What is predicted for the tampa real estate market? Are the sales expected to increase? Are the prices?

Asked by Sue, Tampa, FL Sun Feb 3, 2008

working with an agent and I want to double check the information.

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Jeff Launiere, PA’s answer
Jeff Launiere…, , Tampa, FL
Mon Feb 4, 2008
The biggest problem Sue, is who do you listen to. Back in 2003 and 2004 there were those saying do not buy now, the market is about to crash. The thing is people that bought back then can still make a good profit, and probably will not face a loss anytime soon. Then in 2005 there were many saying the market was just going to keep going gangbusters. They were all so wrong as we now know today. The housing market is much like the stock market, and that is to buy low and sell high. The only problem is when is the low time and when is the high time.

When I watch the Sunday money shows on Fox, CNN or the others there is one so called money expert saying we will see another home prices drop another 50%, then another saying 2008 is going to see a big rebound, another saying 2009, and another saying it will take another ten years. Which one is right? Or none of them?

My guess is that 2008 will be another tough year just based on the amount of inventory that we have. This January has been my most busy January since 2005 as far as buyers looking at homes, although many are still not committed to buying. The problem is I speak to many other agents and some are seeing the same thing, while others say they have absolutely no business. If many of these buyers commit to purchase, we could actually see prices stabilize or maybe even increase slightly.

And what effect with the portability of the new tax ammendment that passed have? I believe the tax reduction will have little or no effect, however I believe the portability where one can bring their tax savings from one home to the next could have a positive effect.

If you are thinking of buying to stay in the home for more than a few years, then I believe it is a great time to buy, especially if your agent helps you to find the best buys. Just like with the stock market, the housing market is a great investment if you are looking long-term. It is when you purchase a home such as those in 2005 that planned on buying a home and turning around and selling it days or months later for a huge profit. Much of the excess inventory we now have is these flipping investments rather than a true housing crisis. Once we get rid of the excess inventory prices will recover.
4 votes
Theace, , Tampa, FL
Sat Feb 16, 2008
Americans Selling Homes See Prices Go Below Mortgage (Update2)

By Kathleen M. Howley

Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- When Mary Kamanu paid $409,000 for a house in Tampa, Florida, she never imagined that three years later it would be worth about 20 percent less and she would have to pay the bank more than $80,000 just to sell the place.

``I'm completely upside-down on my mortgage, like a lot of people,'' said Kamanu, who wants to move 12 miles away to live with her fiancé in a suburb of Tampa. ``I know I'm going to have to come up with a big chunk of change.''

By the end of this year as many as 15 million U.S. households may owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, according to an estimate from Jan Hatzius, chief U.S. economist of New York-based Goldman Sachs Group Inc. That may fuel an increase in foreclosures, erode prices, and increase mortgage bond losses, he said in a Feb. 1 report.

``If borrowers who are underwater go into foreclosure, the properties are likely to be sold at discount prices and will further depress the price of housing,'' said Robert Engle, a Nobel laureate in economics who teaches at New York University's Stern School of Business in Manhattan. ``It becomes a spiral.''

Thirty-nine percent of people who purchased a home two years ago already owe more than they can sell it for, according to a Feb. 12 report from Zillow.com, a real estate data service. Only 3.2 percent who bought five years ago are in that situation, the report said.

Prices Fall

Almost half of the borrowers who took out subprime mortgages in the last two years won't have any equity left if home prices drop an additional 10 percent, New York-based UBS AG analysts led by Laurie Goodman wrote in a report yesterday.

Home prices probably will decline 10.5 percent this year and 5.6 percent next year after falling 13.7 percent in 2007, according to Fannie Mae, the world's largest mortgage buyer. New foreclosures averaged about 2,900 a day in the fourth quarter, double the pace of a year earlier, according to RealtyTrac Inc., an Irvine, California-based real estate data company.

Cities in California, Ohio, Florida and Michigan accounted for three-quarters of the 20 U.S. metropolitan areas with the most foreclosures in 2007, RealtyTrac said in a report today.

``If people owe more on their mortgage than their house is worth, a substantial number of them will give their keys back,'' said Kenneth Rosen, head of the University of California's Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics.

No Options

Refinancing won't be an option for homeowners with negative equity who have mortgage rates that are spiking, he said. About a third of U.S. borrowers have adjustable-rate home loans, according to the Federal Housing Finance Board in Washington.

``They will lack refinancing ability, and will obviously be under financial strain as their rates adjust,'' Rosen said. ``We're going to see credit card delinquencies rise and car loan delinquencies rise as a result.''

As many as 5 million U.S. homeowners may have mortgages that exceed the value of their homes by the end of this year, according to estimates from Rosen. He said he expects a 16 percent decline in home prices from 2006 to 2009, compared with Hatzius' estimate of a 22 percent drop.

Falling prices and rising foreclosures are a threat to an already slowing economy since many homeowners used their equity to finance purchases such as cars or computers.

Sunset Wedding

U.S. property owners took out about $318 billion of equity from their homes in 2006 by refinancing home loans, according to Freddie Mac, the world's second-largest mortgage buying company. Add to that $146.2 billion lent in home equity lines of credit, according to the Federal Reserve.

In all, $2.2 trillion of home equity has been liquidated since 2001, which was the first of five years of record-setting house prices and sales.

Kamanu refinanced her house in May 2007 and owes $415,000 on her mortgage. Homes in her neighborhood now sell for about $330,000, she said. The median home price in Florida dropped 15 percent from a year earlier in December, according to the state's association of Realtors.

Kamanu said she doesn't want to put her life on hold until the housing market improves. She's planning a sunset wedding later this year on the beach in Tampa, about half a mile from her property, even as she waits for a buyer.

Relying on Luck

She said she's willing to sell the three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,272-square foot house fully furnished and include two wide- screen televisions to entice a buyer. The home has a fireplace and a two-car garage.

``I'm hearing it might be a year or two before the housing market comes back, and I can't wait that long,'' said Kamanu, 38. ``I'm relying on luck, hoping that someone will come along and fall in love with the house, like I did.''
2 votes
Theace, , Tampa, FL
Sat Feb 16, 2008
Gary, Gary , Gary, you really have lost it my old friend. The other day you were ranting and raving about how it is the best time to buy LOL. Today and yesterday you've not only been attacking me for my straight forward honest answers now you are attacking buyers and sellers alike just because you don't happen to like there take on the real estate market.

Further proof that you are losing it is your statement that house prices might decline to the 2005 levels. Gary, Gary, Gary where have you been my old friend, house prices hit the 2005 levels in late 2007. The only question remains now is when will house prices hit 2000 levels, my guess is late 2008 or early 2009 at the outside.

Now is the worst time to buy.
2 votes
Gary De Pury, , Pasco County, FL
Sat Feb 16, 2008

Where do you gather your information? I will put my education against yours any day of the week. Oh, it’s REALTORS®

I love moronic comments based on one set of biased statistics and a grievance.

Anyway, to the question;


I can’t predict what is going to happen later this afternoon, much less than I can predict the future. What I can do is tell you what I see and the reasons to buy or not to buy.

Interest rates are very low…if your credit is good, you will have the best opportunity that I have ever seen to get a great rate.

Inventory is high. There are a lot of folks competing for your buying dollar, putting you at an advantage in the pricing game.

Seller Motivation is high. For the same reasons that you are hesitant, sellers are trying to sell. Some are moving up and others are downsizing, but the motivation is there.

BUT…All of those things are like that for a reason. The market has been soft and it is anybody’s guess as to what to do. I know what I think and I know what I am doing with my cash. Investing!

But here is the downside. The market could continue to fall. It could even possibly fall all the way to 2005 price levels. Not likely, but it could. (I could get hit by a bus or crash my Cessna today too)

Mortgages are harder to come by for those with less than stellar credit, removing some buyers from the market…so if all of a sudden, you MUST sell, it will be harder.

Our Governor is working on more tax cuts for property owners. I have spoken to him about this personally and it is one of his biggest items for his tenure as our State Executive. But he fears that Cities will simply levy other taxes on we citizen/consumers to make up the shortfall. If that happens, it could create an issue depending on where your house is situated. I am personally only buying in Pasco County now.

Lastly, the media is going to continue to harp on any bad news. Economists (you know, the ones who did graduate high school) NEVER rely on news papers to determine the state of the economy. We rely on real economic factors and world wide trends. All of those things are pointing at a huge rebound on all fronts by the second quarter of 08. (The 1990’s Japanese Real Estate Market coincided with huge corruption scandals, a weak stock market, [called the NIKKEI BUBBLE], an over inflated Yen and high interest rates, we are in an inverse of those four items, well except the corruption with Hillary trying to come back)

My true advice to you is that you can go very wrong if you buy today and sell tomorrow, but if you are planning on staying in a house for 3 or 4 years, you are going to experience a huge up tick.

Gary De Pury
Bay Vista Realty & Investments, Inc.
Chairman, Communications Committee
Director, Florida Association of Realtors
2 votes
Paula Bean, , Orlando, FL
Sun Feb 3, 2008
What is predicted is anyone's opinion... I've seen everything from it will get better in a year, to it will be in the tank for 3 yrs.

It would be nice if we had a crystal ball and knew the answer, but nobody does. I highly agree with Phil though that you will know when it hits bottom when the prices start escalating ;-)

The only problem with that is once that happens, you are too late. Not only that, but if you are selling a house to buy another, it's pretty much a wash due to the interest you are paying on the present loan.

If this isn't your situation, or you are an investor, then take advantage of the great interest rates, the newly passed amendment on taxes, and if you are looking for something to live and be happy in, bite the bullet and go for it now.

There have been more experienced people than us trying to play the game and we lost. The best thing to do is what makes sense today.

If you are looking for a great Tampa agent to help you with this, let me know - I know some good people I can put you in touch with.
Web Reference:  http://www.HomeOrlando.com
2 votes
Phil Fowler, Agent, Brandon, FL
Sun Feb 3, 2008
Hi Sue,

The real estate market is cyclical. It will rebound we just don't know when. Actually, the only way we know that it has hit bottom is when prices begin to increase. Remember, this is Florida. People are buying and selling properties every day.
Web Reference:  http://www.PhilFowler.com
2 votes
Thomas, Home Buyer, 33569
Sun Feb 17, 2008
Let me also answer your question about why I posted some of the facts about agents (that you still haven't disputed). I have watched many young troopers be preyed on by people that did not give them all the facts about a market. For example, they were approving everyone who could fog a mirror over the past three years and that 'sold forward' demand but also resulted in these young soldiers getting in over their head.

I have heard the argument, 'they're adults, they should 'buyer beware'" but the person that could have been telling them, 'you can't afford the PITI on this house, let's look at another' didn't. I was very fortunate, I was transferred here in 2005 and some people gave me links to Case-Schiller and others.

I really wish this bubble had not grown to the proportions it did. It is going to hurt a lot of good people (readers can decide if you're one of those).

When is your radio show on, I would like to listen to the soothing voice of someone telling me, 'buy, buy, buy'.
1 vote
Thomas, Home Buyer, 33569
Sun Feb 17, 2008
Gary, I know your business is probably hurting but the bottom line is you have engaged in nothing but personal attacks. You obviously know nothing about computers because I am not those other people and Trulia can tell you that fact. I don't hate realtors, they are just salespeople out for their own interests. You didn't comment on the links because they contain facts. I figure you must be an out of shape, disgruntled non-com who thinks that they weren't promoted because it's all a conspiracy but you are smarter than all the officers because you talk daily with the governor (at least according to some of your more lucid posts).

Again, I'm sorry the great 21st Century Real Estate ponzi scheme collapsed. Here's another great link, although I believe you engage in a bit of confirmation bias, of course, you're so educated, you do know what that means right?

You mentioned on a previous post that digits are forever. They are. I'm sure real estate agent ethics only apply to other realtors when talking about other realtors though. It is nice to see the true colors of your occupation shine through. Please see the link below and wonder why real estate "pros" are at the bottom of the list.
1 vote
Gary De Pury, , Pasco County, FL
Sat Feb 16, 2008
OK, Thomas...if you are going to continue to BS the crowd, at least use the same name.>How many names are you up to now...Barbara and dighead. You are really disturbing that you would spend so much time creating false ID's, using more than one computer since I caught you with the same IP address and now you are using the same language patterns and misspellings as your other alter ego.

You are ridiculous and a complete moron. But I would love to have you on my radio show. I will give you plenty of time to expose your hatred of REALTORS. But at this point I am getting curious...why...I mean you are obviously disturbed about something. If you have a real issue, did you attempt to remedy it before you created all of these false identities and started blogging? Didd you sue your Realtor, did you foreclose on a house that a lousy Realtor sold to you. Seriously man...why do you hate Realtors so much and why are you following me around in the blogs and pretending to be Barbara, Theace, Thomas and who knows who else.

If it makes you feel cool to log in and out and vote for your own posts...OK, but wouldn't trying to meet a girl be more fun...???
1 vote
Thomas, Home Buyer, 33569
Sat Feb 16, 2008
Gary, I also noticed that you are a member of the military. I responded to your vitriol with facts and provided a link. You didn't dispute the fact that the majority of realtors only have a HS diploma and yet are advising on the single biggest purchase of person's life. You also didn't counter Case-Schiller. Fishwhatever, the paid economist out of UCF is now recanting his bottom calling. Finally, Japan was a massive real estate bubble not just a stock market bubble. Entire books have been written about it and it took a decade for it to recover.

Now to argue with myself, Tampa is beautiful and will continue to grow into a great metropolitan city. I want to buy here, just not now. If I find a great REO or new purchase, I will get it but I am willing to wait.

BTW, I have read your other advice about using a lawyer when purchasing. I will definitely follow that advice.
1 vote
Thomas, Home Buyer, 33569
Sat Feb 16, 2008
Gary, obviously you're incapable of reading a post. I mentioned Case-Schiller and I attached a link with a great news aggregator. I have two graduate degrees from accredited universities, not like some in your 'order taker' field (pls refer to NAR stats on Ed level). Also, I'm a member of a true profession, the profession of arms. You see, there is criteria to be a profession; common language, common educational requirements, self-policing; that is why there are only three recognized professions: medical doctor, lawyer and military officer. Keep on cheerleading, Mr. Director, the credit bubble will continue to pull this market down. You will manage to convince some more knife catchers but the information is now publicly available and there is nothing NAR or FAR can do about it.
1 vote
Thomas, Home Buyer, 33569
Sat Feb 16, 2008
Sue, you obviously have doubts. Continue to research and save for a down payment. I'm banking money now and waiting. The banks will have to put the REO on the market soon and that will further depress prices. BTW, most realtors (TM) have a high school diploma and have no economic training. They are however incredible cheerleaders. Based on Case-Schiller, prices will drop through 2009 and than stay stagnate for a few years just as the Japanese market did in the 90's. Please check out the link and you will see tons of information. It is a great news aggregator. Good luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.housebubble.com
1 vote
Theace, , Tampa, FL
Sat Aug 16, 2008
Bill, what bright spark told you we are approaching the bottom? The bottom my freind is at least a year to two years off and prices will continue to fall anywhere from 20% to 35% during this freefall.

The light that you are seeing at the end of the tunnell is a train coming!

An honest real estate pro.
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sun Jun 1, 2008
As prices continue to drop....and as we approach the "bottom," logically, activity will increase.

The Tampa area has been identified as a "Resilient market," and is predicted to be one of the first Florida cities to find its way out of the market correction. many experts are hoping the November Presidential election will bring good tidings. Only time will tell.
0 votes
Katrina Made…, Agent, Tampa, FL
Mon Feb 4, 2008
HI Sue,
Here is my take on a blog post I wrote a while back. RIGHT NOW IS the best time to buy in this market. Any its the best time it's been in about 5 years, if you ask me. That can be a very 'opinionated question', but we are seeing signs that the market is already changing.

0 votes
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