But I didn’t have to look very far last week to find the bright side of some news about the sometimes gloomy Florida housing market. Two reports gave us a double dose of encouragement.
- For the first time in 5 years, more people moved into Florida than moved out, according to the 2011 Atlas Van Lines Migration Patterns study. The increase was slight — 5,636 inbound moves vs 5,269 outbound — but it is significant nevertheless. For decades leading up to the housing crisis in 2006, there were always more people coming to Florida than leaving. The Great Recession that ensued sustained that migratory downturn not only in Florida, but in most states.
The Atlas Van Lines study “is one indicator that the Florida economy may be picking up steam,” according to a story in the Tampa Bay Times. The Atlas study, which was based on 80,529 interstate moves in the U.S. in 2011, also found that the 5,269 outbound moves from Florida was the lowest in 10 years.
It also is interesting to note that Atlas’ historical data indicates that trends in moving usually are related to retirement and climate preferences. So, it is great to have another independent voice chiming in to confirm the tune we REALTORs® always sing: Lifestyle and sunshine are still Florida’s biggest assets!
- The second bit of good housing market news came from Clear Capital, a national housing valuation and research firm based in California. The company’s Home Data Index Market Report predicted that prices of homes in the Tampa Bay region will increase 7.4 percent this year. Only Orlando (11.7 percent) and Miami (8.8 percent) are projected to do better in Florida.
For an area that was hit early and hard by falling property values and foreclosures resulting from the housing market crash, this predicted increase — although modest — is welcome news. And any increase certainly is preferable to the anticipated declines in home prices in some other parts of the country, including Atlanta (14.4 percent) and Los Angeles (10.3 percent). Overall, Clear Capitol predicted, home prices will fall in 25 of the nation’s largest metro areas.
What does all this mean for Hernando County? For those who have only talked about listing their homes for sale, this may be another sign that it is time to move forward. If regional home prices rise as predicted, and more people continue to move here from other states, home sellers in the communities of Spring Hill, Brooksville, Weeki Wachee and Hernando Beach should see silver linings turning into Century 21 gold in 2012!
THE Gail Spada TEAM hopes you have found this information useful. Your feedback is encouraged. Until next time, please remember our pledge: When it comes to buying or selling property in Hernando County, we make sure … it’s all about YOU!