The final numbers for 2009 are in and as expected the overall results were quite positive for the Orlando area Real Estate market. We saw a 59.31% increase in sales over the same period for 2008, The inventory of homes dropped by 25% , the number of properties under contract more than doubled, the average days on market decreased to under 90 day. There are all positive indicators that show the housing market trying to correct itself and recover. We are in no means out of the woods just yet. Banks are predicting 2010 to be another big year for foreclosures as 5 year arm loans written in 2005 become due. Another factor that may affect this recovery is that the local unemployment rate is hovering around 11.8% as of November 2009 which is a big jump from the same period in 2008 of 7.4%. Mortgage rates are also a key factor in the market recovery. Currently mortgage rates are holding at 5.0% – 5.25%. Low rates are allowing first time home buyers to enter the market where several years ago they were unable due to higher rates and high home prices.
Lower inventories of homes should help stabilize property prices for 2010 as long as there is not a big influx of bank owned or foreclosure properties. This will be decided by the banks as they are now watching inventory levels to see when is the best time to list bank properties for sale.
Investors and second home / vacation home buyers will play a key role in the Orlando market for 2010. Over 25% of all transactions in the State of Florida were from outside the country. Foreign National Buyers see Florida as a great investment and should continue to purchase in 2010 as prices remain at or below current market prices. We should expect 2010 to play out the same as 2009 as long as there is no new major economic shift. Buyers should take advantage of the current market and purchase before the shift in foreclosures begins to decrease. The inventory of these properties is still very good. As these numbers decrease so will the quality of the foreclosures. Make 2010 the year you purchase your first home or a vacation property.