my personal blog

May 29, 2008

Silver Lining (Buried Under Bad News)

Filed under: business,news — Tags: , , , , — Alfonso Surroca @ 1:08 pm

While reading about the unsurprisingly bad consumer confidence numbers, I came across this article focusing on the Florida consumer confidence numbers.

In the midst of the numbers, and the suggestion that the stimulus checks (as I expected) had no effect on consumer confidence, I found a glimmer of good news:

Although most economists foresee price declines extending into 2009, [director of UF’s Survey Research Center at the Bureau of Economic and Business Research Chris] McCarty said he expects many Florida housing markets to bottom out by July based on price patterns so far. Once these declines stop, consumers and lenders will know what homes are worth, as will potential buyers, he said.

There it is: Despite the fact that the U.S. is still in the middle of this long tunnel, Floridians can soon begin seeing the light at the end of it. Looking at the charts at Zillow, you can see that although both lines are still trending downward, the green line (FL average) is moving downward at a more steady rate, where the yellow line (U.S. average) is actually starting to dip at an increasing rate.

Oh, it’s minor, but it’s there. If McCarty is right, then the Florida housing market is going to hit that low point this summer. Just looking at it, I think July is a little too optimistic; September sounds about right. I’d say, we’ll see another $15k drop over the summer, but that will be the end of it. Meanwhile, it looks like the U.S. average has a long way to go, yet, and when it bottoms out, it’s going to be a slow climb back up. I think Florida’s going to come out on top, just like California did in the 1990s.

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