Of course, we've been preaching to the choir here - either prices have to come down in Florida, or median incomes have to go up (way up). And we all know the likelihood of option #2 coming to fruition. Ergo, the laws of supply and demand are finally coming to life, like an old rusty train that's been overhauled and lubricated and finally leaving the station for the first time in 5 years. From Shannon Behnken at the Tampa Tribune.
'TAMPA - The Tampa Bay area experienced its steepest home price slump in recent memory in January, while the number of home sales continued to drop. Sales activity in the area stands in stark contrast to national data that showed sales of existing homes rose by the largest number in two years.
"The housing market in Tampa doesn't look good at all," said Per Gunnar Berglund, senior economist for Moody's Economy.com. "This is the sharpest drop in pricing since the early 1990s."'
And as goes Tampa, goes the rest of the state. Maybe in the far north interior things haven't changed, but for the majority of the population, consider this to be the starting gun to our multi-year race to the bottom.
And lest we forget, it's always good to hear the cooked numbers from FAR (Florida Ass. of Realtors) as well as "we're just around the corner from recovery" droning from the NAR. The fairy tale just wouldn't be complete without involvement of our evil (yet charmingly simple) giant. First, FAR.
'The median sales price of existing single-family homes in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area was $214,000 in January, down 7 percent from December and significantly below the real estate market's $239,900 peak in June, according to data released Tuesday by the Florida Association of Realtors.
The association said the area's median sales price in January was 1 percent below the same month a year ago. In December, the median sales price was $230,800.'
Wrongo-bongo. I've been tracking median prices for over a year in the bay area, and currently it is still around $270K. So, unless the median home is selling for $55K less than the listing price, these numbers are cooked, baked, and diced. Onto the NAR - cheerleading time from economist Lawrence Yun!
'Yun said he does not think the Florida housing market will suffer too much. The job market remains strong, and many people continue to move to Florida from the Northeast, which should continue to drive demand for real estate, he said.
"This is a short-term correction," Yun said. "The local fundamentals are good."'
WHAT THE F is this guy talking about?!!! More people are leaving the state than are moving in, sales are way down, prices are way down (crooked accounting by FAR notwithstanding) and median incomes are still far below median prices. Mr. Yun, tear down this wall! (of lies and deceipt!) The local fundamentals are not good - the laws of supply and demand say they are very, very bad.
And hey, while we're at it, let's hear the same drivel from our local liars-club.
'Carlos Fuentes, president of the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors, said that despite the drop experienced by the larger metropolitan area, local data on prices in Hillsborough County are trending upward.'
Trending upward in his mind, maybe. Trending upward in one or two super-wealthy neighborhoods, maybe. Trending upwards if you're standing on your head, maybe.