People ask me this question nearly every day. Buyers want to know if the market is picking up, and in effect, if it is ok to buy Florida real estate now (the implication being that there might be a better time, perhaps in the summer).
To give the best answer, I need to understand who the Buyer is. If the Buyer is a real estate investor, then the answer is “I don’t know.” Historically, the Longboat Key area has been enjoyed by primary homeowners, long-term vacationers and second-home owners. The short-term investor only came to our area in the 2004/5 time period; they were looking to make quick profits by purchasing and selling quickly into a rising market. For those investor buyers, we may be at or near a bottom, but I cannot say we are in a quickly rising market.
If you are a long-term buyer, the kind of buyer we have been used to on Longboat Key, then most certainly this is the time to buy. If you wait for a confirmed bottom, you will certainly miss it. This not only has financial implications (you will end up spending more), it will also influence your choices. Homes are not like other investments, stocks for example. You can always buy a share of IBM stock, it might big trading at a bottom or 5% above the bottom price; but you can’t be sure that the Longboat Key property you have found will be available when you decide the market is ready for your purchase.