Wednesday, 23 May 2007 01:00
Housing SpeakerWritten by WGCU Newsroom
Southwest Florida’s housing market is in a slump – but recovery is just around the corner. That’s according to housing analyst Mike Timmerman who spoke to members of the Urban Land Institute Wednesday in Estero.
Mike Timmerman of Hanley Wood Market Intelligence told a group of about 100 realtors, builders and others the housing market moves in 36 month cycles – and the region is now in the 20th month of a downward trend. He says housing has taken a hit in Southwest Florida because of the large proportion of second homes and investment properties.
“where there’s employment based housing need, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville – the area’s where the housing is there for workers – those areas haven’t done as poorly as markets which are second home investors places...pricing didn’t increase as much so we didn’t have as many investors and speculators therefore they didn’t get as far ahead of the game as we did in Southwest Florida.”
Overbuilding in Southwest Florida has led to oversupply and Timmerman says right now builders are unloading units at or below cost. But he says it’s a buyers market right now - for those who can afford the taxes and insurance that comes with being a home owner. He’s hopeful state lawmakers will legislate a cure for those high costs in the upcoming special session. As for the over-abundance of housing stock, Timmerman says in-migration will eventually take up the slack.
Southwest Florida’s housing slump is only temporary. That’s according to Housing analyst Mike Timmerman who spoke to members of the Urban Land Institute Wednesday in Estero. Timmerman told the group’s members that ups and downs are part of the housing cycle, but in the end, the region’s building industry and housing market are poised to do well.
“we had a huge amount of speculation that occurred – but from an overall standpoint the demographics are very good for sw Florida, we’re expecting a huge amount of in migration because of the quality of life – so obviously the long run for sw is very good – you do have blips and that’s what this part is – a blip in the market place.”
Timmerman says the biggest challenges in the housing market right now are in selling existing homes – some are overpriced and have been on the market too long. He says high property taxes and the high cost of insurance are also turning some potential homeowners into renters instead.