ep, it?s that time again. The NAR Real Estate forecast report was released on Thursday February 7th. As is usual with NAR?s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, he mixes it up to the point you just have to say ?huh ?
The title of the report itself really sets it up. ?Existing-Home Sales to Hold in Narrow Range, then Begin Upward Trend??huh ?
This is the summary of the report by NAR: Soft market conditions are forecast to continue for existing-home sales in the months ahead, with improvement expected by the second half of this year if loan limits are increased?.. huh ?
Current housing conditions vary widely? huh ?
You can review the report your self from the link above but from all accounts they are saying the market is so, so?.which according to the dictionary I checked means it?s an indifferent market?huh ?
Well now that I have dispensed with the things that make you go huh ?
The real meat and potatoes came out about (2) days earlier from a local source that I find a bit more reliable or credible, however you like to portray the data, NAR does not really have a great track record of getting to the issue at heart without um..making you say huh ? OK I promise no more. Anyhow, the source of the data is an economic and financial consulting firm based here in Florida called FISHKIND and associates. At least as it pertains to Florida?s economic forecast they have the data to back up what they talk about. Dr. Hank Fishkind is often referred to in the Florida media as ?Florida’s best known economist ?. Dr. Fishkind presented his report to the Bay Area Real Estate Council on February 5th, 2008
Since our business is all about Florida?s Tampa Bay Area, hence Greater Tampa Bay Area Real Estate, we were really pleased to see that the reporting data shows that a good portion of the Tampa markets may have hit bottom and are ready for the turnaround to begin.
A few of the highlights of Hank Fishkinds February 5 meeting are:
1. HOME SALES: Pasco and Hernando counties’ housing markets have hit bottom and are most likely to start the the turn around ?.this will be seen later in the year. Hillsborough County is close to the bottom, but Pinellas County has a few more months in this downturn before home sales and prices will stabilize.
2. FORECLOSURES: While bad in certain neighborhoods, Dr. Fishkind thinks foreclosures have received way more press than they deserve. Measured against the total housing market here, they’re a “thimble in the ocean.”
3. AMENDMENT 1 PROPERTY TAX CUTS: Don’t expect any noticeable stimulus from tax cuts this year. We won’t get a tax break until next year. Plus people are still having difficulty selling their houses, making the portability issue a moot point.
4. CONDO CRISIS: Dr. Fishkind was not too high on condos in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. He said oversupply, combined with limited sales, “makes me nervous.” He sees no bottom yet here.
5. MORTGAGE RATES: Good news here. Dr. Fishkind expects home loan rates for credit worthy borrowers to continue to drop to below 5 percent this year. If you have equity left in your home , it will be a good time to refinance.
You can down-load a copy of Dr. Hank Fishkinds Power Point report in PDF format entitled **Economic Outlook U.S. and Tampa Bay/Bay Area Real Estate Council.
** Be sure to check out pages 28 to 63 of the PDF for Tampa Counties (158 to 197 as listed on the lower right corner of the presentation).
Dr. Fishkind also spoke on local Orlando Radio station with regards to the Amendment 1 Property Tax cuts. You can access the audio by clicking in this link >> Click here to listen to story.. (You don?t need an ipod to listen. If you have a PC with Windows Media Player installed ?..no problem.)