Real estate values don�t
tank in paradise
By Louise Bolger
SUN STAFF WRITER
I want everyone who lives on Anna Maria
Island, Perico Island, in Cortez or anywhere within walking
distance to the coast to get up, look out the window or walk
the short one or two blocks to the water and take a good look.
What youre looking at is paradise.
Most of the people in the country wish they had the ability
to see what youre seeing right now. And that, my friends,
is why real estate values in this area and possibly in the
entire state of Florida are not going to tank.
The doom and gloom that raised its ugly head after the April
home sale statistics were published sent sellers to their
anti-depressants and buyers licking their chops. Apparently
the number of home sales, including condos, fell almost 50percent
compared to April of last year. Selling prices were still
higher, but they could experience an adjustment in the coming
months as well.
Are these numbers true? Of course they are, but so what? Look
at what youre comparing it to the hottest real
estate market of all times. It had nowhere to go but down.
Everyone needs to stand still and take a deep breath. The
real estate market may very well be over-valued, similar to
the stock market when the tech stocks fell from grace. The
stock market stepped back, regrouped and now the Dow and the
Nasdaq are moving right along pushing record highs.
Real estate also has to regroup and look at the big picture.
The Bradenton-Sarasota area ranked fourth on INC. magazines
list of hottest midsize cities in which to do business. Manatee
Countys unemployment rate is lower than the already
low national average, the population is growing, job growth
is expected to increase to keep up with the influx of new
residents, were awash with new housing options and the
sun always shines.
And just to sweeten the pot a little, the state of Florida
is getting ready to adopt an affordable housing plan that
will help teachers, police officers, firefighters, nurses
and other critical service employees get into their own homes
or at least keep up with the real estate market.
Believe me, Im not being a Pollyanna here. I realize
that prices have leveled off, inventory is high and investor
financing has gotten expensive, driving them away. But 1,000
people a day are still moving into Florida, and those pesky
baby boomers havent even started cleaning out their
desks. I just cant believe that all of them are going
If you and your family are in the position right now where
you must sell your home or condo, you may realize a little
less than this time last year, but you will undoubtedly realize
a whole lot more than if you sold five years ago. Dont
let the "mental equity" you built up cloud your
If you are in a position where you dont have to sell,
wait it out. And if you are a buyer, it could be the last
opportunity you have to jump into the real estate market before
it takes off again.
So take a walk on the beach, gaze at the Gulf of Mexico and
then try and tell me that paradise is lost. More likely its
just having a reality check.