Study: Central Florida Home Prices May Be Normalizing [Housing Tracker]

by: Judy Weil

House Sales/Price Data 

Area Average Home Sale Prices Up.  Indiana: “Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors [MIBOR]: Average sale prices increased in six Central Indiana counties between March-May 2008 compared to March-May 2007... Increases ranged from a 16% jump in Brown County to an 8% increase in Boone County. MIBOR spokeswoman: “The property tax situation in Marion County likely played a hand in local sales figures, but its good news that we now have hard numbers.” MIBOR has changed the way it releases numbers. Previously, data was released from month to month, now data is released with a three-month trend.”  (WIBC, June 30th)

Have Home Prices Hit Bottom?  Florida: “A Herald-Tribune analysis of historical price appreciation in Sarasota and Manatee counties suggests that prices may be approaching a more normal level. The newspaper overlaid the actual path that home prices have taken the last several years with what they might have been without the 2004-06 bubble. The difference in the two paths is closing… Trying to predict pricing based on a "normal" market is at best an educated guess. Abundant demand, for one, can cause prices to rise at more than a normal rate. The effects of distressed properties can cause them to fall at more than a normal rate.”  (Sarasota Herald Tribune, June 29th)

1% Tax Sought On Island Home Sales.  Massachusetts: “Nantucket and the towns on Martha's Vineyard want to impose a 1% tax on high-dollar home sales to fund affordable housing development, basically transferring money from wealthy second-home buyers to struggling year-round residents… Nantucket and the towns on Martha's Vineyard rank among the state's most expensive housing markets, but they are even more distinguished by their isolation - people who work on the islands cannot easily commute from a nearby town. As a result, as the rich got richer in recent years, and prices on both islands spiked dramatically, local workers increasingly struggled to find housing.”  (Boston Globe, June 28th)

Retirees Find the Time May Be Right to Buy.  “For [retirees] who can afford to take their time: Not only are home prices down more than 25% in some parts of the country, there remains a glut of inventory on the market in traditional retirement destinations like Florida, Arizona and Nevada… S&Ps Case-Shiller Home Price Indices: The average price for a single-family home is down nearly 27% in Miami [y/o/y] versus a 25% decline in Phoenix and a 27% drop in Las Vegas. Florida Association of Realtors: [While] median sales price for an existing single-family home declined 28% in the Fort Pierce-Port St. Lucie area in Q2 compared with Q2’07, prices declined only 1% on Marco Island during that same period.” (NY Times, June 27th)

PCBC News: CBIA Predicts Fewer Homes Will Be Built in California in '08.  California Building Industry Association: California builders need to produce 230,000 homes a year just to keep pace with demographic demand. By contrast, the CBIA's freshly revised forecast estimates the construction of just 72,000 homes, condominiums, and apartments this year, a significant reduction from earlier forecasts. This will happen even as the California economy continues to grow dramatically in population. Alan Nevin, chief economist for the association, pointed to a California Department of Finance report that found the state had added 490,000 people in the last year, an estimate that didn't include illegal immigration.”  (Builder Online, June 26th)


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