It is still early in the year, but many Realtors (ourselves included) are reporting a significant shift in process. Buyers are getting serious about buying a home.
Last year there were many buyers who were “just looking”. There was no sense of urgency, but more of a “maybe next year” attitude. Well, next year is here and offers are coming in at a quickening pace. There is now a general sense that the time is right to buy a home in Southwest Florida.
What has changed? I can think of a few factors that may be pushing buyers over the edge, including:
- A slowing of the distress sales (short sales and foreclosures) coming on the market;
- Financial stability for some of the neighborhood clubs and golf courses;
- An improving national economy with increased consumer confidence;
- An incredibly strong stock market that has recovered most of its losses of the past few years;
- The threat of rising interest rates in the mortgage market;
- The availability of credit for qualified customers;
- A decreasing inventory of desirable homes on the market;
- Stable prices that are showing a hint of upward pressure;
- and A challenging winter “up North” that reminds folks of the benefits of our area.
After more than 5 years of misery in the real estate market, early 2011 has been a breath of fresh air for homeowners and anyone affected by the residential real estate industry in Southwest Florida. We can only hope that this respite is the beginning of an era of stability and growth in our housing market.