions were consistent – everyone is feeling some positive energy.  Showings and offers are up and things are moving in the right direction.

Do we have a long ways to go? Absolutely!  However, there is no doubt in my mind that selection and prices will not be better for years to come.

A Second Wave of Foreclosures?

 Many analysts and skeptics predict a second round of foreclosures when the next wave of adjustable rate mortgages come due for adjustment.  In fact, I think they are betting on it.  I wonder if they have factored in the potential that rates will actually be lower when they adjust.  What about all those people with adjustable rate mortgages that have gone ahead and taken advantage of current rates and refinanced.

Of course there very well may be another group that is threatened by the potential adjustment.  What are they doing? My guess is they are actually short selling now to avoid foreclosure.  My impression is that most people who understand their financial position are being very proactive and trying to make something happen now vs. waiting around for foreclosure.

New Construction Coming On Line?

The other aspect of the market that may not be understood is that there is no new construction going on right now.  There really has not been any since it grinded to a halt in 2006.  Therefore, if someone is expecting a flood of new homes to hit the market anytime soon they may be waiting a long time.

The result is that if buyers want something that has been built recently there is a very limited supply particularly for waterfront homes.  Their only option may be building themselves if they don’t like what is out there or are not willing to at least pay a reasonable price.  In almost all cases, that reasonable price would be less than it would cost them to build new, they do not have to wait two years, deal with the costs of carrying the lot and construction or the hassle of the building process.

My advice to buyers out there – Buy Now or Forever Hold Your Peace.