Saturday, March 7, 2009

The New Normal

Our real estate market has been searching for a new normal for years. Let me explain. When I began selling real estate on Longboat Key in 1988, the normal market had properties fluctuating in price 3-5%, largely trending upwards. Occasional recessions or slowdowns brought flat to slightly negative turns. In the early 2000s we began to see much higher price increases, two years (04/05) with price increases in excess of 30%! This new market brought an extreme Seller's market with multiple offers and over list price sales. In 2006 we began to see a leveling and then a reduction of prices due to the unsustainabiltiy of such appreciation. We now find ourselves "oversold" with prices reaching back to those of the early 2000's.

So what's the new normal for today? Normal is that we are living in recessionary times. Normal is that we have a higher unemployment level. Normal is record low interest rates, available to consumers who can afford the loans. Normal is good selection of available properties. Normal is a Buyer's market.

The inherent values of Sarasota and Longboat Key have not changed. The weather is still incredible, the waters are clean and beautiful, boating and beaches are unparalleled, and we have shopping and dining all within the cultural capital of Florida.

Today's normal will be unrecognizable in the future. As a Buyer, today's normal is the one I would want to be purchasing in…wouldn't you?

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