The Moulton Sarasota Real Estate Report – March 11, 2012

The National Association of Realtors performs an affordability index utilizing factors such as home prices, mortgage interest rates and income, and they recently announced that the “affordability factor” is better than it was when they started the measurement in 1970.  Does that mean that this is Your Time to Buy?

Affordability factors aside, all signs are pointing to Sarasota Real Estate – especially at the luxury levels, in the most desirable locations and in move-in-ready condition –  inventory definitely being on the decline with pricing stabilizing.  Given that virtually no one, not even the most experienced realtors or real estate experts, can time the exact bottom of our market, in my opinion, if you continue to wait until inventory has shrunk too far you risk getting caught in bidding wars or missing out on the great opportunities that are available right now.  Though negotiating power is strong right now, once inventory becomes even more compressed and prices begin to regulate and consistently move upward, buyers will lose leverage.

Another area of opportunity lies in the reports of considerable homebuilder confidence, as I have also reported in recent postings.  As they begin their climb out of the multi-year slump in new home building, my guess is that this is a great chance for buyers who have preapproved mortgages to walk in, make an offer and, if at first you don’t succeed, don’t be surprised to get a call back soon after your departure with a counter-offer.  There have been well-documented reports of significant increases in applications for building permits in some of the more sought-after Sarasota and Manatee neighborhoods, and with this heightened activity will come competition for sales.

I would caution that I do not believe that this is a time for speculation.  With most pundits predicting moderate gains over the next several years, rather buyers should be considering purchases they are prepared to hold onto.  Now is the time to use the stresses of the last few years to weigh into the selection criteria for our new properties.  Top considerations should center around quality of life – it’s now about lifestyle, pride of ownership and a place where memories can be made, along with value.  I think most would agree that Sarasota offers the greatest in virtually all aspects of quality of life, I know that my wife Katie and I have found it to offer all that we would ever want in a place to live, work and play!

In this week’s Michael Saunders blog, “Spring has Spring”, you can read about why Sarasota’s Real Estate doyenne likens her optimism to one of the country’s great prognosticators, Warren Buffett.  You can read her post here.


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