It seems that lately there is positive news about the Florida real estate market almost every day. In a sense, there is a 'perfect storm' brewing for a market rebound, or at least there appears to be a glimmer of hope in the Tampa Bay area.
I noticed the winds of change the beginning of this year, when it seemed like every time a buyer requested to be shown a list of homes, half of the homes had just gone under contract. In West Pasco County and Pinellas County, where prices have plummeted since the boom market of 2005/2006, I am actually seeing multiple offers come in on some properties.
When I received the latest market statistics for May 2012 for Pasco County home sales, what I was experiencing was confirmed by hard facts. In Pasco County, the absorption rate has steadily climbed to 24%, meaning that 24% of all listings on the mls sold in May. I recall that at the peak of the market the absorption rate was around 50%--there was virtually no inventory and as a result, prices kept getting driven higher. After 'the crash,' the absorption dropped to an anemic 3-4%. Finally, by 2011 it reached the teens, and appears to continue to climb to a healther rate.
A recent article by Melissa Dittmann and published by REALTOR® Magazine Daily News, showed the 12 metro areas in the United States where inventories have dropped the most, those with a drop in inventory of 35% of more over last year. Of the 12 markets, eight of them were in California. Almost right in the middle of the pack was the Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater metro area, ranked at number 7, with a drop in inventory of 39.76%. Pasco and Pinellas Counties--including New Port Richey, Port Richey, Tarpon Springs, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater Beach, are all considered to be part of this metro area.
Hopefully the levels of supply and demand will continue to equalize. With interest rates at an all-time low, and home prices still low, buyers can get a great deal and more house for their money than ever.