Almost daily I am asked by potential buyers if I think the real estate market has bottomed-out yet.
Those buyers — like everyone in the country — know the real estate market tanked during the recession. But unless you’ve had a reason to follow the market closely, you might not have been aware that over the past six months in many parts of the country, including the Tampa Bay area, real estate activity has been on the rise, with prices starting to move upward.
If you remember, before the housing bubble burst, multiple offers on well-priced homes were common. Would you be surprised to learn that we are seeing multiple offers again? I’ve recently helped several buyers to purchase homes where there were offers from three or more bidders. The fact is that the inventory is about a third of what it was a year ago and prices are starting to move up as a result of the increased competition.
An article published just last week on CNNMoney, A new housing boom, reported that some economists believe that home prices could be back to peak levels as soon as 2015. The same article reported that new home construction is expected to strengthen as well, with “numerous experts forecasting home construction to grow by at least 20% a year for each of the next two years.”
And last Sunday’s Tampa Bay Times ran a story about several new and restarted housing developments in the greater Tampa area, Tampa Bay home builders are cautiously optimistic, one of which “could become one of the largest master-planned communities opening this year in the country.” (Great news for our local economy and the unemployment rate, by the way!)
Yet, there are still foreclosures hitting the market. What does that mean for you as a potential buyer? An opportunity to take advantage of those as well as short sales. With the low inventory, those homes are being easily absorbed into the mix, but are not driving prices way down like a few years back.
The bottom line is — if you’re considering buying in the next year or two, today’s prices won’t be here too much longer. And along with higher home prices goes property tax increases, which by law can only increase 3% per year if the home is your primary residence.
If you are planning to make a home purchase in the foreseeable future, I highly suggest that you make it a priority to find your dream home now, while prices are still low, lock in the lowest property taxes we’ve seen in years, and get a fixed-rate mortgage with an interest rate between 3% and 4%. These historically low rates are not going to last!
A Note From Debra
Please let me know if I can help you in any way…call me at 727-286-1249 or email me at email@example.com.Google+