The headline reads, “Economists: Slow recovery on tap”, but when you read further, much of today’s front page article in USA Today is much more promising than not…Although 63% of the economists say the recovery is slow and gradual, Two-thirds say existing home sales have hit bottom!
Bill Cheney, chief economist at MFC Global Investment said that since both the housing and car markets fell so sharply, both have the “potential to generate some large percentage increases”. I think everybody is trying to remain cautiously optimistic. Housing remains front and center…Florida went into a recession nearly a year ahead of the rest of the nation…both resales and new home sales last month exceeded everyone’s predictions, rising 11%. Here in Naples we are seeing so many positive signs, including pending sales up 99% in June ’09 vs June of 2008; and closed sales for that same comparison up 38%! Inventory is down, Average days on the market are down. The pent-up demand for real estate is becoming more and more evident as buyers are looking for well priced properties in good locations; price being the first consideration….”buyers” being the optimum word! Internet leads so far this month have exceeded February, typically our busiest month for inquiries…and our phones are ringing.
Unemployment, a big factor in the recovery, is expected to hit double digits by the end of the year, but here’s some interesting information: Did you know that unemployment for those with less than a high school diploma is already hovering around 14% ? With at least a college degree, less than 5% unemployment… here in Naples unemployment rose to 8% recently, due primarily to the decline in housing permits which peaked in late 2003…and for those tracking, fell 86% since that point in time.
Luckily Naples remains very attractive to those who have always gravitated to the area…High income retirees from the Northeast & Midwest and foreign nationals from both Canada and Europe. Even though those high-end earners took a beating in many cases, the home they would have paid $3 million for a few years ago is now listed below $2 million…and they’re back here now looking for these good values and making offers….knowing that “slow and steady” wins the race!
For information on what The Harris-Peppe Team thinks are some of the best buys in today’s market, please call us. We hope to hear from you soon, and we look forward to earning your business. Have a great week!