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Is Florida housing a bubble? One economist says no...

Posted by: Dean Foust on September 09, 2005

Few markets have boomed like Florida. Prices there are up 33% in the past year, up 105% over the past five years, and have risen a honking 180.7% over the past decade. Amid all the concerns that Florida is a bubble just waiting to be pricked, one economist, Mark Vitner of Wachovia Corp. (who in a previous like was an economist for a Florida bank) has come out with a new report arguing that Florida isn’t really a bubble. While Vitner currently works out of Charlotte, N.C., he knows a little about the Sunshine State: Prior to joining Wachovia, he was an economist for Barnett Banks in Jacksonville, Fla., for about nine years. His arguments: The robust growth in Florida’s population, coupled with the inability of Florida builders to get houses up fast enough, has created a case where demand for single-family homes is vastly outstripping supply. Florida homeowners will be heartened by Vitner’s analysis. Read on…

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Reader Comments


September 12, 2005 12:17 PM

That report is an excellent read.

I still disagree on some parts though. I live in the Tampa metro area and know that many jobs created here are not the high paying ones. Call center jobs---$40k a year. Not horrible, but it's a stretch to afford a $250k house on that kind of salary, espeically once interest rates rise back to historical norms.

Other factors including communting times, lack of career opportunities, and spraw (yes it's happening here as well) may cause some urban professionals (yuppies) to move back up north. I am one of those yuppies, and the price increases on everything from housing to insurance is enough to make me want to say "enough is enough" and get a better paying job with better opportunities up north. Winters might be colder but the wallet will be fuller.


September 12, 2005 03:08 PM

But this argument suggests it is a bubble because once construction catches up with demand, and there is no reason to expect supply not to catch up with demand eventually though it could take a recession to do so, prices could fall.


October 31, 2005 10:33 AM

I don't think the housing bubble will burst in Florida. Too many people want to move there. A lot of baby boomers from the north and people from Europe have the money to buy at peak prices, as the dollar continues to slide.
There may be a slow down and a slight decrease in value but there won't be a crash. Florida is too popular with a lot of people wanting to retire there


October 31, 2005 04:11 PM


I don't understand your comment. You think that people will want to move to FL and live in a subdivision once they retire?

I think FL is going to slow down - as more poeple move here and turn the "new south" into the north it will lose all of it's allure except the weather - and the way it looks, hurricanes are doing a good job of making the weather look crappy.

I thought the dollar was rising as well.


November 9, 2005 01:11 PM

Just sold my house for 480k, i built it for 150k. My taxes are 3k the person buying my house will pay about 8k to 9k. My house insurance has more than double. The new owner got a estimate of 2k. Ten thousand dollars is quite a bit on money for taxes and insurance. I am taking my profit to smith lake in alabama. Taxes 400 dollars a year, for a bigger house with 2 car garage and a guest house, with a pavillion. 3 acre's of land, 535 ft of water frontage. Its the third cleanest lake in the country. As soon as people start getting their new tax and insurance bills, they will wake up. Home inventories are rising, that means only one thing to me, prices will go down. Its already starting in some markets. There are plenty of places that are nicer than florida, you just have to look around.


November 9, 2005 01:20 PM

The dollar has been rising for months, so are interest rates, taxes, house insurance, fpl bills are up too. Hurricanes are starting to get on people's nerves also. Florida better do something about their tax system. People will get sick of paying huge tax bills.


November 14, 2005 10:32 PM

As a young professional living in South Florida I can attest to the fact that the housing market is OUT OF CONTROL. While everyone is reveling in the obscene amounts of money they've made selling their first home or buying expensive one named condos like zenith or pinnacle I think we're all overlooking one very important fact...who's going to work? If anyone honestly believes that the baby boomer retirees and South American and European vactioners want to work they are sorely mistaken. When people with advanced degrees can barely find a job paying enough to move out of their parents homes they begin to look at other areas o relocate to alt


November 14, 2005 10:35 PM

As a young professional living in South Florida I can attest to the fact that the housing market is OUT OF CONTROL. While everyone is reveling in the obscene amounts of money they've made selling their first home or buying expensive one named condos like zenith or pinnacle I think we're all overlooking one very important fact...who's going to work? If anyone honestly believes that the baby boomer retirees and South American and European vactioners want to work they are sorely mistaken. When people with advanced degrees can barely find a job paying enough to move out of their parents homes they begin to look at other areas o relocate to altogether. In the end the talent that ideally would have helped power south florida's workforce may ultimately have to leave in order to afford some quality of life.


November 17, 2005 02:36 PM

The developing has outpaced the infrastructure in the last two years in the outlying Tampa bay area. Condo townhomes of 200 or more being built on six acre lots feeding out to an already crowded single lane road is all too common. The lack of trees has now created an ozone haze this last year and the temperatures are a record high. The lack of emissions testing for the state means plenty of blue smoke sedans puffing in front of you at a grid locked intersection in front of a new mega walmart. Sorry to sound negative but the developers are just too greedy and the county just wants more tax revenue. They claim there are jobs here and that is true if you want to work at a doctors office or a dry cleaners.

Somebody mentioned call center jobs but Capital One just emptied out their newly built campus of all call center jobs and other companies are doing the same. If you don't mind assisting the elderly that might be the only higher paying job other than being a waitress.

My commute in 2002 was fifteen minutes for a ten mile drive. That same one in the fall of 2005 is now 45 minutes to an hour if it rains.

Jeff Novak

November 18, 2005 12:03 AM

We all are loosing by rising home values if we ever planned on moving within the same market area if the market doesn't tumble back soon. It is a negative to say your house gained 30% last year. The house that you liked a year ago that was only 100k difference in price has increased by 30% too and you must subtract the difference between the two houses to see how this house pulled away from your current homes value. 30% of $200,000 is $60,000. While 30% of
$300,000 is $90,000. You didn't gain a thing you actually lost the difference between the two gains which is $90,000 - $60,000 = $30,000. Plus of course the taxes now are not on a 300,000 house but a 390,000 house. Insurance is higher and interest rates are on there way too. If you do this for two or three years you can see how the house of your dreams keeps pulling further and further out of reach. Enjoy the Equity Boom?? This will collapse on itself as more and more people realize they cannot move unless they want to loose money by paying too much for a home. Your dollar will be considerably weaker then your new neighbor's dollar because you are paying much more for a similar home due to the increase. Your $100 bill might be worth as little as their $50 bill and if you want your hard earned money to be worth less then enjoy the move. This is a market that traps the home owner and depresses the new buyers. It is negative and will not prevail long. The only temporary winners were the investors falsely driving the market higher by taking advantage of the strong rate of returns that were rolling forward due to the new creative home financing, therefore, creating more rate of return as more investors jumped onto the band wagon. This investment pull will decrease and sell out. Fear will be inevitable as interest rates rise and more people realize they do not want to move to purchase these investment properties because the new taxes are not worth the move. It will be the "Trapped Home Buyer Syndrome" that forces the market to crumble. Inventory will increase, these investors will get nervous because no one is willing to pay the new taxes and feel they are moving up enough in the world by spending allot more money for a home that is not much better then the one they are currently living in. People will start making offers. The downfall has begun and it is a good thing. Remember, the larger the number the faster it increases if percentages are constant for both a small number and a large number and the faster they decrease as well. So that home of your dreams may come back to reality faster then your home will fall. Enjoy the Slow Down!


December 1, 2005 04:16 PM

People wake up housing bubble burst not if when. (at least here in Florida). In a nutshell salary 2005=salary 2000, house 2005 = house 2000 x 2. Here is the balance sheet for myself and a lot of middle income folks such as myself. Gross pay 70k me 20k wife. Net pay me after IRS, Social Security, Medicare, 401k(since we no longer get pension and probably not SS in 2040 either) and health care = 40k. Wife = 15k. Bills = 2k per month not including food or gas. House with real mortgage not in ghetto = 220k. Payment at 6 percent real mortgage not buy now bankrupcy later ARM, (with property taxes) 1600 per month.------leaves grand total of 900 dollars a month for food, gas, clothing, recreation, christmas, pet food, you get the point. Folks we make gross 90K per year that is alot compared to average family (AND WE HAVE NO CHILDREN). These numbers are not fudged, sure I have 300 per month student loan + wife 300 month credit card, who doesnt have something like this??

--Bottom line, we can not afford to buy a house in Tampa Florida on gross 90k per year. Many in my neighborhood where I rent, are landscapers, cops, etc.. with ARM loans. Now if we can't afford 220k with 90k gross per year how is the truckdriver neighbor with secretary wife going to make the payment when it is 1600 per month??

--Do the math, its simple really, noone can afford houses soon, noone can sell them, noone can sell them price goes down = bust

--ARM loans 50 dollar a month mortgage payment now (sarcasm) jumps to 1600 per month, average family can not afford it, sells it, every 2nd house on the street is up for sale, what happens to the price? ARM'ers are upside down on loan because they are forced to reduce sale price.

Basically, the real estate market made alot of money for get rich quicker's and and people who bought several years ago, however all good things come to an end. Talk to any realtor, the last couple of years brought a plethera of baby-boomer first time home investors with second/third home investment properties. This is a new variable in the housing market. People with one house will live in it and ride out the bad time, people loosing rapidly on an investment will sell and cut their losses.

--Time to wake up, don't buy the realtor/mortgage broker hype of take out an ARM for 200k now sell for 450k in two years, its just hogwash..

Susan Parker

December 15, 2005 04:51 PM

Real Estate in any desirable coastal area will not decrease in value; there is nothing to replace these properties......Thirty two years ago we paid $26,000. for a small house in Belmont Shores, CA - that property now sells for at least 15 times what we paid -


December 28, 2005 07:30 PM

Will the bubble burst soon? For the sake of my community (Naples, FL) I hope it does. Young professionals cannot afford the average housing price of $500K with the few well paying jobs there are here. The school district, fire and Sherriff's departments, and hospitals can't recruit anyone. The same goes for banks, stores, and restaurants - who are constantly hiring - can't find good stable help which in turn creates a lack of quality service. Construction work is abound but there's no one to work which creates ridiculous delays in building homes and infrastructure. All this work is here, and Naples is popular with retirees and the wealthy, but the average worker cannot afford a small house in town at a price which could get you a much larger house with more amenities elsewhere. Most of the affordable housing is in Lehigh Acres or Fort Myers, which are rising in prices as well, and don't have as many jobs as in Naples. Those who make that commute can make it at best in 45 minutes or at worst, with a minor fender bender or during winter season, on an already failed road system, a commute time that can rival the largest of American cities. I for one can tell you that the quality of life down here has been on the downward spiral for more than a few years now.


January 2, 2006 01:20 PM

I don't know what the average person in Tampa Florida will do for housing. My Son is a fireman /paramedic. He can not afford to buy even a condo in this area on his salary. I don't know what a lot of the younger people will do, and the sad thing is what will happen to our Firemen, Police, Teachers, and Nurses when they find they can not afford to live in the area they work in. I think all of us in Tampa will lose!


January 8, 2006 12:28 PM

I made the blunder of moving from Memphis,
TN to Tampa, FL about 18 months ago. It has
been nothing but frustration since. I
honestly have no idea how people can live
down here. I think there are two classes of
people: the ones that beat the wave and the
ones that are drowning in its wake. My
wife and I have decided that we will
continue to rent until something drastic
happens. At the very least we can cut
and run if things continue on this course.


January 11, 2006 10:11 AM

The market in all of South Florida is ridiculous. I make 70+ a year and refuse to pay 200,000+ for those pathetic apartment/condo conversions which is about all you can get for that amount of money. I'll move before I pay the prices they're asking down here. (Palm Beach - Broward area).

Gary Anderson

January 11, 2006 11:45 AM

Hi, my uncle lived for years in Belmont Shore. He bought a house there on Quincy St for 24 thousand in the 60's. It was where I learned how to swim, in the back bay facing Naples, Ca. It is beautiful, but the price was driven up by the Japanese. Now, of course if a rich person in LA cannot breath the smog and wants the coast, little Belmont Shore may resist price reduction longer than most places. However, if the speculators leave, then it could be subject to severe price drop, which would wash out those who just want to be rich. If you are there for the long term you probably are ok, and I would guess that a lot of homes there are paid for.


January 21, 2006 09:14 PM

I recently moved from Memphis, TN as well the
prices of housing down here are insane St.Petersburg is defently insane 1 bedroom ,1 bath condo downtown area $150,000. The condos on the beach $500,000. I could buy a 3 story ,2 car garage underground pool, tennis and basket ball court with circle drive and natural gas burning lights, on at least 20 to 30 acres of land for what they are asking here! I just wonder what happens when no one buys? I mean the place is great and all but what real attractions are their in St. Petersburg & Tampa? My point is if I'm going to fork out that kind of money why not live at Disney !! It's the happiest place on earth. I can tell you this place sure as H@ll is not . Everyone seems to be from upstate NY. They
have either ridden in a taxi their whole life or
taken the subway ,because they sure don't know how to drive. The place also smells like as which I recall NY did too!!!!
( Welcome to Florida) sunshine state my a@!

gary tillman

January 22, 2006 11:36 AM

just amazing to read the comments yes some are very true indeed'ive been living in florida for 50 years born ans raised.there will a bubble big time like back in the 1970's with townhouse same sinero buy buy than whamo hit bottom.flroida was always based on how much the citizens make until the developers came down from out of state and the mortgages where affordable to the comeon citizen.i think alot of these developers and realiter's nedd to get some florida history.and please dont let these guys fool you into to thinking that it wont. oh by the way have i forgot the high insurance you pay as well.most of the 72% homes in flroida are why over priced and the taxes are the same so buyer bewhare of what you buy and check the history of the home and see for you're self thanks gary


February 13, 2006 08:33 AM

As you can see residential resale's in 2006 are looking great relative to January 2005. Almost the exact same number of sales and contracts were written and closed during January 2005 as January 2006. However, the only difference that I can see is more listings then before were placed on the market. I am not sure if this is a slight panic by the general public to cash out (because they were looking for a slow and December/January always is slower then the rest of the year) but the total sales and contracts suggests there is no reason to list their homes and cash out. However, if the trend continues with people not seeing the stats and listing too much supply will through the demand out of balance and they will create there own slow and allow for low ball offers due to oversupply and false panic. Enjoy the stats.

steve from Detroit

February 13, 2006 05:46 PM

I moved to Florida a year ago after my brother's house almost tripled in 3 years (New Tampa). house prices are starting to fall as speculators try to dump. It was inevitable, Florida's low personal income level(no economic base here) could never support those prices. Also,only 53% of Fori-tards finish high school, and the average IQ is 72. Since there is no income tax,there is little state government(bad schools, no prisons, shockingly inadequate roads, and no consumer protection of any kind) quality of life is extremely low. The Baby Boomers are moving in already, but then moving out and half-way back home when they see the low quality of life.(the term is "half-backers", according to a northern GA real estate agent I spoke with)(yes me too!)
Due to the Baby Boomer's mis-begotten retirement planning, they know they will have working retirements, but they won't do it for Florida's hardscrabble wages and bubble prices/taxes.
This is Florida's 5th real estate boom/bust, it's not like it hasn't happened before.
Also, car insurance cost is 3X Detroit! (DETROIT!)
Detroit is looking better all the time, crime levels are pretty comparable to here.
And don't even get me going About the NY/Long Islanders


February 14, 2006 03:53 PM

Steve from Detroit, your comments are rather harsh about Florida. My entire family has raised our children here for close to 100 years. I am a nurse, one brother is a Dr. and another brother a career Air Force retiree. Your whole theory on IQ is proved false with my family and I am sure that it is an unfair remark for countless other Floridians. I assure you Detroit needs you far more than we do down here just for the massive welfare/pension gig ya got going in Detroit. The real reason prices are escalating so rapidly is lower interest rates and 1000 people moving here daily....I heard 6000 people move to Orlando a month on average. The demand exceeded the supply.


February 16, 2006 02:18 PM

In general, I'd have to agree with Steve. Pamela's comment just reminds us that there are always exceptions to the rule.


February 16, 2006 08:51 PM

My wife and I currently rent in St. Petersburg. We are a young couple and have been married for 6 years and we have been trying to buy a house ever since. I recently landed a decent job and now between the 2 of us we make about 85K/year. I remember looking at houses 6 years ago for 80K (because that was all that we could afford at the time). This is completely rediculous today. We are looking at 2/2/1 houses in St Pete for 220K+, which equates to almost 2K/month. We have recently started looking up in Pasco county, where at least the houses are reasonably priced 140-170K, but those houses were around 100K 2 years ago. We want a house so bad, but are unsure what to do. We can now afford those houses in Pasco, but the drive down 19 is going to be terrible. I hope the bubble bursts soon. We are finally at a point in our lives where we have paid off ALL of out debt, saved a few thousand, but are basically being driven to another county to find housing that is over priced, but at least affordable. I am so stressed. I just want a decent house at a decent price. Bubble, hey bubble, its time, please burst soon.


February 17, 2006 01:47 PM

Jason, I grew up in St. Petersburg and by the grace of God my husband and I were able to buy a historical home in old NE a decade ago. Sold out five years ago and headed to Parrish to buy land and a home. stayed five years. My husband after selling that retired at 43 and we now live in Brandon. Try Brandon. Great schools and affordable housing with many choices..Another great place is Dade City. We have 60 acres up in the Ocala area now and a fantastic home in Brandon....Do not despair.Please keep trying and keep an open mind about other areas.


February 18, 2006 06:26 PM

Anyone who thinks there isn't a serious bubble in South Florida is either a real estate agent or living in a cave. The baby boomer myth is a joke! Listen, every baby boomer isn't a financially wealthy individual who has sold his or her house up north for a couple million and looks at a 350K home in Florida as a drop in the bucket. The average boomer has struggled his or her whole life to save some money and isn't going to come to Florida, buy half the house for twice the money and get a job to pay the bills. That is NOT retirement.
Currently over 30% of the building going on in Florida is speculation. That is what driving the market along with low interest rates. I have builder friends who tell me that the market is currently double what it should be. That means that a $350k house should actually be priced at 175k according to building costs vs sales price.
Just hold on and things will return to normal. I sold a house on the water that was my dream home for 4 times what I paid for it in '96 and am currently renting until the bubble bursts. At that time I will be happy to buy up foreclosures with the money I have in the bank. Just be patient Florida. Sanity will return


February 24, 2006 03:35 PM

I am a young professional here in Florida and I have been waiting for a couple of years until I could get the financial stability I needed to get into real state. Now I am terrified I don't know if I should buy a condo for $200K or wait and wait and wait as I have been doing until something different happens.. I make a decent salray but I really don't knos if it's worth risking getting into real state at this point. Is a condo from teh mid 80's really worth $200K?


February 26, 2006 12:45 AM

The Real State bubble in Florida is now a Big Trap for everybody. You feel free and ready to purchase a house? Keep waiting about more 1 year and get a good deal.

John McQuilkin

February 28, 2006 04:39 PM

I grew up in St. Petersburg. I've lived in Los Angeles since 1988. Florida's market is now very simular to Los Angeles's. As a Realtor myself, I do feel both markets are largely over inflated.
I also feel the market will come down over the next several years. When working with buyers I tell them my feelings about the market heading downward. I've advised many clients to wait and see if the market softens. Some clients feel I'm wrong and proceed to buy, which is fine as long as they aren't hoping to flip the property. If the market does turn down, they will be able to ride it out market conditions as long as they don't sell.

I've personally sold my home in Los Angeles and I'm waiting as well, ready to buy once the market softens. Most likely in Florida.

I feel although L.A. is grossly over valued, Florida is at much greater risk, due to many factors, especially income. If you are curious to see what homes are listed for in Los Angeles, go to my site:
Click on Search the MLS - you better be seated, I don't want you fainting at the sight of 2+1 780 square feet fixer bungalows priced at $525,000 !!!


April 10, 2006 11:50 PM

I am a college grad in my late 20's, born and raised in Miami. I CANT for the life of me buy a house or condo without using thise ridiculous ARMS loans. ATTENTION PEOPLE: Baby boomers are not moving down here. Most pre-construction condos and housing are being bought up by speculators. I have a friend that works for a developer and he says that people come in and buy three or four units at one time.... I am just sitting at home living with my parents until the bubble burst and I pray that it will soon. I would love nothing more than to buy a condo on the beach at some crazy reduced price.


April 15, 2006 11:49 PM

Tampa & St. Pete's quality of life wasn't bad in the last 20 years considering low pay but a fair housing market. Now that the housing market has sky rocketed, I'd rather pay for a nice home out of the state of Florida. $200k should buy a home you are proud of, not a Rondo (apartment/condo). If I had to live in a Rondo, commute on streets that can not handle the current traffic flow and drive in a traffic jam for 90 minutes to get to the beach I'd go nuts. While you are waiting for the bubble to burst in Tampa & St. Pete, travel the country and find a new haven to call home (preferably one that hosts a good majority of English speaking citizens). Will the bubble burst or will the 2006 Hurricane Season take care of Pinellas? "First one out is a rotten egg"!


April 17, 2006 02:47 PM

Born and raised Florida Cracker here. Again, 12 of the top 30 metro areas for job growth are currently in Florida. I agree with Rob to drive around the country and find a little slice of harmony elsewhere. There are 3.4 million people headed this way in the next ten years. I believe we call that a Yankee hurricane. Investment opportunities are in the rural areas. Ocala, Wildwood, Micanopy (Sorry guys to let that cat out of the bag) and a host of other small towns.
Florida at this time is a "Red State" and reaps the positives as well as a few negatives (Developers) for their pro growth initiatives. I love my State and am proud to call her my home.


April 19, 2006 08:22 PM

People - Florida real estate is still afforable compare to the west coast. My sister just moved from Miami to Seattle.

Housing prices in Seattle was pretty mellow for the last five years, as the NW economy tend to lag the rest of the country by about three years.

A typical 3 br/1 bath craftsman house in Seattle (in a decent neighborhood) will cost you about $500k. The price increases are starting accelerate as our economy start to really pick up. A 2200 Sq ft new house in the burbs, with 5000 sq ft lot, and 4 br/2 ba will start around $500k. Spend an hour commuting into the city.

Northern California and the LA Area's cost is double of Seattle's.

On that note, I think Tampa is relatively affordable compared to most growing urban areas, especially with the amentities, activities, and job opportunities. Try not to compare the prices to other states where the economy is either stagnant, land is plentiful, or wages are lower.


April 25, 2006 08:14 PM

Bubble? No Way.. NOT EVEN CLOSE. At least not for Miami and the Downtown Condos going up.

Why? The sea of Baby Boomers, The Stong Euro, Wealthy South Americans and Islanders looking for second homes and safe havens and ... MTV, the Media and public perception of Miami. Accurate or not, Miami is sexy, exciting and different. Don't forget warm and sunny year round.

Fear of Huricanes? Not a real factor for new highrise construction.

The Miami skyline is changing so fast if you've not been down in 6 months you won't believe what's going on.

We get calls every day asking about Miami. Outside interest has grown tremendously in Miami. Miami is a magnet .. as I walk the streets you can feel a city growing into it's rightful place in the Global spotlight.

Sure there are nay sayers who caution you to be careful and we've always had the scared and ignorant warnings about the dangers of Miami .. That's all based on ignorance and stupidity. Hell, North florida tries to steal tourism by advertising, "The Other Florida" .. You can read between the lines in those ads. Yes Miami is very diverse.. Yes Miami is different .. Yes, Miami comes with all the problems of big multicultural cities where money and power moves around. But Miami is also surprisingly rich in culture, jobs and history. Miami is inevitable. If you travel frequently and have not been down here, you are probably going out of your way to avoid this great city.

In the next few months the new and Art Center opens. The streets and lots surrounding it look like war torn Iraq with all the buildings being blown up and replaced with grand Skyscrapers. 20,000+ units comign in, many to be purchased by speculators... Reason to be concerned? NO

I was in NYC last week.. condos in the upper west side for 2, 3, 4 million... You can still buy brand new Downtown units with water views for under 500k.

[miami preconstruction condos]
[miami condos for sale]
[miami downtown highrise condos for sale]

For more information:


April 26, 2006 02:15 PM

Wake up and smell the coffee realtors! Quit justifying the prices.

Tampa, Sarasota, Bradenton have homes sitting on the market for months and months. A home that was priced as others similar for 1.2 million in Bradenton has been reduced to $799,900 after six months. It's still $200,00 more than they paid in 2002. Obviously the seller isn't an investor as they aren't concerned about everyone elses property values. They just need to get their money out.

Face reality, the Europeans aren't investing since UK investors have thousands of rentals in Florida. so many rentals make it hard to even cover the cost of their mortgage, taxes and insurance. It was a great investment for the Europeans when they could get a four bedroom house for less than $200K

The prices doubled and tripled due to investors who are now sitting on their houses. Whose going to buy them? I wouldn't want a house that's been sitting empty for a year or more. Shame on the builders for getting greedy too! Of course they have lots of room to lower the prices. David Weekley homes is having Red Tag Sales.

This is just the beginning. The "creative financing" hasn't played a part yet. Give it another year and we will start seeing foreclosures. What about the hurricane insurance? Who can get it let alone afford it?

Comparing Florida to California is ridiculous! California boasts the best climate as well as scenery! As a Floridian, I love Florida, but come on it's not California. California doesn't have the bugs, humidity, constant hurricane evacuations.........

Many of my Yankee neighbors are moving back after only a year or two. Can't take the heat, bugs..... Many are choosing North/South Carolina.

As soon as the realtors face reality and start accepting the decline in the real estate market, the sooner we can get back to a normal market. A home is to live in, it's not the NYSE!


April 27, 2006 08:33 AM

a florida author wrote tongue in cheek that mother nature hasn't finished with Florida yet. he continues that all those high rises on narrow spits of land in Miami, well, they may eventually make good mooring for yachts that visit the flooded lowlands. If the water doesn't drive you out, the taxes/insurance will. $8,000 tax on a $400K house, and $7,500 insurance on a pre-1992 construction home. South Florida is a dream that the American Middle Class has already been denied.


May 2, 2006 02:03 PM

So, where would you recommend for reseasonable priced housing in FL? Or does it exist? Are you seeing prices decreases greatly in Tampa or are the builders just letting the houses sit? What about housing resales- are sellers coming down much on prices yet? How about Jacksonville - housing prices & job opportunities? The high cost of housing in FL is putting us off moving & buying there! Any recommendations on where to relocate in a warm state with decent job opportunituies for 2 MBA's?


May 3, 2006 12:25 PM

You won't see the major drop in Tampa or surrounding areas for another year. The realtors are convincing sellers they will get their prices. The houses are sitting on the market. Only the serious sellers are lowering the price. I would say at least 35% of homes on the market are owned by a realtor or investor. They want to get their money. These houses are sitting empty or have "Castle Keepers" living in them for free rent.

Florida is a great place to live, but unfortunately, the investors have ruined great neighborhoods! Check out Lakewood Ranch in Bradenton. Awesome place to live, work and play. If you go to, type in Bradenton zip code 34202, you'll find over 500 homes for sale. The cheapest home is for $349K and is only 1500 sq ft. No yard, no pool..... These are the homes the europeans and northerners were buying for investments. Most of them are empty. The house is actually worth around $150,000. Because the small houses are so pricey the larger homes are even pricier. What you can get for $800K is only a $400K home. 1 million is a $700K......The investors have ruined this wonderful community. Every other house has a for sale sign. Rentals are popping up everywhere.

This is the trend all over Florida. The market is too volatile! I would say, move to Florida. It's awesome. Rent! There are so many rental properties in great areas! You have more to lose than the tax break you get from owning! Don't risk your hard earned money thanks to a bunch of greedy developers and day traders.

Wait for all the creative financing to really hit the fan. Prices will be basement bargain! The salaries are not up to the cost of housing.... When these loans come up, people sitting on their investments will have to bail. People won't be able to make their payments and unfortunately will sell to get out or foreclose. This will effect the more expensive homes too. People who make $200k are living in $1+ million dollar homes. What if they lose their job or have a hardship?

A friend who builds small communities has cpa's for doctors, dentists and other investors come in and try and buy 4 houses at one time. Luckily he has stuck to his guns and wouldn't allow investors. As he says, he builds houses for people to live in! Unfortunately, this has been the case all over Florida and the majority of builders have just worshipped the money god rather than worry about the overall impact on the community they are building.

Jacksonville is way overpriced too! There really isn't an area in Florida that won't be hurt. My preference would be Tampa to relocate. Just don't buy right away. The builders are coming down $30-$50,000. A house in Waterchase, tampa zip code 33626, in 2004 was selling for $400k Now is selling for $700-900K. They encouraged this frenzy by making as much money they could. Now they need to lower their prices more than that. According to many reputable sources, Tampa is anywhere from 30-40% overpriced right now. Not a good time to buy.

Want to move south where it's warmer and have MBA's try Charlotte, NC. Major banking center, great downtown area and housing is unbelievably cheap. Raleigh is also great. However, they are a bit colder in the winter and get more snow. Columbia South carolina, Greenville, SC and many areas in GA are awesome and still relatively cheap. Hurry though, the halfbackers are going to bring up the prices in these areas next.

Phil Dennesen

May 7, 2006 12:06 PM

I am a Florida Realtor/Baby Boomer/Empty Nester who moved here in 2003. At that time Florida Real Estate was a bargain!!...I had cashed in on my high home price in Boston!!...and proceeded to invest in Florida.....Yikes, it was good move!!.....I have since sold all my Real Estate Holdings and Rent a beautiful home for Cheap!!
Why???....A good investor will buy right...then sell right....THE BOOM IS OVER!!!....

Why? Lots to Blame..For One...The Save Our homes Act, causing in my opinion the most unfair property taxes in the country!! ...( Even my Baby Boomer friends in Taxachusetts will no longer move here!)...niether can most Floridians afford to move. Even,into a similar home to the one they currently own. Our legislature is only going to give this a band-aid solution...Sorry Folks..this is killing our market....Wait till this November's Tax Bill comes ...OUCH !! It will be too late by then!!...Most "out of staters" don't know about our property tax problems!!

As a REALTOR , I value my reputation in Florida and tell my buyers (the investors are gone!).....Be careful...! Do not buy a condo/townhome...the price will be(actually is) Falling!!
Single Family, is a safer investment...but only if you treat it "as your home" for the long term...also,if your only going to have a job in Florida for only a few years...Renting Is Best!( get the hint investors...Buy Rental RIETS)

Great Home Buys are now arriving here in Central Florida...the Smart investors are out of the game..the headstrong Investor/Sellers are holding on against hope!!.....The sellers are not going to win this battle ...the laws of economics are taking over...ALSO, the home builders seem to be in trouble...and are releasing the bad news piece meal (maybe trying to save thier stock prices?)
I represent my buyers to get only the best possible price!!
Floridians who have never seen the "low ball offer" ..will have to get used to it!! ( Sorry Sellers)...
While housing bubbles do not Pop (LIKE STOCKS)...they do loose air...
My Advice;...Your Real Estate decision must be for the Long term..."Buy and Hold" five to ten years minimum...Or sell now!!!!! for whatever you can get as quick as you can get it!!

Seller's/Investors take what you can...don't be greedy...your making lots of money( or at least don't loose it by attempting holding on to long for that high price!!)..... Remember the old saying....."In a Fire ...Only the first people to the exits are the ones who survive!!"...............
(Yes ...I always check where the Fire Exits are located in a night club/casino too!! Do You??)


May 8, 2006 08:56 PM

I live in the Bradenton-Sarasota Area. And , you couldn't ask for a nicer climate in the winter, as long as it snows up north, buyers will be here, just wait until the winter of 2006-2007, they will be begging to buy our homes. Yes, it is a buyers market now, but any realtor you talk to said in the past 2 weeks the buyers are really coming out, because they are concerned about the interest rates and as quick as it turned to a buyers market it will turn overnite into a sellers market. Everybody is in real estate to make money, we came down from NJ 13 years ago, and you talk about expensive, our taxes then were higher than they are now, which is about 5 grand. We have the sunshine and it is still less expensive to live here than in NY or CA and a few other states. Everybody I know said moving to Florida was the best decision they ever made. Everybody that complains about Florida's high prices, go somewhere else and complain. Forget about complaining about the hurricanes, every state in this Country has either tornadoes, earthquakes, mud slides, ice storms, blizzards-take your pick. WE LOVE FLORIDA!!!!!!!!!!!


May 9, 2006 12:01 PM

Tricia is right about all of whats going on in Florida right now. We left Manatee county last year to be in Brandon...It is really beautiful in her neck of the woods. People are driving up and down the streets looking for homes again. And another statement about Florida that is true is how quickly the market can and will change back to a sellers market. 1000 people are moving here every day. Our inventory levels can change overnight. And if we experience hurricanes this year,I assure you it will impact us AGAIN positively. It always does.


May 9, 2006 02:34 PM

Tricia and Pam,
Nobody is disputing that Florida isn't a wonderful place to live! Hands down, it's the only place for me! The fact remains that the market has been over valued for the last 2 years! You are probably enjoying the equity in your home. If you've been there 13 years, your house must be worth 2-5X what you paid. Am I jealous, ABSOLUTELY! If you moved houses within the last two years, I feel sorry for you. If you had to move homes today, think about the taxes. Most of my friends are remodeling rather than moving because of the taxes. If you've been in your home for more than three years, you have hurricane insurance and your taxes are low. What some buyers don't know is that a $700,000 home with taxes based on the homeowners purchase price 4 years before for $350,000 will more than double thanks to the higher value of the house, but also the new tax laws.

Fact remains, there are currently 5,332 homes for sale in Bradenton Florida. There are 6,246 rentals in Bradenton. This is just a tiny slice of Florida. What about Sarasota, Venice, Ellenton, Brandon, Lithia....... These areas are over saturated too.

If this is turning into a buyers market, why are there so many empty houses? Oh I know, the public has wised up and knows that Florida realtors have run out of steam. There is still plenty of land to build on. The speculators are losing their shirts. People who were talked into creative financing really can't afford the over valued home they bought. The speculators have ruined beautiful neighborhoods. For Sale and For Rent signs on every other house. Hmmmmmm those people driving around looking are either window shopping until prices drop to a reasonable price or are so rich, they can afford to pay 30-40% too much for their house. the houses I've been watching for 6 months, still haven't sold. Rental homes are dropping their rent too. One house we're looking at renting just posted at $200 less. It's been up for rent for several months. Guess the owner would rather get something than nothing.

We can afford to purchase a home. Our salary is over $300K a year. However, we earned our money the hard way. Working, not day trading. We have no intention of losing any of it in a volatile housing market! Nobody is complaining just stating facts. The behavior in the Florida housing market has been irrational!


tom davie

May 19, 2006 01:39 AM


Enjoyed your comments. I am a mortgage broker. I own my own brokerage. I am also a florida homeowner who bought a house dec 30 2005 in palm bay -which is directly across to the atlantic from tampa. Its just outside of Melbourne.

I bought the house for 262k . Its 2000 living sq ft. 4 bed split plan with fantastic master bath . Contcrete block , roll down , installed hurricane shutters, 160 ft out building, 1/4 fenced lot with full supply of inground sprinklers fed from well. We have crown mouldings in the house. double garage with seperate enterance off the wing into the back yard is added bonus too. We also of course have the vaulted ceilings, new roof and well, you get the picture.

Oh yeah, by the way, it also came with a heated inground screened pool that is to boot self cleaning.

life is sure rough here........

well,5 months later, my house is now worth about 290k , and they are trying to hawk similiar houses (without the obvious extras we have) for 299 -to 319k on the MLS.

not bad in an 'overinflated ready to bust market'

As a broker, i deal with purchases , and refis every day. I can tell you this for a fact -as a professional.

35% of all homes in the united states are paid for -there is no mortgage.

another 45% have fixed rate mortgages and thus no pressing need to refi if they dont feel like it -a vast majority of them refied below 60 % loan to value -at the historical 5-6 percent rate per year. They still have their pre boom debt so they actually save money with the lower payments. 600 dollar payments per month type thing.

the sensationalized 'arm' and exotic mortgages account for around 6% of all homes. When they say 50% of all mortgages sold, that of course does not mean all homes. big diff here. It means out of new purchases and refis -50% of those equal exotic mortgages. Dumb move i agree.

But in the big scheme of things, out of the 6% of homeowners who will need to refi by 2007-8 , probably 2% will actually have to forclose -at most.

to think if every single person in this situation of purchasing beyond their means with the option arm product -6% ALL went under, it would not COLLAPSE the market as a whole. Not even in the slightest. It would barely put a dent into it. And it would be temporary.

Yes, sheriff sales would in this insane scenerio produce short prices, but houses are never appraised by sheriff sales. But by normal home sales. Getting a home below value because of foreclosure does not make everyone dump their prices. Too far and few between, and too temporary a problem.

Yes there are too many houses on the market. yes it is investors faults for getting too greedy. But NO , its not that people are unwilling to pay the price or even more. Houses that DO sell are selling for more than last year. There are not enough BUYERS to compensate for all the huge inventories of these stupid short sighted investors.

So the prices are still going up, but the inventory is also still rising. The market was fueled by investors to a large degree.

It will be a HUGE MISTAKE to sit here and 'wait' . Wait for what? My house to be worth 150k???? How much do you honestly expect a house of my calibe can drop to? Or any house for that matter? Perhaps you have a case for grossly overglutted prices in some areas, but for an average 1200 -1500 sq ft house in the state of florida, how much do you really expect it to drop? Sorry, but i can bet you anything that if prices drop even 10 % , there will be another boom shortly afterwards. It always happens.

where on the west or east coast can you honestly get my house for even 300k ? Its still CHEAP. If you want my exact house in Nebraska -fine, you might get it for around 200, but most would agree they would far rather have florida for more, rather than stuck in the frigid tundra 7 months of the year up north for a little less.

As for you young professionals not willing to pay 200k or more? There are TONS of small houses around 1100 sq ft selling in nice areas for around 150k.

The other lady hit the nail on the head. Therewill be no lasting 'buyers market' . This is just until the inventory goes down. Why?

What is the point of REJECTING a 200k house at 6.25% 30 year fixed, all so you can buy it next year or 2 years from now at worst case collapse price 180k at 8 % interest?????????? What happens if the prices just stabilize, and not go down, which many experts predict.

Experts predict a dump in OVERINFLATED MARKETS , not the united states or any one state as a whole.

its now 2008 and you gotta pay 200k at anywhere from 7 3/4 to 8 1/2 percent interest. Everyone knows that interest rates will return to normal levels within 2 years. Whoopie!!!! You just killed yourself.

do any of you do the math on how much even 1/8th of a percentage point is in payment over the long haul?

So now, so long as interest rates are still historically low , its RETARDED to sit and wait to pay 10s of thousands of dollars MORE INTEREST later on.

I would suggest to renters to stop moaning and purchase a smaller house if you want to save money. Renting is not, never has, and never will pan out at all.

Do you honestly think the prices are going to 'dump' hundereds of thousands of dollars for an average house AND the interest rates will remain 6% at the same time??? The odds of that are so astronomical its silly. Is this what you are basing your plans on????

We bought because the prices of houses in palm bay and many many parts of florida are still WAY undervalued in my opinion. Dont base all of florida on Tampa and Miami and the likes of Sarasota.

Again, there are tons of houses on the market because of INVESTORS , not because people are unwilling to buy houses at these prices.

If you were smart, buy a smaller house while interest rates are still very low, because in florida here, most of the state will continue to increase slowly, not depreciate.


May 19, 2006 04:12 PM

For heavens sake, ignore the post of the mortgage broker. The conflict of interest is glaringly obvious. Don't get stuck with an over-priced tiny house and a huge mortgage.

Just be patient, prices will revert to trend. You are better off renting for the moment.


May 19, 2006 05:14 PM

Yes people, run as fast as you can and buy a house! The law of supply and demand doesn't really effect real estate with rising interest rates. Hurry, before thousands of empty houses are sold! HURRY, HURRY, HURRY!


May 23, 2006 10:16 PM

Ok Mr. Mortgage Guy, answer this: How are the prices going to continue to go up at the rate you predict without the salaries to go with them? In case you haven't noticed, salaries haven't exactly skyrocketed anywhere in Florida for the common working person.

Sure, folks from the North will pay the seemingly paultry amount for a house down here, but just who is going to service them? I don't know about you, but when I retire, I don't want to be working 40-60 hour weeks just to make the tax payment! No teachers means no schools. No police means no protection. No paramedics or firemen, who the hell is gonna take care of everyone when something goes wrong?

There's not the right infrastructure here, Tampa area and beyond, to support the kind of prices being slapped on the market. No one wants to pay a reasonable cost of living salary to those of us who aren't CEO's, executive VP's and the like.

The housing bubble probably won't burst, but will deflate quite a bit. I'm sure there's more of those exotic mortgages in the area than you believe that will default soon enough. Investors get antsy and will cut their eventual losses to put their monies elsewhere.

2007 will be a good year to start getting back into the housing market for the average Joe. I just hope that what's left of the supporting infrastructure - teachers, police, fire, paramedics - can weather out the storm to make it all worth while.


May 24, 2006 01:23 PM

I do agree with Sean about affordable housing in the Florida markets for the community support staff. The hardest hit as mentioned are teachers,police, and nurses. We will begin to see a drain from these professions in the future I believe. The other issue is the price of building materials and labor costs associated with building new homes. They expect these costs to increase 20% this year. The amount of inventory will be absorbed sooner in Florida markets than many other areas in the country. People are still waiting on the sidelines and I completely understand that. However, with the 40,000 people moving here a month,this will change down the road.


May 24, 2006 02:35 PM

Just in the past week, we notice more and more contract pending signs. I know a realtor who said she just had 3 signed contracts over the weekend.
The prices are not really coming down that much, in our area-Sarasota-Bradenton, only the desperate sellers are lowering their prices. For most of the sellers they are holding to their price, and then only lowering it some when they get a buyer. The buyers know it is the right time to buy, our area holds the prices because of our world famous beaches and all the culture that comes with it. As I have said before if you want to live in paradise you have to pay for it.


May 26, 2006 03:04 PM

One more thing, Tricia, how can you say your area holds it's value because of the world class beaches...... There is no history of this area for several reasons... Aside for the beachfront areas, most homes for sale-investors/realtors are sitting on, are in the suburbs that have popped up over the past 2-8 years. Homes on the golf course in Lakewood ranch in the country club were 400K, in the mad rush were going for over 1 million, and are now down to 700-800k and still not selling. This is an unprecedented housing boom that has absolutely NO history. On any given realtors website there are advertisements for foreign investors. They are now gone as the affordable housing that floridians, sarasota-Bradenton-Venice-port charlotte.... have enjoyed for decades. We are in unchartered territory!

Sure do hope you folks cashed in already. The sad thing is most realtors and mortgage brokers probably spent all their commissions instead of saving for the rainy day we are now experiencing! Unfortunately, from the unrealistic posts, I have a strange feeling many didn't and are now in panic mode!


May 29, 2006 11:40 PM

I tend to agree with Sean on this one. Something has to give here. My wife and I live and work in Tampa and make about 95k gross together. We are like many in FL and are from the North. We moved here about 4 years ago but were just out of college and so broke that we could barely breath and couldn't even touch a mortgage. Now we are on track and have been looking to buy for the past year or so.

We're finding 2bdr 1ba condo's for $225k+ plus a maintenance fee of $200 - $250 in Tampa!! This is nuts! No way we can afford to eat and keep up with all of the other costs of living. We make decent money and can't afford to buy here. How in the world can a teacher and a mechanic afford it? Either the housing has to go down or the wages go up! How will this society survive if everyone is a retired baby boomer?

We have been looking at the surrounding areas since to buy in Tampa is crazy. Still it's about $195k to get a condo in Brandon or a similar area, a tad cheaper but still too much. In Ohio (where we are from) $195K buys you a 4bd/2ba/2cg in a great area with great schools and low crime. Yes, the snow sucks (snowboarding is fun tho!), but there is no traffic compared to here, you make the exact same wages as FL, and you actually have a chance to win the rat race.

We will rent for another year and if things don't change then we'll be heading back up north. We LOVE Florida and don't want to leave but its not worth eating beans and rice every day for the forseeable future to live in an overpriced condo and drive 30 - 45 min to work. I know the Mortgage broker and realty agent will disagree and I would too if my lively hood was in the real estate market right now. I know I am not alone, every one of our friends is renting as well (only 1 couple we know has purchased and they are very RICH!!! not that we are the concensus...)

Bottom line the places we have been shopping to purchase HAVE lowered prices in the last few months (about a 10k - 15k drop), but still too much for us. This gives us enough hope to stay around another year, but I'm hoping that the bubble will deflate soon!!


June 1, 2006 12:21 PM

The only reason to Live in Florida is a warm winter! But lately the winters have been hot & humid.

South Florida is the most disconnected place I have every lived in.

Sold my condo that I paid 75k for in 2000 for 290K last year and moved to a real city. Best thing I ever did. And cold weather is sort of nice. You can dress up and not sweat. I'll take winter over hurricanes!


June 1, 2006 05:35 PM

Well I guess it's all relative.

I presently live in Calgary, Canada, where our homes increase in value $500. per day.
Bought ours for $222, it's up to $360 in a year, with no signs of slowing.

Taxes...where do I begin? Pay about 30-40% income tax. The cost of living is pretty high, no increase in wages, and its pretty cold there most of the time! Yep, use the furnace in June.

We are planning to take our equity and move down to better climate, lower taxes and hopefully a better life.


June 4, 2006 06:06 PM

Living in Tampa (Native to the Area) and noticing that the houses are starting to sell again. It is normal in the past to have a slow in the winter and spring. I guess the Newbie Investors just got a bit nervous with the normal cycles and the media breathing housing bubble down their back and therefor listed to many homes during this normal lull. This false frenzy made everyone nervous for a while and no one was buying but everyone figured heck it must be time to sell. You know some interresting trivia is simply that nearly the same amount of homes were selling and going under contract in Dec, Jan, Feb 2005 as in Dec, Jan, Feb 2006 the "Inventory" was the only thing that went up erratically with homes getting listed all day long. Looks like the only FALSE thing about the local market was the False Panic that just occured. At least now that seems to be comming to an end. Sales have increased drastically and the invetory seems to be depleting in chunks. Equilibrium seems to be comming back from the Panicers. I see just in our neigborhood 8 homes have sold in the past 4 weeks where all these homes as well as 3 others sat for the past 3 months due to this false panic. Look forward to the same thing happening again next year during the winter (panic) and summer (normal sales) as for now enjoy your moves and settling into the new home while kids are out of school. At least alot of the Newbie Investors sold off their homes during this time period (probably for less profit or negative profit)and I hope they learned a lesson and will stay out of the industry for a while.


June 6, 2006 03:13 PM

It appears this thread has been taken over by realtors and mortgage brokers. The lines "beautiful house", "world class beaches", and "culture" reek of a sales brochure.

Pamela & Ryan - I haven't seen any sign of sales increase in the Tampa Bay area. I counted 16 (SIXTEEN) homes for sale along a single road in less than 2 miles. There are plenty of homes for sale in my neigborhood (north St. Pete) and lots of 'just reduced' signs.

Tom Davie - you make some good points with regards to prices and rates, but we don't know what will happen to either. I'd say a good bet is for declines in both of them 2 years out. Unfortunately you attempt to use your paper appreciation as a means to justify the increase in prices. What does it matter what kind of house you have? Where I grew up, a house like that would go for $200k, there would be higher wages than FL, and it certainly would be a lot nicer house made of brick and not ugly, cheap stucco that is common in FL.

As a first time buyer, the only thing available to me is a cheap cinder block home from the 1950s that has mature trees but is small (1000 sq ft) with a garage just big enough for a motorcycle surrounded by old foggie neighbors. The other option is a crappy tract home that is slapped together cheaply without much yard, no trees, and surrounded by vain neighbors interested in showing off their new SUV. No joke either; I have friends that fall into both categories. The third would be an overpriced condo but I would never consider that so I don't even think about it. A friend bought a condo last fall and can't sell it now even though he HAS to move for a job transfer. Ouch....

I LOVE FLORIDA!!!! I really enjoy living here but it seems that the cards are stacked against ever being able to make it ahead if I were to get married and have a family. Florida is a great place for water sports but coming from a cold weather state there were things to do up there all winter as well. My Florida car insurance bill is enough to make me gag (and that's on a 6 year old vehicle). The jobs are okay but wages are stagnant. Plenty of work but it's not really a raise to move up $5,000 in salary but spend an extra hour on the road each day. I'll stay here as long as I'm single and everything works out, but the day that changes, there will be a very thorough review of plans.


June 7, 2006 06:10 AM

I have a place in Florida on the East Coast. I pay about $2800 in taxes a year. A neighbor of mine with a SOH exemption and a $25000 value exemption pays around $490. How long do you think it'll be before the out of town owners get a good lawyer and sue the counties for the 4th Amendment violation of equal protection in the Supreme Court. You Floridians make me laugh. You all sight the low living costs , but you are trapped in your homes because of some 1960s valuation. We can't afford to finance you forever!


June 8, 2006 11:29 AM

Believe me I do not want housing to go up any further as well as you. Even though we have a house doesn't mean we don't have similar predicaments with you. We would like to of course upgrade but the houses have gone up too much for us to upgrade very much. However, we have learned to understand that this is how life is, it isn't always fair and if we want to upgrade and stay in Florida we may not be able to gain 1,000 sq. ft. anymore for minimum money. We are just fortunate to have a house and are looking just gain another bedroom for the baby so we have lowered our standards and are looking at homes that are three bedrooms now without the bells and whistles. This happened in California years ago, I know, I know, we are not California but you also must know we are not California prices right now. What I am referring to is when prices went up allot in California (almost overnight) low wage workers and young adults (1st home buyers) couldn't afford to own a house anymore and faced reality. Many moved to other states that didn't have the luxuries of nice weather and beaches but they dealt with it just like you said after all there is some fun in winter sports. Problem is when people age they don't like the cold that is why they all move to California if they have allot of money or Florida if they have a solid retirement which drives up prices. Try Idaho or Wyoming if you want a good bang for the buck and both are undervalued by older individuals with access to the Rocky Mountains! Take advantage of the fact that retires are leaving these states and other colder states to come to warm Florida. Prices are low their now and you can get more bang for your buck (bigger houses) more bang for the buck. You see retires don’t want the large houses they just want the weather and beaches that is why they are willing to pay so much for a small house/condo. Sometimes you have to look at it from another perspective like you had mentioned.



June 9, 2006 10:38 PM

Do some of the posters read the papers? Do they watch the news? Do they watch CNBC? Do they follow the stock market? Do they listen to Ben?????? If they don't they should before buying up. Even in California the builders are offering $100,000 off homes(one weekend Only-ha). I get emails everyday from builders offering huge incentives. Ryland homes is offering lots of incentives right now. We were going to try and buy in their new Sarasota neighborhood as we've been pleased that they didn't jump on the bandwagon and raise their prices as much as other builders did the past two years. Arthur Rutenberg homes threatened us almost a year ago with the "they aren't making anymore land" and "there's 1,000 people moving to Florida everyday so you better buy now before prices go up" bit. They sent me an email after almost a year, saying they missed us and would love to talk with us if we are "waiting it out". Even they are getting desperate. If that's not a sign of a slowdown than what about the empty homes sitting for months on end because the flippers(oops investors) are in so deep they can't and won't lower the price. Unfortunately, many will get burned in this turn in the market. It's a tough lesson many that are deeply mortgaged will soon learn. Lots of money was made over the last two years. Just like any hot investment, the key is knowing when to get out before it bottoms out.

lisa rath

June 10, 2006 04:44 PM

Florida your property tax is 20% out here in liberal California property tax is 2% That is not a type-o, the property taxes in Calif. are 2% Maybe the Liberials know something your conservitive Republican state dosn't. I went out to Florida to buy land when I heard about your taxes I said forget it. Don't brag about not having to pay state income tax, you are still getting screwed, I did the math.
In addition if I am retired, not having to pay state income taxes doesn't mean a thing to me.


June 13, 2006 10:07 PM

Lisa, you may want to check your calculator because your 20% number is way off. I have no idea what property taxes in CA are. I am sure you are right and they are much less than here in Florida. But I can also tell you that I just purchased my house last year for $400k and the property taxes aren't even close to 20%.


June 14, 2006 06:34 PM

Well I myself must stay in Florida for a while longer due to just becoming an empty nester,I must watch my little birdies stretch their wings and make it on their own and if need be come back to the roost.So I'm looking into the Charlotte County area .My husband has just relocated for his -job in North Fort Myers and the research I've found is Charlotte County (even with the past hurricanes is still affordable).My question is should I buy a newer low priced home in North Port which is in Sarasota Co. and has higher taxes than Charlotte Co. but may be cheaper on insurance due to home being at least a 2000-and up year, or an older one which has been redone (roof walls windows floors ect)due to the hurricanes.I'm wanting a pool this time and plan to retire in it. Or at least live in it 10 yrs.then be a half/backer and maybe move to GA. or NC.Are older homes red-flaged after hurricane damage? Making insurance higher or lower because of being more up to code? Which way should I go?Older homes in Port Charlotte are somewhat cheaper by abought 10k.Any comments greatly appreciated.Thanks

Sunny Doberman

June 14, 2006 08:37 PM

Yes, I bought my house around Tampa bay area (Pinellas county). I paid $500k for the house. My property tax is around 2%. It is about 10,000 a year. So I am not sure where is 20% come from.


June 15, 2006 11:55 AM

I don't know what part of Florida the taxes are 20%. We live in River Club, Braden Woods area and our taxes are no more than $4300.00 per year. Our house is worth $625,000, which we just had appraised by an appraisal company. Yes, the taxes will increase with a new buyer, but our area boasts Siesta Key, Longboat key and so on. We have 6 rated A schools within 5 minutes of our home and we have some of the best golfing around, which my husband loves. Some of these posts sound like people have nothing better to do than make inacurate statements about our real estate and taxes. Like I have said find a better state to buy in and then you can find something to complain about that state. People will always move to Florida, and our contract pending signs are increasing, so obviously people love are area.

Mabelle - Realtor

June 16, 2006 12:52 AM

I agree on some points...but on buble one ..I disagree with this economist...

Condos to Take the Hardest Hit on the 'Bubble Burst'
Analysts reported that the housing sector's luster is now fading. Douglas Duncan, an economist, recently announced that the housing sector's weakest aspect is the condominium market.

Duncan projected that the housing sale total would drop by 7% to 8% from 2005. He said that the pricing for condominiums is very much different. They are volatile. That is because they only face moving costs.

Analysts also reported the stock market had some setbacks late last week. That is because copper had a rate of $4 a pound and gold went up to $730 an ounce.


June 19, 2006 12:39 AM

In Sarasota-Manatee you can pretty much bank on a 1.2 to 2% property tax rate depending which area of the county you purchase in. There is no bubble so just relax. This is all a bunch of hype. The death of this country will be the media and the way they take a story and run with it. Unfortunately, most people believe everything they read in the paper, hear on the street, and watch on tv. Go ahead and wait for a house to "maybe" go down 5 or 10% (your probably wasting time on an overpriced home anyhow) in the mean time, your interest rate is .5 to a 1.5 points higher. It's a buyers market so go find a great deal and you will probably be sitting on instant equity, plus you will most likely see the typical 5 or 6% appreciation we enjoyed before the frey. I'm not a mortgage broker or realtor, just someone who has lived in the area for 10 years. Had I bought when I first moved here I would be that much better off. The increase in price has been happening since I moved here, and yes it really took off in 2003, and guess will continue to go up(even if at a measly 5%- pretty damn nice return on 500k(that's 25k per year by the way for you slower folk) You will never loose in the real estate market down here if you think long term. The biggest price drop in Sarasota was in 1982 and was only 5%. The truth is this, quite a few homes sold for peak prices last summer right before the slow down. Many sellers listed their homes for these high prices even adding another 20% thinking that we would have another break out year, well that didn't happen, so the price reductions everyone is talking about are on these "overpriced" homes. The homes that are priced right are selling pretty quickly as are homes in the over 1 million mark. In my opinion, this is the best time to buy property down here because of all the frantic sellers. My wife and I are looking for another to add to our portfolio as I type this message. Those of you posting on this board claiming that you can't afford a house in this area on 70 to 100k earnings should talk with a financial planner and find out where you're spending your money. That's the most ludicrous thing I've heard! Work you r way up- I did. Start with a modest home and in a few years if you like sell it and put the equity into another home that is closer to your "dream home". I sense a lot of first time buyers who really don't understand the whole buying process and expect the "perfect" home "now". Maybe you should talk with someone in the industry that you feel comfortable with including realtors, lenders, etc. Interview a few and get their opinions. Especially those that have been in the business locally for 20+ years. They will be able to help explain what great an investment this can be. I also don't hear any mention of the tax benefits of owning vs. renting?? Wow


June 20, 2006 03:30 PM

There is no bubble because the air is gone. It is not the media's fault! If anything, the media kept blowing air for far too long. I remember watching a show on CNBC with homebuilders, realtors.... talking about what a wonderful asset housing can't live in a stock! The value will never go down.......... Shows like this fueled the housing boom! Economists calling for a bust, were made to look irrational at the height of the real estate boom.

To say now is the time to buy in Sarasota/Manatee is just wishful thinking! The costs have gotten out of hand. At least every other house for sale is empty! In newer neighborhoods 30% or more of the houses are for sale. The increases in this area couldn't be sustained indefinately. As far as the homes that are selling, they are few and far between. Even those that are priced right. Two homes I've been watching, were over a million six months ago. One is down to $735K the other $850K for the past two months. No bites.

We are in the market for a home in the $850K range and able to afford in the $1 million range. There is no way we would buy a home there right now. The market is volatile and foreclosures are on the rise. Homes increased double fold. Salaries didn't. Boomers moved to NC, GA, The Villages......the Europeans have left the market as they can no longer get the bargain homes!

If prices are only going up, why are builders in Lakewood Ranch offering $50K in options right now? What's next month? $75K, $100K the month after????? Please, these same builders were so arrogant over a year ago, they wouldn't give you the time of day unless you put a deposit down! Of course you couldn't put a deposit down unless your number came up in the lottery! If that isn't a sign of a downturn, I don't know what is!

People refinanced their homes for the new values and can't get out from their debt. Others bought larger homes because they were scared if they didn't do it now, they wouldn't be able to afford to do it in a year or two. They now have two mortgages and are trying to sell both properties to see which one goes first. Soon they won't be able to afford either property. Simple economics says two mortgages + no buyers= foreclosure!

To tell people they need to meet with a financial planner if they can't afford a home making 70-100K a year is ludicrous! Most people want to keep their hard earned money! Gambling it on a risky real estate market is ludicrous! They just aren't willing to pay $500K for a house that's worth $250 at most! Any reasonable financial planner will tell them that they would save money by renting. You can't get a $500K home with insurance, taxes.... with 20% down for less than $1800 a month. You will save more by renting. Then you won't lose your 20%. Put your money in safer investments! Yes, housing does go down!

The number of rental properties is astounding in the area! I've been watching both the rental and resale market in Bradenton for two years now. The same rental houses and resales are there week after week, month after month. Some almost a year. There are some bargains to be had in the rental market!

I know there are so many who are hurting as a result of the current housing conditions. Only one thing got us to this point. Greed, not the media! Everyone jumped on the low interest rate, it only goes up, they aren't making any more land band wagon.

What kills me is the appraisers. How they could justify appraising simple little tract homes for two-three times the actual worth. Let's blame them. What about the builders, who sold to people knowing they were going to turn around and flip it for more. They aren't hurting yet as they still have orders on homes for the next six months. Watch what happens once those orders are completed!

Buyers, before purchasing, just drive around the area and look at all the For Sale and For Rent signs! Do you want to spend $500K and live next door to someone renting for $1500-$1800 a month. Look at the number of empty homes.... simple economics of supply and demand will make you think-Somethings got to give. Unfortunately, there will be less realtors and lenders who have jobs. There will be people who lose their homes. Greed started this boom and greed will get lots of people in trouble!


June 20, 2006 07:49 PM

lots of good comments,lots of wise people.bought and sold two homes in Bradenton 03-04 and made enough for a 20% dn payment on a new carriage home in Naples,Fl.bought in 04 @186325,sold in 05 @312000.there are now about 80 homes for sale out of the 438 built in that one comm.Naples is one strange market.its almost like a huge ponzi.i don't really think that market will tank but you could find a minor bargain if you look.cost to carry getting burdensome for the last guy on the bus.the flippers have just about run out of stupid people.i think overall Fl has about a 5-6 mo inventory of property.places like Naples,Sarasota,Miami have 18-20 mo.flippers can't carry that long with neg cash flow.thats the potential bargain if your in the right place.we do have a net pop.increase of 1000 long as the major homebuilders build when contracts are signed and not just on spec we should have an orderly market.


June 23, 2006 11:55 AM

No bubble Fl. will always be an area for making money on real estate.Any comments on the Port Charlotte, North Port areas which city would be better to purchase a pool home for under $210,000 Taxes higher in Sarasota but pool homes in the 1990' that price range. Port Charlotte is closer for husband to commute to North Fort Myers to work.Port Charlotte I hear is a nicer town with less crime but the homes in that price range are 1970's and 80's Any comments on what to do w/ my equity on purchasing a home in those areas deeply appreciated. Not worried about a bubble bursting,can always sell property here and 1/2 back it years from now if need be.


June 25, 2006 11:35 PM

I am a top-producing realtor in the Orlando Area...the market couldn't be worse!! .................

Those who make thier living from Real Estate sugarcoat what is going on!!.............

Like the NAR ...Home builders etc..

Florida has so may problems to'all are locked into your homes cause you can't sell'em!!...The seller's are way over pricing and the buyer's are not buying.....THEY ARE BROWSING!!!...They will not commit!!..................

Some emperical evidence...May'05 total MLS listings ... 10,600 Listings ...Today 49,100 Listings ......................................
Hello...that's almost a 500% increase..YES,.. this is Tampa Orlando to Daytona....

If you think "we have a problem Houston" you are right!!!

I feel bad for the first time homebuyer's ..those with a good income...most are qualifying for 225K to 275K...which is a sad looking house in Orlando vs a few years ago...................

PENDINGS...A VIEW OF CURRENT MARKET....Areas that had 600 plus pendings last year are now 225..and dropping....this is real!!

Those of you who are "hoping" again for a seller's market...listen to my annecdotal evidence....

"Everyone wants the warmer weather, and will retire here" ..How can everybody sell...where are they going?"....

I can tell you first hand...retirees move back north in their older years....75 plus..(to be closer to family and maybe better medical care?).

Also...Central Floridians are cashing out their gains ...i have sold homes for people moving to Tenn, Ga , Al ,S.C., Texas...all way cheaper...(mmm...sounds like the northerners going to lower cost areas ( FLA.), but now Floridians have the idea of going someplace cheaper?? This is NEW!!)

In my opinion the influx into Florida is going to subside..the property tax for new owners is opressive!! (Thank You SOH!!)

We are 7 months into a 4 to 5 year down market......this is Florida's first time...Calif and the Northeast know about a down market.....

Hold on Folks...This market is a rollercoaster...we just went up the big first hill (Price Aprreciation "03-"05) and you'all know what comes next!!


June 26, 2006 12:13 AM

According to things do not look that bad in Florida. I do not know how accurate zillow is though.


June 26, 2006 12:27 PM

Zillow is way off. Check back in six months. If you want a true reading of Florida real estate, read the local papers. Check out the Sarasota Herald Tribune. This past weekend was an article of homebuilders slashing prices up to $129,000! Drive around neighborhoods in Tampa, Bradenton, Orlando.... It's all the same. House after house for sale. Even Port Charlotte and North Port are going to be hit!!!!!!!! To say that Florida real estate always goes up is to say that the most educated economists are stupid. To listen to a realtor who isn't even required to take an economics class is absurd.

Another way to track real estate in Florida is to watch the listings on I would narrow it down to one zip code though. There are just too many homes for sale in an area like Bradenton or Tampa to track the whole city. You will see the same houses week after week, month after month. Another thing you will see is that the majority are empty! How long can these investors hold on???????

There was an article in the Sarasota Herald back in December about all the savy home investors. It was sad to see bartenders, waitresses being worth over a million dollars on paper because of their investments yet having negative cash flow of -$1,400 a month. Those poor people! What will they do when their adjustable rate mortgages go up???? So many are going to get burned. I know that a positive spin needs to be put on this to help get people out of very grave situations, but as the old saying goes... if it walks like a duck and sounds like a duck, it probably is a duck.

Yes Virginia, there is a real estate bubble! Florida has experienced a bubble of epic proportions!!!!!!!!!!!

Goldie, I took my daughter up to camp in North Carolina this past weekend. The number of Florida plates were astounding. At first I thought they were all vacationing, but after looking at a few developments, found that the area of Asheville, Hendersonville... are being over run by the Floridians and halfbackers. The salesperson said that they have record sales in the last 12 months and 65% of the buyers are from Florida. Alot of halfbackers. I guess the North Carolina mountains aren't seeing a downturn just yet.

Hopefully things will get back to normal in Florida. Enough making $100,000 in a year! People need homes to live in not to make a career of it. Too many tried to milk the Florida real estate investment cow.


June 27, 2006 12:34 PM

Live report from Tampa Bay here. Looked through the St. Pete Times on Saturday - plenty of homes for $60,000 off initial price. I suspect that will soon become $160,000 discount because there is no way someone should pay $224,000 for a small 3-bedroom house that is 30 miles from the majority of jobs.

Driving through town on Sunday were a bunch of "cheerleader type" girls on the corners of Kennedy Blvd. at all major intersections holding signs saying "CONDOS: MOVE IN TODAY FOR $1". The local condo market must be very rough, but it shows there was a limited pool of suckers to buy 20-year old apartments that received a cheap cabinet upgrade and pay a monthly outlay over 2x the cost of the market rent just for the pleasure of owning.

On the flip side, the apartment market is going haywire. Many places are raising rents 10-20% per YEAR because the apartment supply has been so constrained with condo conversions. Once many empty condos come back on the market as rentals this will drive down the increases but it will be years before this market is anywhere near a stable situation.


June 30, 2006 12:46 PM

Moved from Cleveland, OH to Lakeland (really an exburb) of Tampa. Cleveland. Land of semi cheap houses and no jobs. Tampa, land of expensive houses and tons of jobs. There are a lot of semi decent jobs here, and a huge number of low paying ones. There are jobs everywhere. hiring bonuses for jobs at the Florida minimum wage of $6.40.

Nice 1600 square foot starts at 200k+++++.

I have a decent job but can not afford $1700 a month that would cost PITI.

As for actual declines... We shall see. It depends on the balance of "want to movers" vs. the "have to movers" A person I work with is putting his home up for sale soon. He is a "want to mover" and wants to move up. When I asked him what happens if he doesnt get his (inflated) price, his answer was "I'll wait it out"

205k house now comes with 20k in "free" options. its not in quite as nice a city and the schools are not as good though. In the better areas that house is 220k with 20k in "free" options. I can not afford either unless I do some kamikaze financing scheme.

OTOH ***NICE*** houses rent for $1100 to $1200 a month.

I talked to one of the house salespeople. She told me when she started 2.5 to 3 years ago the neighborhoods started at 80k. Now they say 180k. (1100 square feet so a tad small for a family of 4)


June 30, 2006 07:38 PM

We started looking for building a new home around Tampa bay area since 2003. Most custom home builders offered some kind of incentive. We went with Mark Ruthenberg homes in March 2004. They offered "perfect kitchen" as free option. Include upgraded granite counter top, 48inch wood cabinet, Thermador stainless steel professional appliances . It was 50k plus options. Then we asked them to throw in tile floors for the whole house. They did as well. Mark Ruthenberg is custom home builder in Pinellas county. That was about 50-60k free option on 550k+ homes 2 years ago. Other builders offered something else in the same community. So I guess the incentive is really nothing new. Builders have to compete with each other in the same community. Of course, now it is tough time, they might throw in more stuffs now. I have not check the new home lately.


July 5, 2006 12:16 AM

I live in Tampa in the Hunters Green area. I have been watching the market very close and I can tell you Pulte has been sending me e-mails. I went to look at a home in Meadow Pointe and was told 360K now that model is on "special" for 290K can we all say slow down.... Hunters Green (very desirable area) had a waiting list of people wanting to buy homes last year, now if you drive throught the neighborhood you see lots of for sale and "reduced price" signs last year I could not find any for sale signs because they were sold before the sign even went up. I went to an open house 3 months ago the house was 315K that house is still for sale "price reduced" 265K. I don't know where some of these people are getting their information but I won't buy a house right now because I have been watching very closely and the prices have come down. I would say if you are in the market watch it for a couple of months at least houses are staying on the market much longer. Before you put in an offer look at the proeprty appraisers website and see how much that person paid,how long they have had the house, and what the taxes are. I use lots of public information to my benefit when home shopping. Be an informed consumer.


July 6, 2006 01:42 PM

Just give 2 more years for things really to start falling. Can we all say negative amortization loan? Most of these will mature in 2 years and those poor buyers who are now paying X dollars will paying 2X to 3X for mortgage.

I've read, thre will be 25,000 more condo units completed by the end of this year in South Florida. 70% of those units were bought by "investors" who borrowed money to do so. One of my friends is such an investor. Last week he received a letter form his condo association that his mainteance fee is going up from $600 to $1000 a month due to insurance increase.


July 6, 2006 03:15 PM


They aren't getting info. They are most likely speculators, realtors, mortgage brokers or in some field that they make their living off real estate. I guess another scenario is that they are homeowners who refinanced the inflated equity in their homes, spent the money on cars, vacations, boob jobs.... and now can't afford the payments and must sell. It's scary what has happened and unfortunately more than just the slime balls will get burned!

I hope Tampa recovers quickly from this. I almost bought a house last year in Grand Hampton, but I couldn't bring myself to pay the kind of money they were asking. I knew that Taylor Woodrow homes in there started in the 400's when the neighborhood opened the previous year. Last year they were close to sell out and were asking in the 700's. I knew that construction prices, and definately the land prices(since it was already purchased) hadn't gone up to warrant such an increase in new construction in one year! GREED! Of course what really kept me from buying an Arthur Rutenberg home there were the lines the saleslady kept giving us. We felt we were buying a used car not a high end home. I love Tampa and hope we don't have to much of a backlash from this.

WARNING: slimeballs stay away from Florida! You've done enough damage.


July 8, 2006 09:27 PM

Check out this report to see how Fla housing has gone from approx. 10% undervalued to approx. 30-100% overvalued in just five years.

I sold my house in Va. and moved to Jax Beach where I am renting. I have spent the past three weeks trying to see if there is a niche of this housing market (in Jacksonville) to make money in today and I'm convinced there isn't. For rental property the numbers don't work unless you expect rents to rise 10% a year - and the quality of renters in Jax is low. Typical 2/1.5 X 2 duplexes are listed in the 450K range at (not on) the beach. I think I could buy one for around 360K - but do the numbers - at an optimistic 24K/yr. total rent you can't even break even on a 30-year fixed at 6 1/2% even putting 60K down, what with taxes, insurance, etc. (a full 3 X Va. levels). And there is a huge amount of building going on. I see best-case scenario as a break-even on resale values over the next five years even if rents do rise 10%/yr., which is unlikely (I do think rents will rise more than housing prices, though). Worse-case scenario is down 20% in 2007, down another 10-20% in 2008. I like Florida a lot, too, and I think I'll hang out here for a year, but then I'll probably end up buying in TX or TN. Florida, California, Massachusetts - they're all in the same boat and have already taken on a lot of water.


July 16, 2006 11:51 AM

Just saw on the news, the newsman still belive there are housing boom in Tampa bay area. He reported there are going to be around 5,000 house to be build around SR50 & Suncoast highway (Hernado county).


July 18, 2006 02:55 AM

Condos dropping like crazy in the SE (fort lauderdale).

My current one bedroom apt decided to go to condo, got notice in Dec. 2005, was to be out by Aug 06.

I was given the option to buy at 160,000 in Dec 05.

In May 06, they decided to give me a "special" price of 150,000 due to being a "great tenent" - yeah right.

Last week (July 06), got the option of 125,000 OR continue to rent for another year. Well canceled my new apartment lease and Im staying.

Another couple months they may give me 2 for 1. :)

Wait it out folks.


July 18, 2006 09:19 AM

There was just an article in last weeks paper that Lakewood Ranch will be building 500 more homes on the Sarasota County line. Things certainly are not slowing around here. We have a neighbor that just FSBO'd her home 3 weeks ago, and got a qualified buyer. She got 95% of her asking price. The real estate market has been real slow this year, but it is starting to really pick up. We were just in the Winston Salem/Clemmons NC, area. Very nice, but you do have to pay a high State income tax, we looked at several homes in Kernersville, and the taxes were $2600-$2900. Couple that with State income tax and you are still paying more than here in Florida. Even with our homeowners insurance and real estate taxes, we still fare better. Plus we Have Siesta Key beach, voted 1 of the best beaches in the world. Love Florida and will never leave.


July 18, 2006 02:07 PM

Hah, no bubble?

Renting an apartment for 850 a month in lauderdale for the last 2 years.

Dec. 05 - Get notice of condo conversion and need to be out by Sept. 06. Asking price for my unit is a "special" 150,000 and for the public its 157,000.

May 06 - Get a letter that due to being a "wonderful tenant" they will discount 5,000 to 145,000.

Well guess what? Just got a letter that I can stay at my place for another year for 850 a month plus I get free membership to the golf course which is normally a 50 per month membership.

Hear something? I think its air seeping out of a giant bubble or should I say an investors head.


July 20, 2006 09:05 AM

OK- Just had to answer some of these comments. First of all, everyone in Florida just thinks the home prices are inflated because they haven't experienced this before. In the New York area where I have lived and owned many homes, double and triple of prices in 5 years is "normal". And the people who own these homes, can still find buyers to pay these prices for them. I am 50 with a pension and set financially. Every one I know in the same boat is looking for something in Florida. The taxes and insurance are high in comparison to what we pay here, but the weather and other attractions still hold. As for first time home buyers and the price ect., you guys are really spoiled. No one here could dream of buying 3500 sf + brand new homes. I'm talking about people with a $200,000 income and net worth in the millions. So a first time home buyer complaining about what they can't buy sounds rediculous to us. First time home buyers here can buy a 1950's era ranch on a tiny lot in a so-so blue collar neighborhood for 400,000. Taxes 7,000 and going up. As long as Florida compares favorably to that, people will come. The reason there are not as many buyers, is that people are being scared off by all the reports of bubbles, ect. so they are just waiting. Me included. But if they are not speculating and expect to spend any time in Florida they will buy. At least that's my opinion.


July 20, 2006 02:35 PM

The denial of the bubble is just comical now.

Glad Lakewood Ranch is expanding. More reason not to buy there. You think they'd hold off until things settle. Glad the FSBO's are selling because the MLS listings certainly are not. Drove around again last week and even more for sale signs. The builders have had the same lots for at least a month for sale.....Good idea build 500 more empty houses. Great community, but much too risky. I feel sorry for all those that have stretched themselves too thin. I bet the FSBO neighbor is sleeping better now.

As far as comparing New York to Florida that's just a joke. Keep on moving down, there's some great deals out there. There are 5,608 listings in Bradenton(1,328 in the Lakewood Ranch area), 5,845 listings in Sarasota, 6,911 in Tampa,8,291 in Orlando, 2,997 in Clearwater, 7,526 in jacksonville, ........... there are plenty of houses to choose from. Glad there are some who are willing to pay the price. Florida needs to sell some properties. Keep em coming! A lot of people are in a bit of a financial mess. Good thing there are folks from New York to bail them out.


July 20, 2006 07:02 PM

Just saw on CBS news, the home forsale inventory was up 392% in Orlando FL. The bubble burst!!!


July 21, 2006 07:59 AM


You defeated your argument when you said

"I'm talking about people [in NY] with a $200,000 income and net worth in the millions."

Ya, well, people in florida don't normally earn $200,000, and they aren't worth millions.

And, New York is in a deflating bubble too, so what is your point?



July 22, 2006 09:03 AM

You think you got it bad ? try living in the UK, especially in the South of England. And as for taxation - let's not go there. Typical small [i.e. VERY small in US terms] house is £150k [$270k-ish].


July 24, 2006 07:54 PM

You can say no bubble all you want. My wife and I can afford a house and we rent. My boomer parents can afford a retirement home and they won't buy.

Buying in Florida right now would be stupid, bubble or not.


July 25, 2006 08:45 AM


I had to read your post again. Okay, first time homebuyer should pay $400k for a house?????? That sounds good to you??? My first house costs $60,000. We didn't buy a $400k house until our salary was well in the six figures(we like to eat, take vacations, shop....without any debt). Four years ago, $400k bought you a nice, large home with a pool in Florida. Four years later young people should be paying 400k for a starter home? I don't think so! It is delusional people that kept the prices going up for as long as they did! The only way a first time buyer on a combined salary of $60k can afford to buy a $400k home is to use "creative financing" and find themselves so deeply in debt that 2 years later they will find themselves needing to sell or refinance to pay off the debt. Looks like that's what's happening in Florida now. Only problem is they now have to compete with everyone else in the same boat, those that want to get out before it gets worse and the flippers!

One thing to note, we are buyers sitting this thing out. We won't touch a house built between 2002 and 2006! The investors who bought those homes didn't care about the quality of the build. They probably didn't hire their own inspectors. The houses were built so fast the quality can not be what it was pre bubble! We will either purchase a home built before this time or wait for the builders to come down in price(Which they already are) and slow down.


July 25, 2006 02:39 PM

I'm from Cleveland Ohio and always thought owning a condo in Florida would be great. However, it makes no sense now to buy as it is much cheaper to rent a condo on the beach with the benefit of no worries or hassles from ownership. In fact, in inflation adjusted dollars the cost of renting that condo on the beach hasn't changed at all since the 1980's and can be even less if you look for rentals by owner. I usually stay in the Siesta Keys area. So I'll take the great home I have in Cleveland, very inexpensive, for much of the year and just rent in Florida whereever I want, not restricted to any one area as I don't own. When everyone elses wises up to this you will see the pricing in Florida come back down to reality.


July 25, 2006 03:24 PM

Been driving around NE Fla. some more looking at the RE market. Stalemate continues as sellers are still hoping for the miracle that ain't gonna happen. For Sale signs do seem to be increasing still in Jax Beach - let's face it - there is tons of land in Duval and neighboring counties, even near the beach, and people just aren't going to pay $300-$400K for ramshackle stuff six and seven blocks off the beach. And of course if you don't need to be too near Jacksonville you can always just pop across the border into Ga. and immediately save 50%+ on taxes and insurance.

Biggest joke I've seen yet are the 1/6 acre lots on the street parallel to the beach road in Flagler - $300,000! Oh, wait: reduced, only $279,000. Wasn't it just a few years ago that you could buy lot and house for $100K (or less) on that sasme street? Has the "utility" of living in Flagler Beach really gone up that much? Point is, if people really want to move this stuff they need to be reducing prices 30% now to avoid having to reduce 50% or more later.


July 25, 2006 07:25 PM

It would be a blessing if some other State picked up the 1000 extra people a day coming to Florida.
The builders are competing with a glut in these new master communities and still they keep building. Some on average 600 permits a month!!!The flood of people moving here daily and the investors are what drove up the prices in an astonishing short period of time. Placing their markers on anything that had a door and a roof.This is why starter homes are now 400,000. dollars.


July 25, 2006 11:49 PM

Who is going to buy a 250k house in Florida when the median income is around 35k? It is just complete nonsense!


July 26, 2006 07:20 AM

After paying off all my debt and building up $50k in savings, I finally felt ready to enter the housing market, but found out that is was the wrong time. I've been wanting to buy a house here in Tampa for about a year now. I've been focusing on the "more desirable" areas of the historic Seminole Heights neighborhood. The bulk of the houses are wood frame Bungalows from the 1920's. A precious few are from pre-1900, a small smattering of homes are 1900 to mid teens, plus a handful are from the 1930's too.

Each weekend, i drive up & down each and every street in my area of focus. Starting in late Feb. 2006, i began compiling a listing of homes for sale in my area of focus. Very little homes have sold, basically just the "undesirable" homes - homes you wouldn't really want to live in. [But, sadly for some people that's all their money could buy (at the time) - which was too much!]

NONE of the homes that i would like to purchase have sold!!! We're talking 5+ solid months. And, it's amazing how many of the homes are empty. Flippers have really gutted the neighborhood, just tore up the sense of community. No neighbors, or new neighbors in & out, in & out...

Now, so many natives are putting their homes up for sale to try and "cash in" on some of the free money they're afraid of losing out on. You do hear people bragging about how much money they made and how smart they were and blah, blah, blah. People are rubbing it in...

During the height of the boom (mid 2004 thru 2005), many Floridians sold their homes themselves and pocketed the commission they would have had to pay a realtor. Many homes sold in 1 or 2 or 3 days! People were in a frenzy - actually bidding up the prices on homes!

Every week i see more and more houses with for sale signs - with ridiculous prices. Homes where the signs no longer sit are just owners that gave up playing "the State lottery." (I check regularly on the property appraiser's site - no new owners, no sale). Others have finally hired a realtor. Imagine asking $250 for your home, but it sells for $325!

This is where the housing supply is really growing "on paper" - natives know better than the national media. All those houses for sale by owner aren't in the "official" MLS listings. Florida housing supply is definitely higher than advertised.

Nationally, June 2006 housing supply is 6.8-6.9 months. Historically, at 7 months supply prices falter. At 8 months supply prices drop as buyers get the upper hand. And, at 9 months supply the bottom absolutely falls out of the market. Supply has gone up about .3 to .5 for the last 6-7 months or so...

Bubbles are adjustments in prices over a relatively short period. Say 1-3 years. If housing prices stagnate, then they are FALLING - because inflation still rises say 3% a year. A $200,000 home today is a $218,545 home in 3 years if it keeps up with inflation. If it stagnates, then your $200k home would be like a $181,455 today. Now take into account if there is a market correction. Historically corrections can easily be 10%. In hotter (speculative) areas (such as Florida) 20% to 30% is common. 40% is not unheard of in the hottest markets. Now if a $200k house value goes down 10% atfer 3 years, then after considering inflation on our investment... its true value is $161,455. If you put 20% down when buying your house... guess what? just lost $40k!!! 20% becomes $141,455. 30% is $121,455. 40% (gasp!) is $101,455. If you're going to stay for 5-10 years, then don't worry about 10% so much. Otherwise...

Compute these figures with the national mean & median house prices. Nationally, there may be no correction, just minimal growth - maybe less than inflation. But, if the national market were to correct a simple 10%... then the average American household is locked into their home for a good 10 years or more, unless they want flat-out lose a massive chunk of money.

Hurricanes have typically caused spurts in house buying. Why? Because when a hurricane is brewing, you can't get homeowner's insurance, thus buyers can't consumate a mortgage because of the required insurance (catch 22). So, what happens is that there is a backup of people who've agreed to buy homes, but can't until the hurricane passes. In hot years (where housing supply is already low) you have these spurts where the supply is even further depleted - sharply even. That jacks up prices even more: less houses available and still a ton of buyers. I think that hurricane(s) will have the opposite effect this year. Supply will mushroom during hurricane moratoriums, and negligible buyer activity after the moratorium cause prices to drop all across the board in Florida.

To my utter amazement, there have been 1 or 2 homes sell for ASTRONOMICAL prices (Ex: like $405k (1578 sf) when when it should go for $221, maybe $250 - if its immaculate inside & out). Truly amazing, becuase Bungalows in the smae neighborhood having larger sf & with double lots could have been bought - for less!!!

Asking prices have tanked considerably. Mostly dropping in the last 2 months (today is 7-26-06).
I think some people who had no intention of selling their homes got offers during the boom, kept contact info, and now understanding the looming housing fall have decided to sell to those previously interested parties, thus cashing in. Out-of-towners are out of touch with how much they really could buy down here in Florida.

Anyway, i've done my math, and i can rent (for much less than a mortgage) for as many as 3 years and be able to save money to put towards a house. And if the market corrects by only 10% (which is a no-brainer) i'll still be way ahead of the game than if i bought now. And if the market corrects even more, i'll have made out like a bandit. Same as those who sold their homes during the height of the boom!


July 26, 2006 07:22 PM

Another thing to consider is the interest rates. Just said if you borrow $200k for 30 years @ 5% interest rate. Total interest and principle you will pay is $386,280, @6%(1% increase) you will pay $431,676. That is 45,396 difference in 30 years. Of course things will be different if you pay off faster, or sell your house sooner. I just want to throw the interest factor in when consider buying or renting.


August 2, 2006 11:51 AM

I'm from Germany and I noticed from above statements, that it is said, European money would flow and they would be willing to buy like mad at whatever price.
And this could help to bolster prices.
And the Euro had been so strong giving even more support.
Well, it looks different from here, at least from my side.
I only can say, I know a lot of Germans and Brits who are very frustated with their property and in the process of selling their Florida real estate.
- Taxes are too high
- insurance too high
- health insurance far too high
- rental return not covering costs
- house prices very, very high
Well, for myself, I seriosly considered buying a house for retirement in the Kissimee Area but after taking a closer look at the situation, I put it on hold for the foreseeable future.
I'm not sure of a soft landing.
Prices have to drop s i g n i f i c a n t e l y bevore I take another look.


August 3, 2006 06:57 PM

It amazes me after reading many of these posts, that people do not realize that the Florida sellers are way over due for price appreciation. Go to NY, NJ or CA, and no one has ever complained about the prices appreciating there,year after year, Florida has been long over due. The problem is that Florida has never appreciated like this before and most of your 1st time buyers expect to get a house for $200,00. Come on, all the SELLERS are entitled to make money just like those in the northeastern states. Tricia

Tracy - Real Estate Agent

August 4, 2006 12:43 PM

"Is Florida housing a bubble? One economist says no..."

You make the decision...

35 years old condo not in a good condition - 1 bed room
7 years ago 35K ,
2 years ago 65K ,
1.5 YearS ago 157K ,

How about those pre-construction condos have banners saying starting from $2million. You will pay $2million and stay in the worst condo of that building..



August 6, 2006 10:05 AM

Why should Floridians have the same price appreciation as northeastern states. Let's see the northeast has high paying jobs. Heck, I was paying a toll the other day and the guy was groaning about how low paying the jobs are in Florida. The toll booth guy thinks he should get paid the same as the toll booth guy in NYC! I am so sorry you must be deep under water in Florida to be making such unbelievable comments! I guess the people in Alambama, Georgia, North Carolina.... should be paying northeastern prices too. Give me a break!

By the way, Florida sellers had their high appreciation over the last few years. Problem was, it wasn't sustainable. Now you and others are hurting as a result of (are you ready, sit down) a real estate BUBBLE!

As one Florida realtor put it, it's as if someone turned off a switch! One day you couldn't sell the houses fast enough. Now you can't sell a house for anything.


August 6, 2006 10:45 AM

JC, thank you for the exhaustive post. I've done all of that math and been too lazy to post it because sometimes I just get tired of trying to convince people that renting makes sense.

I don't care if interest rates go to 15%... I'm SAVING and BANKING and INVESTING real money every month by renting. It would cost $2,000 to own what I rent for $650.

Many Florida homes are horribly outdated and need serious upgrades. It's not just a numbers game, you have to remember at the end of the day you own a physical structure that requires upkeep.


August 7, 2006 05:23 PM

Wow. I live in Florida, just outside of Orlando. And there are a lot of desirable condos located in upscale gated neighborhoods with the state's top rated schools for under $200k. There are also plenty of decent Single family homes starting around $240k. The areas are family oriented and located near prominent business that are consistently hiring. Medical facilities and upscale pay from companies such as AT & T, Triple A, Siemans-Stromberg Carlson, Recotan, etc.... with plans for many more on the way. In addition, Down town Orlando, and Daytona are less than a half hour drive. These are attractive places to live and raise a family. The crime rate is also one of the lowest in the state. My brother just graduated from college and bought a 2 bedroom waterfront condo in a gated neighborhood with 100% financing and a total payment of $1002. (incl tax, HOA and insur) And no, it isn't one of those mortgages where payments jump up or there's negative amortization. There are affordable alternatives. Sometimes they aren't as far away as they seem.


August 8, 2006 10:03 AM

If the toll guy had a college education he wouldn't be complaining, not one of our friends or my husband and myself have ever had a hard time finding well paid jobs. My husband pays his guys northern rates, he understands that prices have gone up down here, yes we are in a market correction, this too will pass, as it happens every 7 or 8 years. We got a good buy on our home and it is almost 3000 under air. And our taxes are lower here than they were in NJ 13 years ago.
For people that are renting, that might well for them, a lot of renters can't qualify for high mortgages. If you have the capital to put down, have good credit and a good paying job, there are a lot of good deals now, I have seen homes come down $100,000.00, yes those home were over valued, the prices are realistic now. See if any other state has winters like we do. Tricia


August 9, 2006 09:43 AM

crime rates low?


August 9, 2006 10:37 AM


It's nice to hear you concede that we are in a market correction and that prices are coming down. Awhile back you said that our area holds it's prices because of the world class beaches and culture. You also mentioned that everyone is in real estate to make money. We aren't! We are in real estate to live in a home. For many years we relocated every few years. We would just hope to break even or walk away with a few extra dollars.

There is a house in Lakewood Ranch we've been watching for over a year. It started well over a million. We said when it hit $850K we would buy. When it did, we decided to wait as things were getting worse! It's now holding strong at $770K since April. No longer a bargain at $850K and obviously not at $770K. There is such a selection of homes to rent at much less than what a mortgage and upkeep would cost that we will keep on renting(We are more than qualified). Everyday new listings of homes for rent that have been on the market for sale come up on the MLS. That's not including the Buy owner homes.

Yes, there are high paying jobs, but who is going to work the other jobs? Did you read the article in the Herald about businesses not expanding and having to provide affordable housing for their employees. In Naples, they can't keep the police force. Just an invitation for criminals. Yes, people are entitled to make their money in real estate, but it comes at a price for others.


August 9, 2006 01:00 PM

Okay for all those in denial, the Titanic has hit an iceberg! The Herald Tribune (southwest florida's leader in news), reports that Jade homes has closed up shop! Jade homes builds houses priced from $500K-$700K. Last year they sold 123 homes. This year they sold 4. They have 75 homes in varying stages of construction. No word as to whether they will be able to finish. This is just the beginning folks! Real Estate in Florida is sinking!


August 9, 2006 01:02 PM

Just got back to my home in Florida after spending some time in Hawaii. It was a blast! However, we have just as much to offer and MORE in Florida. We have so many fantastic beaches, parks and opportunities right here. I am a third generation Native to Florida and I love it here. Do you know I have never in my life removed ice from my car's windows? Most of my Christmas holidays were spent at the beach feeling sorry for all my Yankee cousins. And as all ya all Boomers get old and grouchie, a warm and mild winter will be what you need and deserve after years of hard service.


August 10, 2006 10:16 PM

There are no buyers in Florida. OK, there may be a few, but relative to last year, or the year before, there may as well be none. Inventory is now the highest EVER, 6-8 months (assuming normalized sales) and rising.

The builders will lead prices lower. They must move their inventory. They are like the investment bank syndicate trying to move an IPO. There's really little difference between houses and stocks. Rents (actual or imputed) must support house prices just as earnings must support stock prices. And high taxes and insurance are like high management expenses of owning a mutual fund - a drag on performance.

When the NASDAQ was approaching 5000 I told many people that I thought the real value was around 1500. Nah, they said, maybe it goes to 4000 in a correction, 3500 at worst. It went to 1100.

Bubbles are all the same. Prices rise slowly at first, then accelerate and go up to levels that seem extremely high by historical measures - and THEN they spike up even more dramatically in the final 12 to 18 months (the actual bubble), prompting people to say that the old metrics don't matter anymore, that prices are going to keep going up, because, well, they just are.

Florida market is overvalued at least 30% (north) to 50-60% (southeast) to 75% or higher (southwest). Prices will fall over next 3 years to BELOW historical valuation norms - that's the way bubbles work.


August 14, 2006 04:29 PM

I agree with Paul.I went thru the early 90s realty burst in Cal. and 2000 stock market crash.Fortunately,I invested prudently in both situation.Not with greed and emotional duide or "other people stories".I believe there is going be a significant real estate downturn coming.Can last for yrs to come,as in the early 90s in Cal.


August 15, 2006 05:13 PM


Very good comment. Thanks..

"Prices will fall over next 3 years to BELOW historical valuation norms - that's the way bubbles work."

I do not think the price will fall over next 3 years. I am thinking that period will be around 1-2 years. Preconstruction market will get the biggest hit...


August 16, 2006 10:39 AM

I have a 4 year business degree, from upstate NY and was considering moving to Lakeland,FL last year. Geico Insurance offered me $30,000/year, not that great for someone with a 4 year degree, but you have to start somewhere. I looked at housing prices and asked myself how the hell am I going to afford these overpriced homes? I absolutley agree that Florida is a paradise envirnoment palm trees,sunsets, warm weather, but the hurricanes simply are too devastating to make a home there. I'm from upsate NY and things are not great here as Kodak is laying off everday. I have a 120,000 3 bed 2 bth house and pay 4700 in taxes. Taxes are a real killer here. I lost my job and want to move from upstate ny, as the only affordable aspect of this area is housing. Call center jobs here only pay $9-10/ hour. I'm am still trying to find a resonable cost of living area to raise my family.
I am open to any suggestions on cities one may reccomend. Thanks. I HATE NY


August 16, 2006 05:10 PM

To Tricia
Quote: "It amazes me after reading many of these posts, that people do not realize that the Florida sellers are way over due for price appreciation. Go to NY, NJ or CA, and no one has ever complained about the prices appreciating there,year after year, ....."

NOne has complained??

The run down, totally ruined house in the northern NJ 1 bedroom/1 bathroom 800sq feet - 299k???

Are you nuts??

NOone has complained because noone is even considering buying a house at those prices.

there is NO houses, any houses under 300k.

In Middesex/union/edson counties, not talking about cape may (coastal) and such.

We are DINK's - my wife and I, family income is around 110K. (for comparison: Average FAMILY income in NJ 54K - one of the highest in the country). After tax we are in the 36% total taxes. -which means we have abount 74K left after tax/year - about 6000 month after tax pay.

Expences: student loans (you do not get this salary without college) - 600month, two car's (we both have to commute for about 30-40min)(loan, repairs, insurance, gasoline) - 1000month easilly. So we left with 4400 so far. if we are to buy a house right now - for 300k (keep in mind this is the absolute minimum for house here, it will require essential repars) the mortage is about 2000month, taxes - 2% or more (thats NJ baby) 600year - another 500month - insurance - another 200 month, at least 4% a year in house upkeep (including utilities) - it will be a very old house - 12000 year - 1000month - so what are we left with?? 2000+600+200+1000 = 3800/month real cost of starter ugly home ownership in NJ.
4400-3800 = 600/month for food, clothes, entertainment, and medical expences not covered by the insurance (copay's, prescriptions, dental). 600 month for 2 people?? what if we have kids?? HOw do average people in this country (not lawyers, doctors, high level managers, and finantioal advisors making well into 100's) are suppose to buy a house? the deal is : either real inflation is at 10% a year and middle class getting getting eliminated - and there will be only rich and poor in ten years. Housing priced have to drop/or better just stay the same for the next 5-10 years or so for salaries to catch up. better just stay the saem because that will not initiale a great depression - if they drop a lot - that will kill hte economy, jobs will be scarce, noone would be able to buy a house, banks would go bancrupt - better off with slow and peacefull price correction.
In any way unless you are already own a house right now you can not buy a house - so it's just people who did not buy 5 years ago are out of luck.
by the way the interest rate deduction on the house will give us tax break of about 2800$ - or 400month - wich bring free money to 1000$. A buit better but still does not explain how to start retirement savings, have a kid, and what happens in any of us looses a job???

I guess we'd figure out how people with "AVERAGE" income live....

So thats the problem - most of the houses are owned by people with average income who bought their houses for in hte 90's and now they are now going to sell because they are afraid/can/s afforn anything similr to what they are already have. so there is small number of houses being sold by people who MUST sell and investors. Everybody else just wating it out.


August 19, 2006 05:27 AM

Quote: "Expences: student loans (you do not get this salary without college)"

I am 33, live in Florida, have been making $150K a year for 8 years, and I did not go to college. Most of my friends make similar money and they did not go to college either.

Did you ever think that college may have actually prevented you from making more money?

If you have a brain and take risks... college is not necessary.


August 20, 2006 04:54 AM

There are two Floridas, the exhilarating, refreshing, and life-renewing Florida that one experiences during a 1 or 2 week vacation taken from some hell-hole up north, and the boring, sleazy, and nothingness Florida that one experiences living here for several years (how about 23 yrs for yours truly). If I ever escape this place, I shall never return, not even once...just for a peek. I yearn for the eastern woodlands and the four seasons...ah a strong spring bursting with new life round' April and an equally strong fall bursing with color round' October. Cycles and be alive harmony with a natural environment free from rust, rot, mildew, mold, deer flies, dog flies, mold crickets, love bugs, mosquitoes, termites, flooding, etc. Yeah, the boomers are coming to Florida...that's a fact...but they won't stay...that's another can bank on it.


August 21, 2006 10:56 AM

On a show called House Hunters they had a woman from Louisville Ky, living in Naples for the past three years moving back. She said florida is some people's paradise, but not hers. She sold her tiny home for $400k moved back to KY and spent $265K. She no longer has to work. She can make it on her social security and nest egg. This is a very common practice, folks are cashing out and taking their profits elsewhere. Florida is my paradise, but most of my northern friends think I'm nuts!

I think the mentality that the boomers will keep coming is delusional. Most older folks came to Florida for a few months in the winter and went back home during the summer months(snowbirds). The cost in Florida was affordable. Now that it has gotten out of control folks are finding less expensive alternatives. The Villages in Florida will continue to attract the boomers with all that they have to offer. As many call it Disney for seniors. Otherwise, the other areas may very well see a decrease in homebuyers. Many will choose to rent it's cheaper!

The school numbers indicate that housing prices have affected the student population. Many have moved out, less have moved in. This is all across the state. Those areas where there was an increase, found the numbers to be substantially lower than what they were expecting. Guess those world class beaches we have aren't attracting young families anymore. It's priced out for most.


August 21, 2006 11:10 AM

May I ask what you do for a living? I want to get a job like yours!!!!


August 22, 2006 10:36 AM

The Villages is Disney for seniors. We own 60 acres 10 minutes from this fantastic community.
Sumter county is the second fastest growing area in our country. My children love to go to their downtowns. Its like Mainstreet Disney only better. If anyone is interested in buying an equestrian gated/guarded homesite please contact us at You would have to see it to believe it!


August 23, 2006 08:01 AM


I too would be interested in what you do, and you are right about college. I think it's overratted unless you specifically go into a specialized area such as Pharmacist,Teacher,Lawyer,or Auto technician. I have a 4 yr. Business degree in marketing and have basically used it to wipe ** ***. I didn't go to college to work at a call center for 9/hr.


August 23, 2006 12:20 PM

Below is a list of some shocking high paying jobs of which many do not require a high level of education.

There are many careers that pay well without education, Salesperson, Truck Driver, Project Manager/Superintendent of Construction, Mine Manager, Restaurant Manager, Various Companies will pay well for EXPERIENCE as well as college degrees, Mortgage Broker, Real Estate Agent, Insurance Agent, Court Report/Typist, Stock Broker, (Many of these careers take over 4 years experience the time you spent in college to get up to these levels) Owner of various business: coffee shop, tanning salon, Dry Cleaner stores, multiple hair salons/nail salons, etc... (Businesses equal a little risk and investment capitol that can be acquired with risk; such as, home equity loan, investment group, borrowing money from bank etc...) You have to have brains to be able to finance a business without having family wealth but it can be done with little to no cash out of pocket.

One has to say college is an investment in a since but does it pay off well enough by the chosen path (major) in college is the question most do not ask before they make the decision to invest 4 plus years of earning little to no money while going in debt during these four years and not advancing in a career.

Example: Jane goes to college spends 15k a year (possibly even financed which is worse then this scenario) earns 5k year as waitress and doesn't climb any ladder in the workforce. She graduates and has spent 60k - 20k = 40k.

Bob chooses to go into construction and earned 25k year doing masonry work for 3 years. In year four he proved himself an intelligent hard worker and his company made him a site overseer and increased his pay to 35k for the year. He is now $110,000 - 40k = 70k ahead of Jane and is being looked at for a promotion in year 6 for Superintendent of construction under the Project Manager and under the General Contractor. Average superintendent is being paid 80k in Florida for example.

Jane takes an extra year to graduate from college and graduates in year five because she chooses to change her major from Psychology to Business and party a bit more. :) She now spends an additional 10k more.

When she graduates she gets a career as a business team member of some fancy company that pays her 35k per year for the first four years and then ups her to 60k gradually. She still needs to be naturally intelligent like Bob to get seen for high level advancements and the degree doesn't show this natural (god given)intelligence.

In the end Bob at 10 years has a house worth 400k making a nice low payments because he bought it four years before Jane and has earned $540,000 in life time earnings. Jane has earned $200,000 in life time earnings and frustrated with the present value of her money to purchase a home and other goods that have appreciated rapidly over these years that she was partying it up.

Now with the recent real estate boom Present Value of money was even more important then ever and we are currently hearing a lot of college grads upset about this topic. Now this has been an extreme case and the market may collapse but that doesn’t change the example above much and Present Value is usually worth more then future value.

Now this is a typical scenario that can happen but in the end Bob would have never got promoted this quickly unless he was above average intelligence and Jane could have chosen a more wise degree that paid off her college monetary/time investment; such as, engineer, architect, pharmacist etc..

Just remember while many of college students are worried about drinking the next beer hitting up the next frat party, reading Oedipus Rex, Sophocles, studying macro economics, their buddy is working hard and applying economics in the real world by making decisions; such as, where to invest their hard earned money into the next stock, mutual fund, their first house, etc…By the way I am a college grad and owe little to any of my income to my degree, however, I did enjoy learning and encourage higher education to the young adults of this world but not encourage it directly for income potential.

I wrote this quickly so I am sure that it has some holes in the logic but my simple goal was to express an alternative view of the work world.

College is not a FREE RIDE and the only way to earn money in the world.

Steve from Detroit

August 24, 2006 09:21 AM

Back again,(prior post way up top). Did I call the bubble burst or what?. My brother is sweating, he once could get 3X what he paid, now he is hoping it doesn't crash into negative equity. Houses in his neighborhood have loads of For sale signs and unmowed lawns(with Deed restrictions requiring lawn mowing, that only means one thing; FLORI-CLOSURES!)
They estimated 41% of Pasco homes were bought by "Investors", turns out that number was closer to 70%. Flip this house has turned into Flop this house. I did not get to live through the Dutch tulip craze, but I have been lucky enough to see with my own eyes, the Florida block-house on a swamp-lot craze, and all the insanity that went with it.
I am glad I moved to Atlanta, it's like moving back to the United States again. Florida was the worst place I have ever lived (Including Detroit). I will never step foot in that god forsaken place ever again-FLA. The Tampa Tribune even stated, "The golden age of Florida is over!".
Although, taxes are really steep in GA,-don't let the CATO institute fool you. 750 people a day are moving here(-but from the United States).
The temp seems cooler here, 91 degrees in GA, is not 91 in FLA (that radiant sun/no ozone just adds to the fun of the traffic jams down there)
I like the seller statements that refute the housing bubble is bursting, even after it's become common knowledge. This is the exact type of "boldface lie to your face" moral ethic that makes Florida the shyster paradise that I am so happy to be out of. Hurricanes, Insurance, Taxes, Crime, Low Wages, Bubble Prices, could all be dealt with somewhat. But finally, the Florida-malingering crime/fraud arrogant/malice mentality was what finally drove me out. Adios Flori-tards!


August 24, 2006 12:09 PM

Adios Steve! The sooner the people like you leave, the sooner we can get back to the business of being paradise! Unfortunately, it will take years to fix the mess that the bubble created! But good riddance to those who hate Florida. It's one less car on the road, one less person complaining how awful Florida is.... Prior to 2000, the minority hated Florida. Friends who were transplanted to other parts of the country were heartbroken. Some chose to leave to be near family but were going to miss the lifestyle... some couldn't bear the humidity..... Since the boom, paradise is lost, hopefully not forever though!

Ps Lived in Atlanta for two years. Liked it, but hated the winters, little or no snow, lots of rain, freezing rain and gray skies. Traffic was even worse than Tampa is now.


August 25, 2006 03:13 AM

It is apparent to me that people really do believe everything they read. We moved here three years ago from Arkansas, and I have been conducting census data, along with city and county comparisons across the country for research purposes. Yes, you could leave Tampa, but you will fine that Tampa is in the middle when it comes to property taxes, sales tax, and household income. Take Arkansas for example (home of Alltel, WalMart, Reynolds, Axciom, the Diamond industry, etc). If you want to make any money at all, you must work in Little Rock, which has a comparable property tax rate. You also will get hit with 7% income tax, between 8.5-9.5% sales tax depending on your location, personal taxes, low wages, and one of the highest murder rates per capita in the country. I love Arkansas, but they have their problems. Your property taxes change every year. You pay taxes on everything, and if you want to live in a desirable area, you will pay some $$$ and have a commute. So, look past the hype because there is more to it than you realize. Home prices are on the rise everywhere, and if they are not, you will be paying in other ways. And don't be fooled by how you mil is calculated because the variation is not that great. Consider the price or the home size. Stay put, quit complaining, and invest in your community and future by changing what you disagree with through action not words.


August 25, 2006 01:56 PM

Hey Kristi,

You obviously moved here in the middle of the bubble. Glad you like it here! Unfortunately, you don't know what it was like the previous 20 years.

It's not a matter of believing what you read here. It's the shocking numbers that all reliable sources are now reporting. It took awhile for the business/news outlets to believe. We knew two years ago, things were out of whack! Now I'm not sure where in florida you are, but if the real estate is fine where you are with no empty houses, for sales signs scattered everywhere, I'd like to know. If they have good schools, I'll gladly pay the money to move there.

Now as far as the taxes are concerned, people are unwilling to pay taxes on overinflated homes. When the realtors list a house and list the taxes, they are listing the taxes on the property that the owner is paying. New owner is paying overinflated prices and now taxes on that home have doubled, tripled..... People are getting their tax bills and unable to pay.

Where have you been? Prices are not going up everywhere! Price declines are reported off of bubble peaks in most bubble areas like Florida, California, New Jersey, New York, DC..... Builders that less than two years ago had a lottery to buy a home are slashing prices. So far the most we've had a builder offer is $75K in free options. They don't want to lower the price yet. We're still not buying!

Yes, we are taking a stand and doing something through our actions. We're renting! When we pay $750K+ on a home, we're going to get a home that isn't an overinflated $350K home! Looks like 90% of the other would be buyers in Florida are doing the same. We are saying ENOUGH! Builders, realtors, investors, slimeballs, you aren't getting a dime of my money. Hope you all saved for a rainy day!


August 25, 2006 01:59 PM

One more thing, did you read the todays report by Dean Foust, Housing is down, down, DOWN, not UP, UP, UP!


August 25, 2006 04:08 PM


I ran out of Manatee County (Parrish) two years ago and found by the grace of God two areas to invest in with my husband. Our home is in Brandon. Excellent schools and wonderful community for families. Our land investments are in Sumter County. The Villages is still a huge growth machine. And our neighbor Ocala in July sold 525 homes. Last year in July 528 homes were sold. So it ain't all doom and gloom.


August 27, 2006 07:46 PM


I do not know what part of Florida you reside in, but in the River Club, Lakewood Ranch area, all the schools are RATED A PLUS. There is no other area in either Manatee or Sarasota, that has the amenities, that we have. And as far as the taxes go, that is totally untrue regarding the taxes, they do not double nor triple. Yes, they will go up 20-30 percent. Any person purchasing a home, can call the TAX OFFICE in that town and they will get the amount of taxes that they will pay after the first year. The first year the buyer gets to take advantage of the sellers homestead, then the taxes will go up in the second year. A lot of people that are renters do not understand that. I have read your postings and it seems like you are content renting. Some people do not like the responsibility of owning. The prices are now where they should be. In our area they have pretty much leveled off. So any renter waiting to see how much lower they will go, may just keep waiting indefinitely. Everyone is predicting that come the winter, all things are going to explode down here. Yes, when the northerners get their heating bills, they will get fed up, along with their high taxes. Remember Florida has no STATE INCOME TAX.


August 28, 2006 04:37 PM

I now reside in Lakewood Ranch. We moved there for the schools from Tampa. We have been watching the market for quite sometime. I am very well aware of the positive aspects of the area. However, with that said, I don't know how you can call the area stable. Over half my street is for sale or rent. The homes that we have been watching aren't selling. Every house we look at, we're told "just make an offer". Studies have rated Sarasota 30-40% over valued. The prices haven't adjusted back to normal inflationary levels.

I wouldn't say we are content renting. I would say it happens to be that we aren't content paying over inflated prices. We are locked into renting for a year, which is fine. I'll catch up with you next summer and see where we are.

Pamela, I'm well aware of Brandon. However, I felt that Bradenton overall had a more upscale feel(yes Tricia, I agree with you on some things). I taught school in Brandon for many years. It is a lovely community!

I've never heard Ocala being a part of a bubble. Of course I've never looked as I have no interest in living in Ocala. The main areas addressed as bubble areas are Naples, Sarasota, Miami... larger cities as well as the panhandle. In researching this monster, I've never come across any statistics for Ocala. Sounds like they are safe from this mess. Hope your investment properties do well for you. I agree, The villages is in a world of it's own. couldn't see how anyone would get hurt that bought there. Personally, I wouldn't buy there right now as I've noticed that the real estate pages are getting thicker and thicker everytime I visit my parents. Maybe the people up north that could make a killing a year ago just can't sell their houses. That can affect the growth even in that hotbed!


August 28, 2006 04:42 PM

I forgot to comment on the taxes. Okay, yes, people are getting slammed on their tax bills that bought within the last few years! 20-30% increase for retirees, young first time home is outrageous! Unfortunately, for many people we know, they pay 100% more in taxes than the previous owners. Yes, Florida doesn't have a state income tax, but they do have CDD fees, as well as high property taxes. They have to make it up somewhere.


August 30, 2006 01:24 PM

As I am unpacking boxes in our lovely rental home, I came across papers from my home search back in early April. I've noticed a FEW homes in Lakewood Ranch no longer have for sale signs. I wanted to see, maybe some folks are right that sales are picking up.

I checked on 35 properties listed at the time. I checked the Manatee county tax records to see which ones sold and which ones didn't. Only 4 homes out of the 35 sold. 3 had 10-25% discounts. One home was over a million dollars and was paid in cash.

I know of three homes that are now rental properties(I'm in one). Some were just pulled off the market while others are still for sale. Some haven't taken any price cuts, while others have dropped substantially(25%). There are a few who bought in 2005 and and are still trying to sell for $100K profit. There are at least 5 that are owned by flippers or investors. One poor guy has 6 properties for sale. All bought in 2005.

Hopefully the winter will bring those buyers! I think the numbers speak for themselves. Of course we can always listen to what the professionals(NOT REALTORS) have to say. Raymond James Analyst Rick Murray says it will be years for the market to come back not quarters. Daniel oppenheim of Bank of America says that people are changing from a mindset of waiting for a better price to one that they do not want to buy at this time, no matter what the price. Hmmmmm, sound familiar????


August 30, 2006 10:56 PM

If the masses did the same thing to Gasoline and other goods (gold, cars, wheat) prices would fall in these sectors as well. Everyone should just stop buying gas from one brand, such as, Texaco for one month. They will lower prices down until people start buying from them again. Then the other gas brands will have to do the same in order to compete. This teqnique can be used for any good in the world. However, in real estate it just happened naturally. Normally, we all know it is nearly impossible to get the masses to act together. There is much power in numbers. If everyone got together and rose up for a cause; such as, the tax bills raising proportionately to housing prices then maybe this too could be controlled as we are starting to see in other states around the nation. This too will allow for a softer landing in the RReal Estate Market. Here in Florida we now know that Real Estate came to a slow during a normal slow market Winter/Early Spring. The masses were still buying nearly the same amount of houses they bought in 2005 Winter/Spring but the only difference was mass panic started to set in and people began listing homes at triple the amount because they feared a slow was taking place because the media hyped the bubble so much and the normal winter slow was present. The inventory increased do to false panic. I call it false because at the time sales were normal for Winter/Spring but inventory was building like pandemonium. However, what we are starting to see now is allot of these folks that listed their homes were just afraid or were trying to cash out if they got a bite and are now starting to take their homes off the market so an equilibrium is starting to take place. With interest rates not being hiked again people may start testing the waters and purchase some homes. No one wanted to buy a home because they feared they couldn't sell their own home. More people chose to list and not look to buy until they got action on their home. Perhaps, this pandemonium will only return again in the Winter/Spring. If it does I just hope we don't have to hard of a landing because the economy is tied together in a tight knot. The real estate Boom and Slow has been one heck of a Sociology Study.


August 31, 2006 01:11 AM

I believe this 'bubble' and it's imminent demise (read collapse) has far more to do with psychology, greed, and ignorance than with economics.

It's not like we haven't been here before. (late 80's) And it doesn't have to be Real Estate. It could be stocks. Folk's willing to fork over $35 for a single share of (roll eyes)

What intrigues me about this is the fact that most buyers of DrKoop, and insanely priced Real Estate are not uneducated country bumbkins.

I guess it once again proves that education really has little to do with intelligence.

Maybe a PBS Documentry is in order here? :)


September 2, 2006 01:14 PM

I am glad that I found this site because I can see both sides of the FLA argument. I have read each and every posting so far. I am a Detroit native that lived in East Tn. for a few years and have been in FLA since 1996 by way of the navy. I was in Jax. for four yrs. I met my wife (third generation Floridian) in 1996. We married in early 1999 and were planning on moving to Tn. but I talked her into settling down in the Tampa area. After four years in the military I lived on some hard earned saving and had a blast for my first few months here but when it came time to make a living the party ended fast. My uncle in Detroit had a great job for me but no I liked the sunshine. To shorten this story I will say that my first 18 months here were good but I have foud that since 2001 it is tougher and tougher to make a living here or (according to research) anywhere else. There used to be quit a few 10.00 an hr. jobs around here but most now pay about 8.50. I bought my house from my Father-in-law in 2002, the house my wife grew up in and we knew all of our neihbors because they had all been here since the 1970's, now I do not know anybody on my street. My house is now worth around 160 thou and I do not think it is worth a dime more than 110 thou on a good day but some idoit will pay the overvalue becaues the houses around me are going for the same prices and 90% of my street has sold once in the last four years and 50% has sold twice in the last two years. The nicest house on my street with a 20 yr. resident just went up for 220 thou. I thought that I had a bad attitude about FLA because most of the poeple around me loved it, so I did some research over the years. I find many of the folks that love FLA tend to have their own business, have a pension and can travel any time, or have an elderly parent or some family they followed here. Starting in 2001, I found that FLA was usually the ONLY state that had negative web pages like this one that were not purely sports related such as Cal sucks go UCLA or somthing to that effect. FLA has basically been raped for the last half century. The ultra wealthy Flagler and Plant families began to modernize the state a full century ago. In the late 1800's the Governor of FLA owed one wealth tycoon a debt that FLA could not pay so the Gov. sold the man all of Central FLA for a quarter of a dollar and acre. By the way native Floridian's are usually very nice poeple. Personally I plan to move within the next three years or sooner depening on what I can find. I recived my BSB/M in 04 and have been looking for a job every since but on Sub. teachning pay I can barely afford to leave unless I make decent money somehwhere else which creates another issue in that the entire nation is facing stagenet wages, the worse in 40 yrs. p.s. waging are falling all over the planet and many counrties are have promblems similar to that of the U.S. I have really been waitng to fininsh my Master's degree in managemt which I will have it in my hand in Oct 2006. I will go anywhere I find an opportunity and I certainly preffer changes in season and thats for real. A university in Arizona has offered me a position but I want some cool wheather. See my and my wife love, love, love Tennesse and we have family there but poeple are flooding the south and the Tn. that I know and love will have been f#@** over just like FLA has been. My theory is that because the U.S. has lost over 3 mil. good paying jobs in the last five years, that northerners are taking there chances in the "Sun-Belt" and Green Spaces like Tn, Ga, etc. p.s. white collar jobs are getting offshored as well. A good friend just came back from North Carolina (he is looking for a house up there) and he told me he was depressed on the way back to Pinellas and I was supprised because I get depressed on my way back from Tn. It is weird one person said they do not feel like they are in America down here and I have said that before myself. I am not a numbers guy but from what I have seen and read there wil not be a slow in down in FLA real-estate anytime soon. The local government cannot approve permits fast enough for structures to go up. an article in the Saint Pete Times last year said that if every permit were approved and all of the structures of finished tommorow that FLA could put a roof over 101 and one million head. That is on third the entire U.S. population. Have a good one :)


September 3, 2006 10:33 AM

For those of you who doubt the laws of supply and demand will bring Florida back into balance in the near future after the frantic fear dissipates please read the present and projected population growth for the state of Florida.


September 5, 2006 02:34 PM

Now it's frantic fear that is causing the housing decline? Not the fact that the investors have either gotten out or are losing their shirts!

How old are those statistics? How many are leaving Florida each day? 240 teachers in Palm Beach County left the state last year. At least two ended up at my nephew's school in GA. Another friend said they had an influx of teachers and students from Florida in Charlotte, NC. I think you will find your statistics outdated! Most that will come will rent for the winter. The Florida real estate boom is over. The denial is unbelievable!

If you are a realtor, consider moving to GA or the carolinas. That's where the would be Florida homebuyers are going! If you are an investor holding a property, good luck!


September 6, 2006 12:31 PM

There are more people that are moving here than are moving out, still more than 1000 a day are moving to Florida. You will always have people moving out of any State. Yes, there are people moving to the Carolina's, Tenn. and Georgia. I know of several people that moved to Georgia and Tennessee, and they moved back here within 2 years, it wasn't for them. They missed the Florida lifestyle and mild winters. That's the thing, most people do not like the cold weather. We have teachers at our school that are from Chapel Hill, NC. They absolutely love Florida. So it seems everyone moves around. As soon as the inventory is depleted, it will be back to a sellers market, which financial experts say could happen when the buyers least expect it. We are glad we will not be getting high oil heating bills this winter. Just remember when the Atlantic Ocean is not to active and the Pacific Ocean is more active, they always have a wicked winter up north.

clint burgess

September 6, 2006 03:35 PM

4 generation floridan... have been moved further and further north now live in weeki wachee on the river surronded by federal land... The market will drop 10 to 15% in single family homes and 20 to 25% in condos. It will take 2 to 3 years to recover to todays levels. The good part is all these part time real estate idiots will have to go back to work at home depot and maybe I can get someone to help me... I have invested in 11 properties in the last 8 years all waterfront and rehabed them all to modern standards and made 20 to 30% on my money on every one because I did the work myself and had a full time job. I divested myself of all properties except 3 (primary residence w/ mortgage, 1 rental condo on weeki wachee river and 1 weekend place w/o mortgage. I will wait and sell in 2 to 3 years. When shows on HGTV show how easy it is to flip---- its time to sell it if you own money on it... the next bubble is the TATOO craze you poor idiots that tatooed everyhing to show how individal you are


September 6, 2006 05:13 PM

First, great blog, you get both points of view and people are civil and discuss things decently.

Florida is one of the top 2 entrenpreneurial states in the country. We have the highest number of ebay entrepreneurs after CA.

I moved from NYC and a Wall Street Investment Bank making over multiple six figures. But I was so tired, frustrated and over taxed living in NYC that I would be happy making one quarter the salary I was making in NYC. I'll take the relaxed environ of S Florida any day over the manic drivers and workers of the tri state area.

I dont miss the harsh winters up north, I LOVE 6 months of absolutely perfect weather from November to April.

By the way, I wouuld also point out that South Florida is cooler in the summer than the Carolinas, Georgia, TN etc and warmer in the winters than the same states.

Florida is cooler in the summer than NY, the coolest summer I've had in the past 20 years was the last couple in Florida.

There is plenty of affordable housing available today and you can find homes and condos starting in the low $100s.

No state and city taxes vs 11% of my income in NY went to State and City.

I too know many that have left Florida only to return 2 years later.

And people have been moving to Florida for the last 80 years. Check the census. That is not going to change. As we currently stand we're going to need about a year at the current sales rate to work through the inventory.

Today's younger worker needs to be thinking of being an entrepreneur. The Internet offers you te capability to break away from the chains of corporate america. I was raped by Corp America for 15 years, never again.

I am happy being my own boss and love the lifestyle.

All things are cyclical, this too shall pass.

The price of a 3 bedroom in Miami in the 1940s was $28,000. Today it is 10 times that. Manhattan condos looking at Central Park sold for $75k 25 years ago. I've heard all the naysayers and if there is a correction, it'll bounce back and be much higher in the future.

That is how cycles work. Today is a great buyers market but the media has scared everybody.


September 6, 2006 08:26 PM


what financial experts are you referring to? Every financial institution is bracing for the the fall out from the real estate fiasco created over the last few years! Do you read the articles posted here? Risky lending fueled this bubble! We will go back to traditional lending. No longer will folks with $125k qualify for a interest only loan on a $700k home. If by financial experts you mean Realtors, mortgage lenders.... then okay, I would expect them to say that. Tricia at this point I think you (or your husband) are either a realtor, investor, in the construction business or some other real estate driven career or you are just stirring the pot. Nobody can be in as much denial as you are! Good luck!


September 7, 2006 01:25 PM


Everyone has a motive. It appears simple that your motive is for the market to fall. As you have chosen (previously mentioned in your posts) to sit out and rent for a while and buy in when it is low and people are desperate to sell. Perhaps, this is what you believe to be your intelligent plan for the future. Others, have investment properties and would like to sell without taking a loss and their motive is just as blatantly obvious. However, there are plenty who just live in their home and have enormous equity from the boom and could care less about it going up, down or sideways. Many have moved here from another state and are just happy to live in Florida. If their house goes down so do the other houses so they become even more affordable if and when they choose to move. As for now they are just enjoying their home ownership. This is a very large portion of the population. It is unfortunate that we usually only get to hear from the population that screams the loudest!

By the way, I did not say that frantic fear was "Causing" the decline. I was pointing out that frantic fear is what started the increase in inventory saturation and in turn will and has begun putting pressure on those who need to sell their properties. In early Spring, late
Winter when the housing slow began according to the media the local MLS's across the state of Florida were showing different numbers. Listings tripled during this time period. However, a funny thing was that sales and contracts written for the Months of December, January, February and March were on par with the previous year. This is a normal slow period as can be seen in 2003, 2004, 2005 archives, however, the numbers for 2006 were about the same for sales and contracts inline with the previous years accept for listings. That is Frantic Fear because people viewed the normal slow as the start of a decline (due to media hype) when it was statistically within the average range. Does the market need a correction? Certainly but it will be a balancing act with interest rates rising as to the real power of the purchasers dollar. My only hope is that people don't sit out to long trying to play the game who could be potential buyers to help alleviate some stress in the correction period and in turn cause an overall economic depression.


September 7, 2006 01:39 PM

A mathematical fact of the power of interest rates and the value of the dollar.

Utilizing a 30 year fixed loan an individual's payment will be 1,266.71 for a $250,000 home based on a 4.5% interest rate.

Utilizing a 30 year fixed loan an individual's payment will be 1,264.14 for a $200,000 home based on a 6.5% interest rate.

Based on this example a $250,000 home needs to fall below $200,000 for someone to get a deal.
That is a 25% decrease in home value just to break even.
If the fed believes the market needs interest rates to rise even further then that same home will need to come down even further for the purchaser to get a deal.

For the sake of simplicity Taxes and Insurance were left out of this example. However, one can assume that the taxes being less will add a bit more purchasing power.


September 8, 2006 02:56 PM


I am not posting on this blogs in hopes that the market will fall. I am posting on this blog to vent my anger at the absurdity of this bubble! I can have no impact on the falling prices. But I can vent my feelings at what this bubble has done to this wonderful state! Nothing I say will change the fact that the damage is already done! Irrational greed has fueled this and now it's time to pay up as the bubble loses air.
Of course, who am I to say anything. Just a Floridian shocked at what has happened over the last 4-5 years.

Yes, I am sitting this out waiting to buy when prices go down and people who bought homes they can't afford with exotic loans or refinanced their overinflated equity to buy boats, vacations, boobs.... have no choice but to sell. It's the law of economics. We didn't get rich in real estate, we got rich thanks to hard work and economics. With that said, there is no way in hell I would purchase a home that I can afford to pay cash for in this ridiculous market. A market that was fueled by rhetoric like"there's 1000 people moving to Florida a day, they aren't making anymore land you know, better buy before you are priced out of the market for good...." We saw the used car saleman ploys and as educated, financial experts knew that there was something fishy going on.

But hey, don't listen to me. Listen to the experts, and not our good friend David Lereah who is now back peddling! According to the Wall street journal, Joseph Carson of Alliance Bernstein says the housing correction is in it's early stages now. Davis Wyss Chief Economist at Standard &Poor expects drops in areas that are overvalued such as Fl, Ca and the Northeast. He adds that the most volatility will come in areas like florida where a large number of second homes and investment properties are. Chief U.S Economist says the housing market looks sicker by the day. It's not rescuable anymore. The housing market is beyond the control of the fed.

Oh and by the way, interest rates are of no concern to me as financing isn't an issue! Interest rates shouldn't be of concern to younger folks and other people either. No matter what the interst rate is today, the housing in florida is way overpriced and since the investors left the market and caused an increase in inventory, prices have no where to go but down my friend. The fed can't raise interest rates too high or the housing market will come to an immediate crash. The interest rate ploy won't work either. The housing bubble is known everywhere. There are no more Greater fools out there to buy these overinflated, shoddy construction homes built within the last five years.

The folks from CA, OH, MI, Kentucky, NY, England are no longer buying their FLIPS/investment properties. I name these locations because these are the desperate homeowners we almost rented from. Our landlord is from Ohio. They all bought properties to flip to one of those 1,000 people moving to florida a day. Didn't work out and are now trying to rent. I feel sorry for the guy I rent from. Hmmm, did we make an intelligent plan by renting, yeah. While our poor landlord has the headache of fixing things that go wrong with the shoddily built house he owns, we're making money. Yep, we invested in short investments and are seeing a great return. This poor guy is losing money every month. Between his mortgage, insurance, CDD fees and taxes, I'm certain he's losing money.

The for sale signs and for rent signs speak for themselves.


September 8, 2006 03:26 PM

One more thing, were you upset when the realtors, NAR, were screaming that real estate in Florida is a get rich quick investment(as it always goes up)??????

They've ruined Florida for years to come and I will scream all I want. The rhetoric no longer works. For those investors who might lose money on their investment, too bad. Should have thought about it before you bought a home that had doubled in value over the last 5 years. Not a smart investment. You play the stock market by day trading, you can lose your shirt! Play the real estate market by flipping, you can lose your shirt too! Hard investment lesson to learn. Guess it will be another 70+ years for the next Florida boom. Now we can go back to the business of being paradise, not a commodity. Of course there are some who think paradise is lost forever. I believe we can come back!


September 10, 2006 08:34 AM

Sorry, I forgot to mention Ian Shepherdson's qoute was from Business Week's Builder's Bracing for a Housing Downturn. Great Read! Realtors, investors, ENJOY!


September 11, 2006 09:58 AM


As far as Florida having CDD fees, that is incorrect, Lakewood Ranch has them. You should get your facts straight. And, no we are not Realtors, investors or mortgage people. We are typical homeowners. From most of your posts, you seem to attack anyone that is saying the market will bounce back. It sounds like you want the market to crumble and you want Florida to crumble. You sound like an angry individual. You talk about the investors making a mess of Florida, it is renters like you that are making a mess. You say in one of your posts that you and your husband make over $300,000.00, you do not sound like you have any business or financial sense. I know of no one that is making that type of money that is happy renting. Have you ever owned a home before? If you are not happy with Florida, try another State.


September 11, 2006 12:16 PM

Hey Tricia,

No I'm not an angry person, quite the contrary! Watching this bubble burst has become a favorite past time though. As I've stated before, I am angry at what has happened in this wonderful state! So yes, I sound passionate on this blog! No reason to be an angry person. I have a beautiful healthy family, living back in my favorite place in the world(Florida), no debt, savings and a beautiful home!

Most new planned communities do have CDD's. I never said all of Florida has CDD's. My landlord pays a CDD fee. As a matter of fact, when we are ready to purchase a home, we are looking at non CDD neighborhoods in the area.

I do attack anyone that says the market will bounce back because they are delusional! Just look at the facts. There are no longer any facts that would support a quick comeback for Florida housing! It's the rhetoric that caused this mess, and I for one will speak out against it in hopes of saving some poor soul from making the most expensive mistake of their lives!

In a previous post back in April, I mentioned that there were over 500 homes in the 34202 zip code area, with the cheapest being $350k. Today you can find the same house for $250k. Oh, and there are 1,608 homes for sale. That is close to a 30% drop in price and +150% increase in inventory. Over a year ago, it was predicted in a financial periodical(can't remember which one)that Sarasota was 40% overvalued. The prices are getting close to where they should be. I am not happy that so many people will get hurt!

I do not want Florida to crumble! I want Florida to get back to the business of being paradise not some get rich quick scheme for Foreigners and every Tom, Dick and Harry! I do want the market to come down to normal. I want the average Joe to be able to purchase a home. I don't want to risk losing our hard earned money either.

While I'm embarassed that I posted our income, it is not through bad financial/business sense that we were able to have that income! We saw the .com bust coming. We still bought into the rhetoric of the time, even though when we read the financial reports on the companies and knew it made no sense how well the stocks were doing. We only lost a few thousand dollars, which has been a good tax write off. We saw friends that were in the .com business lose everything. It was scary to sit back and watch as people had to sell everything. Day traders that lost everything went postal! We learned a good financial lesson! This is worse, because folks that lost their money were at least able to sell their homes!

I have owned many homes as we relocated around the country for many years. We have come home to Florida and wish to be nowhere else! We are in the upper end of home pricing. What we can get for our money is ridiculous! We heard the same rhetoric we did with the bubble and knew something was wrong. We knew that real estate was not working off a "new Economic Model"! We knew that yes, the law of supply and demand does affect real estate too! Lived in Texas when folks were leaving the keys in the mailbox!

Renting is no different than owning, we just pay a landlord rather than a bank. We are in no hurry and look at our time here as an extended vacation! Our home is a bit smaller than what we're used to, but heck it's more manageable and frees up more time!

I beg to differ with you on my financial sense! Had I purchased a $900k home a year ago, it would be worth at a minimum 10%less. More likely 30-40% less. Glad we didn't purchase an overinflated depreciating asset!

I am glad that you are not in any business related to real estate! You won't be too affected by this bust. Hopefully you didn't use the Housing ATM like many folks. If you didn't, then sit back, Florida won't crumble, we'll just take a few years to get back to normal. The beaches will still be there, the wonderful winter weather will too! Just pray that all the poor souls who spent their child's college tuition money on speculating bounce back quickly!


September 11, 2006 12:50 PM


Oops, I stand corrected, I did say that Florida has CDD's. My mistake. I should have said that many new home communities with ammenities have CDD's.


September 11, 2006 05:45 PM

While we are arguing like its a Mad Mad Mad World,
(Lizziebeth, you are Ethel Merman... joke...haha) A thousand more people moved here today. The growth marches on. We have had periods like this before and a year and a half later prices spike up quickly. I have tried to get the heck out of Dodge, but the jobs my husband has been offered are centered in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota. I would love to see four different seasons at least once in my life! Instead of just the two we have here..Heaven and Hell. I am a third generation Floridian. I have loved this State. I married a Yankee and he REALLY loves it!!!


September 12, 2006 02:00 PM

One more thing to add fuel to the fire. The Herald Tribune had an article titled Residents Cry For Tax Relief. They qouted one man who moved to Venice 6 months ago. When he received his tax bill, it was 800% higher than the previous owners tax bill. The way houses are listed in the MLS they state what the taxes are for the current owner, not what they would be for the list price. These poor people!

Dr. Patel

September 12, 2006 06:19 PM

I agree with you! The people make over 300k a year should somewhat enjoy life rather than bitching about it like middle class want-to-be's. I too make over 300k a year. The quality of life seems more important. I bought my house without worry too much about loosing its values, because the minute I moved in, the minute I started enjoying it. To me, that worth money! Life is expensive. The good thing is that I can afford it. Just like buying a BMW 760Li. It is not going to worth much after few years. But I did enjoy it. So as plasma TV, it will cost you half the price if you wait for few more years. But you weren't watching it either.
Anyway, all I try to say is, we are not going to live forever. Why not enjoy life.


September 13, 2006 12:28 PM

Dr. Patel,

I see you've bought into the American Dream. Spend, spend spend! Good for you! We need more folks like you to keep the economy going. You know the old saying, the more you make, the more you spend. Debt is debt whether you make $40k or $400k.

I am well enjoying my rental home. I don't know how I could be enjoying it more if I owned it. Has everything we need. We watch our plasma high definition tv's, listen to my husbands stero system as the house was wired for speakers(which we will replace with cheap speakers when we move), swim in our pool, have my beautiful furnishings, paintings and such that it looks beautiful. Have the friends over for barbecues... What more would we enjoy by owning a depreciating asset??? Even painted the bedrooms for the kids, hung curtains..... not into showy cars, but prefer to drive a Honda Accord and mini van.... Take several vacations a year. We are enjoying our money. We have more of it to spend.....

Oh and I guess I should say we are homeowners. We own a beach house in south carolina and a mountain home, which we enjoy immensely. Renting through this bubble will ensure future financial security for us and our children. After all, we don't live forever!


September 13, 2006 12:56 PM

I agree with Dr.Patel.But one more thing--we need to save for rainy days as well.Don't go all out to just spend money,remember,anyone can have times of unpredictable misfortune.


September 13, 2006 01:52 PM

I haven't read this entire thread, but what I've read is very interesting. Just from what I've read, I'm a little puzzled why so many think that there's nothing between New Jersey and Florida. I live in coastal Alabama, a few miles from the Florida line. I agree that the cost of living in Florida is exceeding what the average family can pay. As far as the insurance companies are concerned, the coast is the coast, be it Florida or Mississippi or North Carolina. I just sold my rental property and as soon as I sell my residence, I'm heading back to the Birmingham area. Winters are bearable and insurance is reasonable. Hurricanes peter out before they get that far. I've been here ten years, and have enjoyed it, but since the four hurricanes of 2004 and Katrina, things have never got back to normal. In fact, there is a new normal. I'm ready too move over and let somebody else have it for awhile. But NOBODY is even looking at my home. RE pros, are saying it'll come back next spring, but that's what they said LAST FALL.


September 14, 2006 08:36 AM


If 1,000 people moved to florida today, then must be 2,000+ are moved out. Check the Uhaul prices. They are a little more up to date on what is happening with in/out migration of Florida.

One Way Uhaul Rates

Atlanta, Ga to Ft.Myers, Fl=$586
Ft. Myers, Fl to Atlanta, Ga=1,695

Charlotte, NC to Ft. Myers, Fl=$726
Ft. Myers, Fl to Charlotte, NC=$1,307

Columbia, SC to Ft. Myers, Fl=$587
Ft. Myers, Fl to Columbia, SC=$1,153

Atlanta, GA to Tampa, Fl=$333
Tampa, Fl to Atlanta, GA=$471(the only outbound price that is higher than the inbound)

Charlotte, Nc to Tampa, Fl =$641
Tampa, Fl to Charlotte, NC=$1,153

Columbia, SC to Tampa, Fl= $388
Tampa, Fl to Columbia, SC=$1,523

New York, NY to Tampa, Fl=$1,438
Tampa, Fl to New York, NY=$2,496

While I may be a joke to you, it is with hard facts that I can laugh even more at your delusional comments on this blog. The rhetoric no longer works! The party is over!


September 15, 2006 10:12 AM

The 1000 people that has been reported moving here has been adjusted after births, deaths,people leaving and people coming. I have not seen reports of 2000 people moving out daily as you remark Lizziebeth.
This is my beloved State and I am a third generation Florida Cracker. I and my family have been committed to public service in the medical field. It has been a blessing for me to live here. It even rivals Hawaii in my book because I ain't got to eat food that has suction cups nor do we pull a burnt pig out of the ground. Now we can talk about how smart and shrewed you are Lizziebeth and how much money ya all make or we can talk about how we can make Florida even better.

Florida - Paradise Lost

September 15, 2006 02:12 PM

Wow - this forum has really grown legs! I saved this URL many moons ago, and just happened to check on it today - great posts over the past year. Especially lizziebeth!

FYI, I've established a blog solely focuses on the Florida Housing Bubble. To be honest, the reason I created it was because noone else had (which, seeing how bad it is down here, truly amazed me).

My focus is on the steady stream of spew coming out of the media office of the FAR (Florida Assocation of Realtors) and GTAR (Greater Tampa Association of Realtors), as well as the "Save Our Geezers" Tax, and what is happening in general in the Florida real estate market.

Stop by (click on my name), read up, post a comment (no need to register).

Here's hoping that real estate becomes affordable in Florida some day!

Frank @ Paradise Lost


September 15, 2006 04:23 PM

More Facts.

According to the Miami Herald Broward County Schools lost 8,300 students this year. "school districts all over the state are pondering the same question. Till said declining enrollment was the buzz at a conference of florida superintendents earlier this week".


September 15, 2006 11:04 PM

Wow, I am really glad I found this blog. My husbands job was transferred to Tampa after hurricane Katrina. We have been looking at houses for the past year and have been depressed with what we have found. The price of houses are ridiculous. My husband makes well over the average income and yet we still can't afford a nice home. It gets completely unaffordable when you add in the CDD fees, HOA fees, property tax and flood insurance. I love Tampa and want to stay but this is just horrible. I really hope that prices fall and soon. We are good people and just want to be able to live that way. My husband and I have been going back in forth with what we should do. Should we go ahead and purchase a home and struggle to make ends meet or wait and hope that the bubble burst so loud that it is heard across the gulf coast.


September 18, 2006 10:52 AM


Sounds like we're in the same boat. Only difference is, I lived here before the bubble mania, so know for a fact that the prices are way out of whack. I have a friend who bought her home in 1999 for $275k. At the height of the bubble she could have sold it for $750k. We were not willing to pay that kind of money. It's cheaper to rent and less risky!

Don't leave! This is the best place to live. Just wait it out. We love Tampa! All I would say is, be careful and do your homework before you buy! Read national publications as well as the local papers. The local papers seem to water down what's happening. Of course real estate is probably one of their biggest advertisers.

Look at how many people bought homes during the mania on interest only, o down loans, Adjustable Rate Mortgages.... The only difference between them and renters like myself is that they owe the bank the full amount of their loan whether their house goes up or down in value. Oh yeah, they also have to pay for the upkeep..... Interest only loans are no different than renting, except that you get to say you are a homeowner. Maybe they should say should say, I will be a homeowner when my house doubles in value. Until then, I rent it from the bank.

On another blog they had funny t-shirt sayings, my favorite was "My A.R.M is bigger than your A.R.M and growing!"

Hang in there! Enjoy Florida for all the wonderful things it has to offer. According to our realtor, who I love and adore, the sellers will have to get realistic if they want to sell their houses. She also said that many realtors bought multiple properties to flip during the mania and they are hurting. Piling up credit card debt to make the payments and taking out more loans. Eventually, they will have to claim bankruptcy if they can't rent them to cover carrying costs.....

Where are you looking to buy a home? We live in Bradenton now, but have lived in Carrollwood, Temple Terrace, Brandon and Westchase. If you have kids, make sure you check out schools. Fishhawk ranch area has the best schools for elementary, middle and high school. Good luck!


September 18, 2006 11:27 AM


The 2,000 people moving out a day was sarcasm to point out that your comment is very outdated! There is certainly no way 1,000 people are moving in a day(including those moving out), with "moving in" prices so low while "moving out" prices are so high.

It's the law of supply and demand-economics 101! Of course, Florida is working off a "new economic model" and the law of supply and demand doesn't affect Florida housing, so why should it affect a national moving company. Heck, they want to give those 1,000 people a day moving in a break on the price. Sock it to the idiots who want to move out.

I too love Florida. How can we help make Florida better? Stop the developers from tearing down the beautiful trees and filling in wetlands. Stop them from robbing us blind. While they make their billions, we the tax payers are stuck paying for the growth they have caused. When they all bail out, we are the ones stuck with thousands of empty, poorly built homes! If things are so peachy for the homebuilders, why on earth did many of the top builders CEO's cash out their stock at the height of the bubble, making millions? Do I hear "Enron"????????

Stop voting for city and county officials that are in the developers pockets. Who do you think pays for their campaigns? Then they allow the developers to over build and under pay for their projects........

Stop adding to the mania. It's over. Let's face facts. On any given day there is an article in any Florida newspaper about outraged citizens and their tax bills, insurance bills, even electicity has gone up in some areas as much as 60%. Ask your representatives for help..... Too many people can't afford to live here! They are moving out.

Nobody is disputing how wonderful it is here! I wouldn't go as far as saying it's as nice as Hawaii though! I will say, I wouldn't go that far again as our beaches are perfect for me.

I guess time will tell if we are smart and shrewd. I'll be sure and let "ya all" know if we are. Heck, miracles do happen, the housing market might bounce back and the "1,000 people a day" might start buying homes. Of course, I will be the first to say I was wrong.


September 18, 2006 11:43 AM

Hey Frank,

Thanks for the comments. I think I have been to your blog. The name is appropriate! Your reasons for starting your blog seem to be the same reasons I continue to post here. At first I was surprised, then shocked, then like Jeanne, depressed, and now I'm angry! I was shocked and depressed during the mania at how much house I would get for my money. I'm angry now that I see what the mania has done to Florida! It's scary to think of what it's going to be like in a year or two!

I do get angry at the people who try and justify the high cost of housing and claim that the housing market will be fine. It's just delaying the inevitable!

I am not opposed to growth, I'm opposed to people using Florida housing as an investment that you trade. Now that they have turned the housing market into an investment, they get to see that just like stocks, real estate can and does go down.

See you over in lost paradise!


September 20, 2006 03:48 PM

Hi Lizziebeth:
How are you? You seem to know the Tampa area pretty well. We just relocated to Tampa area. East Lake woodland, Landsbrook (West of Tampa, Palm Harbor area) is the area we are looking at. Most houses build in 1995 and up is selling about double the value right now. One house we saw. Build in 1995, about 3000sq, single story, pond view, 3 car garages, pool and spa. I think the owner paid $250k back in 1995 and selling for $540k. The house did sell for $529 later. We think we are going to just wait. But most people telling us that around $500k is pretty good value for the houses here. What you think, the house like that could drop to $400k? There are very few rental homes in the area.


September 21, 2006 07:06 PM

Welcome to Florida! You are looking in a great area. There probably aren't a ton of rentals in this area as new construction is almost nonexistent, especially in a decent price range.

However, I think it's good to wait even though this area wasn't completely bought up by investors. You see, everyone enjoyed the ride up, causing values to soar all over the state. People took out HELOC's on their home to live the high life. No worries, their house will only go up in value. Oops, the values have tanked, they can't afford the bills and they can't refinance because their home is worth less than they paid.

People bought during the mania even in Lansbrook on interest only loans and jumbo loans.....! Not sure if I posted this before but check this one out. Go to Look up "Real Estate Odd Todd". Funny cartoon!

I'm not as familiar with the current prices in this area, but the majority of news periodicals say that Florida is overvalued by 30-40%. Another way to look at it is to say 6% a year increase on a house is pretty darn fair and good. In my opinion, the $540k house based on that value is $415k(11 years). If you knock off the 30% it's worth only $388k.

Keep in mind, these are older homes. Homes in Florida experience more wear and tear. The roof may need replacing, a/c, water heater........
Of course, $500k was a great price in June of 2005. But is it a realistic price?

One last thought. When I looked at this area years ago, it was worth more than many areas of Tampa. It is a very nice part of Tampa Bay. With that in mind, I would feel comfortable paying $450k($150 sq. ft). If you need a jumbo loan or any kind of special financing, wait though! Prices will be stagnant whent they bottom out for a long time. Save enough money to avoid those kind of loans! Good Luck!


September 26, 2006 06:52 PM

Lizziebeth :
We sold our house up north, made about $400k. But not really want to buy at the peak of market in Florida. We decided to wait. But so far the sellers are pretty stubborn to reduce the price yet. We hope the price will come down next year!!
Thanks again,


September 29, 2006 02:03 PM

I'll give my take on the Tampa bay area as I have lived here for 20 years. Prices are WAY out of wack. People who say there will be no bust here are delusional. Sooner or later, whether it is an interest only payment or a 50 year mortage, a payment has to be made on a loan. There simply aren't any jobs here in the Tampa bay area that make that kind of money to make those payments. What is keeping the prices afloat till now (9/29/2006) is forign investors. When the word gets out that they have been had then prices are going to crash. Hard.


October 2, 2006 09:26 AM

Here's more proof the health of Florida's bubble is declining!

The article says "It had to end someday. The housing mania that gripped America and the bay area for several years would begin to subside".
They also state that in August there were 860 properties in Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas county foreclosed. That was a 44% increase from August of 2005. That's not including Manatee county! Nationwide statistics say that Florida foreclosure rates are up 62% while the US Foreclosure rate is up 53%.

No bubble???????????


October 9, 2006 01:44 PM

OK, now I have to stop reading and comment. When I saw the post that states "comparing Florida to California is ridiculous due to CA.'s better climate, no bugs, no humidity, etc." Hello? Have you been to California. I have relatives there that I visit 2x a year. They are from St. Pete (like myself). The weather there is NOT sunny like they advertise. Yeah, sometimes is really nice, but it's cloudy more often than sunny. Winter it rains constantly. Summer is like being roasted alive. Spring and fall it's cloudy. No, no hurricanes, but we don't pay earthquake insurance either. Don't forget the wildfires and mudslides. Yeah, thats great. Don't get me started on the traffic and lack of parking in L.A.


October 10, 2006 09:28 PM

Sorry the remark offended you. Let me defend my position! I have family in the Bay area. The weather, scenery is gorgeous! It's rained a little when I've visited, but not much. The weather in June is a little odd though! I have only been to LA a few times, Easter, summer and one Thanksgiving. Didn't rain there once! Loved SanDiego. Weather was great on my two visits, once in the summer and once at Easter. Again, don't recall any rain! Yes they have their share of crappy weather just like Florida. It all depends on what your preference is. My point is, Florida isn't California. There is a reason so many people want to live there. Not my cup of tea, but historically speaking Florida doesn't call for the prices to compare to California prices. Both California and Florida are taking a beating in the real estate bust. So I guess you can compare them both as being FLOPS for flippers!


October 13, 2006 01:24 PM

As we continue to look to purchase a home in the Bradenton area of Lakewood Ranch, the number of listings is multiplying! There are homes that have been on the market for over a year! It's crazy! The prices have gone down some, but not enough for these properties to move. The HELOC craze is playing out now! People that need to sell can't because they owe the bank more money than they can sell!

A new twist in the real estate marketing game, new listings are advertised clearly listed not "spec" homes but rather owners who couldn't transfer due to job. Guess I'm not the only one who wouldn't touch a home built by a specuvestor over the last couple years! The integrity of the construction quality isn't the same as a house that is built for someone to live in.

The Sarasota Herald had a huge article on mortgage fraud! CNBC had a blurb on people taken advatage of by mortgage fraud! The mortgage fraud shows that people purposefully inflated the values of properties to make a quick buck! Thus causing other properties to falsely inflate. Now we've heard the media is to blame for the slowdown, interest rates, insurance, taxes and now we can add mortgage fraud to the list.


October 17, 2006 03:58 PM

This was a fascinating read,but a few points of interest:Will people continue to move to Florida?Yes.Will people continue to buy new houses?Yes.Will builders give houses away for less than they cost to build.Hmmm probably not.Is the largest generation reaching financial security?Do old people like cold weather?Demographics dont lie.Florida will be just fine.The market is correcting as we speak .Now you can day trade as to when the bottom is here.


October 17, 2006 04:53 PM

I am planning to move to the Jacksonville Florida within the next few months. Any recomendations would be great? Looks like renting is the way to go for a bit, but are prices going to continue to lower? I keep looking on the web, and they have dropped 10%-15% over the past few months.


October 18, 2006 01:47 AM

Hmmm. Very interesting. Really it comes down to that SOB Greenspan juicing up the liquidity in 2002[artificially low interest rates].As a SoFla native I've seen few booms,more busts [took 5 years for my parents to sell,condos where seller would pay all costs for you to buy].Then mosat boomers have an average of less than $50k. in savings,wages are lower here.Then the homes up north will also fall in price when the time comes.Prices will goto the mean,as either wages must rise or prices must fall or both.Personally I may move to a tax haven and tell the IRS tough luck A-holes!!!The FED causes most if not all inflation!!!


October 18, 2006 02:26 PM

Hi Lee! Love to hear from folks like you. Let's answer some of your questions.

1. Will people continue to move to Florida? You say yes. I won't disagree with that, but let's look at facts. Taxes are out of control, insurance is difficult to get and expensive! Little old ladies are opening their insurance bills and finding the rates have quadrupled! Don't think educated people buying a home in Florida won't look into taxes and insurance before purchasing a home?????

More people are getting out of dodge. city streets in North Carolina, Ga, South Carolina are filled with hundreds of cars with Florida plates. Schools in Florida lost enrollment while schools in those states have seen jumps in the enrollment of students transferring from Florida schools. Teachers from Florida have cashed out of their homes and moved to the southeastern states. In one school in Nc there are three teachers from Florida this year. During the boom, many New Yorkers moved to Florida while many more chose the southeastern states. Mild winters, yet 4 seasons. When questioned as to why they didn't choose Florida, many cited the humidity and they like a change of seasons. Too many speculators banked on them and the baby boomers coming to Florida, unfortunately, they caused this mess and are losing there shirts. Are people going to continue to move to Florida? Yes! Are people going to continue to move out of Florida? Yes! Are the boomers going to pay over inflated prices on a new home that the owner is trying to sell for $100k profit? MMMMM, let me see????? Oh yeah, the cats out of the bag! There is plenty of land to go around even though they aren't making anymore. And you won't be priced out of the market forever if you don't purchase a home NOW!!!! Besides, it will take 1.8 years to sell off current inventory in the Bradenton/Sarsota area, which seems to be the trend all over Florida. Hmmm, plenty of houses to go around for those boomers!

2. Will Builders give houses away for less than it cost them to build?? Well, no that would mean they'd need to go out of business as they wouldn't be making any money. Now let's be realistic here. Most of the homes that have been built over the last few years have doubled if not tripled in prices. did the builders cost double/triple???? I will concede that during a boom costs do go up, but come on did they double/triple?? Oh yeah, it's that simple economic rule I've been talking about for months. Supply and Demand! During the unrealistic boom, demand for materials went up causing the prices to go up for builders(not double tripl...) Now as the demand is down, WAY DOWN, the cost of lumber, copper.... are WAY down!!! The builders made a ton of money during the hey day! Hopefully they socked it away and didn't spend it all!

The builders are selling homes much lower than what people bought a year ago. How low will they go? Only time will tell. Now that lenders are cracking down on loan applications thus being stricter about who and how much they lend, it probably will be a very long time. As stated time and time again, salaries don't match the cost of housing! People will be less likely for many years to come to buy more home than they can afford in hopes of a great return on their investment. With those things in mind, I think the builders incentives have just begun!

3. Is the Largest generation reaching financial security? Well, my guess is NO! Haven't you heard????? Pensions are going broke, Americans don't save, they like to spend, spend, spend....
Those that do have savings, know they face hundreds of dollars in prescriptions each month, high utility bills, dr. bills, taxes...... With little money coming in and lots going out, they need to spend wisely! Choosing to move to a volatile state with high cost for homes, taxes and insurance will lead them to other retirement areas like Hilton Head, Asheville....

4. Do old people like cold? Well, that depends on each individual! Me, I'm not old and I hate the cold! I know folks that love winter! Go figure. I think it's a personal preference! I will concede that traditionally old people have chosen to come down to Florida in the winter for a month or two. However, that was back in the day when Florida was affordable. People were able to maintain two homes. That is no longer the case! It's cheaper for "old" people that dont' like the cold to come down and rent or stay in a hotel! So those boomers won't be buying your homes!

I will say as I've said many times before, I think the Villages, which is still pretty affordable, will maintain it's prices! This is where many will continue to flock! The wealthy will continue to flock to Florida as well. But will they if crime goes up due to lack of police officers, people in the construction industry out of work, people over their head in debt.....
I will say that most "old" people will choose to stay near their children and grandchildren! check out all the areas that Del Webb builds. Florida has three communities Del Webb is building in. New Jersey has four! They build communities in practically every state up the eastern sea board and midwest! Don't forget the other hot retirement area of Arizona! So, your cold theory doesn't fly as these "old" people won't be buying over inflated homes because they hate the cold!

As to your comments:
1. The demographics don't lie. Well, it depends on which demographics you look at! What about the demographics that Florida foreclosures are up over 40% from a year ago? What about the demographics of the investors who lied on application forms thus attaining millions in mortgages on investment properties when they make $50k a year? What about the demographics of the number of listings up 100% in many Florida communities while the number of sales is down? What about the demographics you can see by driving down any residential street in Tampa, Miami, Sarasota, Bradenton and see all the FOR SALE/FOR RENT signs?????? Yep, you're right the demographics don't lie! I guess we can assume the demographics are right, just that with the state of housing in Florida, those that might otherwise choose Florida for their retirement are looking elsewhere, including their own communities!!!

2. The market is coming back as we speak? Well, hooray for the market coming back! Check out this article from the Sarasota Herald. Keep making the Kool Aid! I guess you have no choice and I respect that.

3. Now you can daytrade as to when the bottom is....

Funny comment! Isn't it the daytraders switched to real estate investor that caused this mess? I as a homebuyer, not willing to pay the falsely inflated prices which have caused investigations as well as congretional hearings on mortgage fraud, am a daytrader????? Now that's funny!

This mess is deeper than even I originally thought! People are going to jail for falsely inflating the value of homes, Using low income folks to lie about income on their mortgage applications so they can turn around and sell to unsuspecting people that may not even know they own the property. Did you read about the lady in Tampa who makes $24K a year and had 1.6 million in over inflated ghetto property???? One guy from her church made a killing off selling her those homes. As of the last I heard, they were still investigating as to whether she was a willing participant in the fraud!

I'm not waiting for the bottom! I'm waiting for stability and reality! If, when this all plays out, the $899k house I've been wanting to buy for over a year(that is in my opinion a $500k house at best) is really worth $899k, I will gladly pay it! Until then, I will rent! I plan to buy a home to live in for the next 20 years! Daytrading, investment... are not on my mind. Volatility is!


October 18, 2006 03:29 PM


I can't speak for Jacksonville, however, I've heard they are seeing similar problems as the rest of Florida. My gut says to wait until all the mortgage fraud, foreclosures have played out before buying. Real estate in Florida isn't going up, whether it will continue to decline is another story. Based on facts, further declines are probable! My suggestion is to go to or the Florida Association of Realtors website, narrow down to a specific area you want to live in, price you'd like to pay, square footage..... and see what comes up. Watch those homes for the next couple months. If they sit stagnant month after month, it's probably not time to buy. At the height of this nasty bubble, houses sold in days with multiple offers. People waited in lines for new construction. There were lotteries for new lots. Now those lots have homes on them that are sitting empty waiting for a buyer!

Also go to the same websites and punch in the same parameters searching rental properties. Watch how long those homes are for rent. Also, take the rent they are asking and compare it to the cost of purchasing a similar home(right now most homes for rent are also for sale) adding in the mortgage payment, taxes(based on purchase price), insurance(you may need to make several calls before finding an insurance company) and CDD fees is any. If your mortgage with all the extra fees are the same,less or just a tad more, then purchasing may be a good option! One thing to look for is the need for a jumbo loan. I don't remember the exact amount, but you can finance I believe up to $320k on a conventional loan. If you are looking to purchase a $450k house with $100k down, you will need a second(jumbo loan) with a higher interest rate for the remaining amount. Stay away from interest only loans.

Right now, it's much cheaper for us to rent the house we are in than to outright purchase it and cover the carrying costs. Not a good time to buy for us! You may find Jacksonville to be different! Good Luck!

Florida - Paradise Lost

October 20, 2006 10:02 AM

I love lizziebeth's commentary - she is right on, per usual. Paul is a realtor/investor who is most certainly sitting on some overpriced real estate he can't unload. Good luck with that, Paul!

Actually, Florida is a GREAT place to move to - If anybody from out of state is reading this, please, please move here! We need your money. See: Top 8 reasons for moving to Florida:


October 20, 2006 10:47 AM


Hi, thanks for the feedback. This blog is great!

Right now I am going to rent and look for the deal.

Florida - Paradise Lost

October 20, 2006 12:27 PM

My apolopies, Paul. When inferring the person who was posting as a realtor-investor, I inadvertantly typed your name. I was actually referring to Lee, with his brilliant "demographics don't lie" statement.

Maybe demographics don't lie. But it's been clearly established that realtors do. Especially in Florida.


October 21, 2006 05:40 PM

I recently inherited my father's co-op in Lauderdale and was planning on keeping the apartment. Unfortunately when I got the new Property Tax appraisal the amount quadrupled.

I have since learned it is most likely the affect of having to subsidize those people with Save Our Homes exemptions.

I can't believe that there has not been any discrimination lawsuits brought against Broward - if charging someone a different price for the same good is not discrimination - don't know what is???

Can anyone with a similiar beef share the name of an organization that might be involved with such action???


October 21, 2006 10:51 PM

Florida - Paradise Lost

With all due respect wrong person. I am relocating from FL from NJ. No real estate problems for me...



October 22, 2006 02:22 PM

We recently moved to south florida from Texas and it is difficult to believe the price of housing down here. We can certainly afford a house down here but there is no way that we can pay 500K for a house we think resembles a 175K house. So, we are renting a 500K townhome for 1.7K/month. Even with the loss of writing off the interest on our taxes, this is still the way to go, as it is a better economic decision. Taxes and Insurance alone represent the large bulk of the costs.

On a 500K house w/50k down payment:
Taxes@2% = 10,000/yr
Insurance = 7,000/yr (may be more expensive)
P&I, & PMI @6.2% = 34,000/yr (30 yr loan)
Total = 44,000
Monthly Payment = 51,000/12 = $4,250/mo

Tax Savings:
Int. on loan (1st yr)= 2300/mo*12 = $27,600
2005 Tax Savings = $7,500/12 = 625/mo
Adjusted payment (w/tax savings) = 4250 -625 = 3625/mo

Thus, renting we save $1925/mo = 23,100/yr (3625/mo-1700/mo).

That 23k can be used to invest (online savings pay 5% per year, right now).

Note that this does not consider the impact of appreciation or deflation.

Now, how much money do you have to make to be able to pay a 4250/mo mortgage payment?

Say you limit your debt to 33% (fiction that there are no other debts).

You would have to have a minimum income of $153,000 (with no other debts).

The median palm beach county income is:$45,000

This market DOES NOT MAKE SENSE (unless you are a renter or someone who bought a house 3 to five years ago)!!!


October 23, 2006 10:40 AM

I'm constantly amazed by liberal thinking,There is a cure for this unwarranted anxiety its called prosac.
House in Florida are still going up yes thats right folks in the city that lizzie quoted as having a builder that went bankrupt the other 560 builders are still in buisness???????? Shocking isnt it .But wait a lady and a man were running a real estate scam in Tampa.Thats proof positive that the sky is falling.Forclosures up 40% Are you kidding thats a pretty descent number when you look at Cleveland (200%)Detroit(180%) And guess what those are not speculative markets.Thats an amazing number for a building bust 40 % Lets see as the state doubles its population will there be more bad press?????????Again I do own one rental in Florida .I am not a builder or a mortgage guy .I do own a multi city construction company that services builders.I have a much better guage as to the shape of building in Lee ,Sarasota,Hillsboruogh than an anxious paper reading housewife that rents in Lakewood ranch.
Years from now when the prices never came down to what you BELEIVED they should have been you will still be angry and full of rants about how bad Florida is screwed up.I beleive Florida is a great state that has been behind the times but is now coming in to its own.Opportunities are abundant as long as you dont put blinders on .There will always be naysayers like Lizzie dont let that stop you from making a truly informed decision. Jobs ,Taxes ,rising cost (this is new ,not!@@@) Excuse me I have to go tack up the sky that just fell!!!!!!!!!!!!


October 23, 2006 10:55 AM

Florida Paradise lost im not a realtor .It sounds like you have been burnt by one.I am a Florida business owner.I pay taxes and employ people,you??????????????


October 23, 2006 10:59 AM

I always did like koolaide ,another glass please


October 23, 2006 05:12 PM

Well, Lee, you stepped in it this time....Lizzie is gonna go on a six paragraph newspaper reading desperate housewife tirade over your comments. However, you are right on. I am a third generation native and I have seen the exodus, married the exodus and I know this place is fantastic!!!!!!


October 23, 2006 06:33 PM

Did I strike a nerve? Unwarranted anxiety, liberal, anxious paper reading housewife that rents, Naysayer. Wow, that about sums me up.

I agree with one thing and only one thing you said and that's for people to make a truly informed decision.

I guess you as someone in the building industry would know more than top economists, wall street and Ben Bernanke about economics. What do you have to say about what your buddy David Lereah has to say in this clip.

I guess you must be smarter than these guys. You need to contact NBC. They really need your expertise!

If you like I can supply you with as much data as you would like to back up the fact that the bubble has bursts. Just let me know! I just used a few examples to show what's to come. There are thousands more out there! Just read the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and yes, Business Weekly and I think you'll find most journalist(that are looking at the facts) are in agreement that the housing market is declining.

I was right, you have a vested interest in pumping more air into the bubble! Let's meet back here in six months and see if all those northen Baby Boomers moved here and bought up all the inventory!

For all those readers out there, here's a really entertaining clip on this very topic. It's about the UK bubble, but too funny! Must see tv!

If you can't open it, go to You tube and type in House Price Crash.


October 23, 2006 06:37 PM


Check out the Naples News. They have many bloggers with topics on affordable housing, taxes, insurance.... Maybe someone there can help you. Check out the Herald Tribune, there are some bloggers there. Maybe even your local paper has a blog. Good Luck


October 23, 2006 06:47 PM

Hey Anthony! AMEN! Do the math people! People shouldn't be buying $500k homes with only $50k to put down anyway. Then they are stuck with Jumbo loans! What happens if they lose their job, become sick...... Save your money! Anthony, you are a smart man! Next year you'll have +$73k to put down on a house!

Do you know five years ago $500k bought you one heck of a custom home in florida! You'd only have spent $250k to get what amounts to a $500k house. $50k down on a $250k house makes more sense. I won't even go into the unfairness of the tax savings you'd have if you bought the same house five years ago over today!


October 23, 2006 09:04 PM

Good for Paul, for telling the facts straight. After reading Lizziebeth's postings, one would think that Florida has already collasped. I too live in the Lakewood Ranch area, and if Lizziebeth reads the East County observer, she will see all the sales going on in the Real Estate section. Yes, Yes, Yes, the buyers are coming out. Four homes one street over, have just closed. Six have gone under contract in less than 3 months. Yes, it will take time to sell all the real estate in Manatee and Sarasota, that is currently on the market, but the buyers are coming out. We have had a mild hurricane season, which has helped. One would believe that when someone keeps bashing Florida, that is a justification for renting, when in reality, they do not have an owners mentality, but a renters mentality. Nine out of ten people would still rather own than rent. The prices are where they should be. People that keep complaining about the prices, well that is just an excuse for not buying, they most likely do not have the funds or the knowledge. Ask anybody you know, who wants to live next door to a renter. They never take care of the home or property. I have alot of friends in Lakewood Ranch, they dislike having renters on their street.


October 23, 2006 09:34 PM

Time for me to put in my 5 cents of opinion.

I live in Tampa, FL, and I think those at greatest risk are the ones living in the newest developments that are saturated with investors who need to dump their properties since they can no longer flip the new construction for a quick $100k profit.

I would say, stay out of New Tampa!!! I can mention several new developments up there but one in particular, LIVE OAK. There are 2 major problems with Live Oak: 1) Investors bought up a lions share of the properties to flip, and now that the boom is over they have no one to dump their properties on for a quick profit. 2) The builders/developers just slapped up cheap, generic housing. They look like rows of jam packed brown boxes on top of each other. Now I remember growing up as a kid in a normal neighborhood with a backyard we could play in and I have to feel really sorry for the kids that get stuck here. These yards are 60x100 lots where you can stand in between two houses, stretch out your arms and touch both homes. Here the developers are, building all the way out in New Tampa where there is an abundance of land, but the developer is still cramming houses in on top of each other to squeeze out that one extra penny. Way to go jerks.

Neighborhoods that are established with let’s say 95%+ owner occupied residences have less to worry about (still a decline but not nearly as bad). Again; simple economics supply and demand. Everyone says that housing bubbles are not national but rather local, and this is true, right down to the neighborhood. So while Tampa could see an overall 10% decline in prices, some of the more desirable neighborhoods that are not concentrated with investors looking to bail out could see only a slight decrease or leveling off.

Also, I would stay away from Apollo Beach. For years property values stayed flat there thanks to TECO’s Big Ben smoke stacks. But prices shot up there since it was one of the last places for the boom to catch on, one of the last places to find cheap real estate (because of the giant smoke stacks). Now with plenty of inventory and prices coming down, I would think Apollo Beach would drop as fast as it went up.


October 24, 2006 09:37 AM

Lee here's a link to the article discussing Florida foreclosures leading the nation.



October 24, 2006 11:08 AM

Tried to find the site Lizzie but it is temporarily down?????????sound like a very reliable source.


October 24, 2006 12:33 PM

Welcome back Tricia! You've been missed! Now Tricia I would love to know what street you are talking of. I agree with Craig that established neighborhoods will not be hurt as much as the investor infested ones. As I recall you mentioned you live in River Club. Which is an older neighborhood and sellers have a little more room to bring down the price to a realistic level(if they haven't HELOC'd themselves up to their eyeballs). It's the areas(like where I am) that have been inundated by specuvestors that are going to be hurt.

Out of the 149 properties I've been watching only 4 have sold. Don't know what the actual selling prices were, but soon we'll know. I know one of the houses went down $200k from original asking price. Fact is houses are selling. Other fact, houses are selling at at about 4% of listed homes a month. This was in the Herald. I can't find the article. Funny thing is the real estate is fine articles seem to last longer than the real estate is declining articles. I wonder why? Oh yeah! The papers biggest advertisers are real estate! Maybe a little pressure from those folks have some bearing on it! I will post the article as soon as I find it.

I agree 100% Tricia, with your friends in Lakewood Ranch that dislike having renters on their street! If I was making mortgage payments, insurance payments, taxes that equaled double what the renter in the same exact house is paying I'd be upset too! Especially if I bought in 2005 or 2006! I've never lived anywhere that the market warranted rental properties, even in Florida. So, I suppose I'd be nervous as to what kind of people would end up renting! Unfortunately, the only choice many investors and sellers have in this market is to either dump their property or rent it out in hopes of covering some of their costs! Luckily for your friends, many educated people with funds are renting until the market rebounds!

Lee, I obviously struck a nerve! I did respond with links to Bloomberg, Reuters, Wall street Journal and more backing the housing decline! for some reason it hasn't been published. I will wait and see if they publish it, before responding again.

Florida - Paradise Lost

October 25, 2006 01:42 PM

Okay, the latest numbers from the GTAR (Greater Tampa Area Realtors) have come out. For the last 3 months:

# of homes for sale: 17,481
homes sold: 1,838
# of months available supply: 9.5 months

# of homes for sale: 17,863
homes sold: 1,822
# of months available supply: 10 months

# of homes for sale: 18,264
homes sold: 1,631
# of months available supply: 11 months

Any forecasts from our panel of prognosticators on what the supply will be in:
January '07?
How about next spring (the 'peak' season)?


October 25, 2006 02:16 PM

New Jersey !!!! Oh I get it (paradise lost) new jersey .Sorry about your luck


October 25, 2006 04:39 PM

Do you want to hear a sad story?

Good part:

My brother bought his first house 8 years ago, and only owes $72K for 4/2 2000s.f. (Beautiful house in Kissimmee)which is great. He has 3 kids and their household annual income is less than $60,000. His credit excellent.

Good to bad:

Since he had excellent credit and already own a house, his friend which is a realtor told him to invest in the market. He bought 2 houses at "pre-construction prices" smaller than his first house @ an average of $250K (down payment of each house was $25K), and he had 2 other under contract (not finished yet) which he put down $25k down payment for each house in 2005. Now how did he get the money for down payment of these four houses--I'm not sure what he did but he mentioned to me that it was sometype of line of credit or loan against his first house.
Once the first two houses were finished he rented them (for less than the mortgage for a year since there are not a lot of people in Kissimmee who can pay or want to pay for a $1300 rent a month) because his "friend" the realtor told him that in a year he can probably sell those houses for at least $320K.
He had to cancel one of the contract for one of the houses that were still under construction and lost $25k down payment because the houses around that area were not selling. The other house is still under construction so I don't know if he is going to buy it.

Bad to worse:
The houses are not selling for the price he thought he could sell them.
Now he has to sell his first house (his family house) so he can pay that line of credit and move to one of the new houses. He is going to pay $1800 a month for mortgage when he used to pay $775.

I think everything is getting out of control. I don't think that area of Florida is ready for these prices. The employers there are disney, universal, restaurants, hotels, I mean, you get the picture right, these are not jobs that can give you enough to pay for a $250k house. Yes, there are employers like Lockheed & Martin, NASA but they do not produce the majority of jobs in the area.


October 26, 2006 12:05 AM

Arizona is now turning into the Next Florida....We had explosive growth with appreciation in the 30% range and now we are looking at a 10% decrease market correction....But Jusat like Florida, If arizona remains to be a desirable place to move to and live or retire then market should remain strong...relatively speaking....



October 26, 2006 02:06 PM

Jr living beyond your means is never good,your brother should make his descisions based on his knowledge, not a realtors .They are just overglorified used car salesmen and women (gotta be pc)I am afraid there is going to be alot of misplaced floridians in the years to come.


October 26, 2006 02:09 PM

Welcome Back Pamela! You sure were missed. Another Greater Fool has posted, so you felt the water was safe! Facts are facts! Just to set the record straight, I never said Florida wasn't fantastic. Just hurt for quite sometime by all the specuvestors! Hey if reading the paper, educating myself makes me a "newspaper reading desperate housewife", I'll take it! Better than being an over extended, so desperate to sell some get rich quick equestrian property that I have to advertise it on a "Is Florida Housing a Bubble" housewife.

Oh Lee, I've posted many reliable links but they are being deleted by the moderator here. I guess too many. I'm glad they at least left the funny You Tube. They must have liked it! Anyway, I'll try again. If not just google Florida leads nation in foreclosures and I think you will find some reputable sources.

Lee, Did you read your local paper The Florida Press today???? 49 month supply of homes in Palm Beach County. Yeah, things are looking up!

Tricia, if things are going so well in Lakewood Ranch, why do the Sarasota Realtors want to secede away from the Bradenton Realtors? oh could it be that the specuvestor infested Lakewood ranch area is hurting the Sarasota sales numbers? Craig was right some areas will be hit harder than others. Lakewood Ranch is the New Tampa of Sarasota. That probably wasn't in the East County Observer.

Well, this newspaper reading, desperate housewife is going to the mall to spend some of the money I save by renting! HAPPY SHOPPING!!!


October 26, 2006 02:23 PM

Lizzie ,I know this may come as a shock but the media(IE bloomberg,wall street journal,local press)like to sell papers this makes them money.Simply put-Brainwashing........
The real estate market is down nation wide not just florida. Florida is in a much better position than midwestern or northeastern markets.
I was shocked to hear that do to packed airlines going to Florida that prices were going to rise.!!!
Paradise lost U are funny!!!!!!!!!Show us the data for the months people are actually coming to Florida........Summer sales are notoriusly lower every year.
We just opened up another shop in Brandon.So if you need a job so U dont have to rent send your resume !!!!!!!!!!!!


October 26, 2006 02:30 PM

I heard that with all the forclosures at Lakewood Ranch that criminals were gonna move in burn and pillage then on to Fishhawk!!!!!!!!!!!!
All this pillaging is makin me thirsty...Koolaid anyone?

Florida - Paradise Lost

October 27, 2006 10:55 AM

JR, that's a sad tale, but I've seen it over and over and over, and it's all happened in the past year. Before 2005, prices had done nothing but gone up, accelerating the pace in 2003-2004. Unfortunately, there just isn't enough people living in (or moving to) this state with the kind of incomes to justify the prices now.

FYI, just checked the numbers for Tampa, the inventory of available homes is now 20,025. That puts it at 12 months of inventory.

But that's nothing. From the just-issued FAR report:

Palm Beach: 48 months of inventory
Sarasota/Bradenton: 98 months of inventory

You can buy now - just be dang-sure you don't have any reason at all to sell in these time frames!

Florida - Paradise Lost

October 27, 2006 10:58 AM

Apologies - for PB and S/B, it is "WEEKS" of inventory, not months. Sheesh, we'd really be in trouble if it was months.

Palm Beach: 48 weeks of inventory
Sarasota/Bradenton: 98 weeks of inventory

Newspaper Reading Desperate Housewife

October 27, 2006 01:57 PM

Well Lee that is such a relief! It's a left wing, liberal, money hungry newspaper conspiracy! PPheww!!! People were getting nervous at the numbers! Okay everyone. You heard Lee, it's safe to by a home!

Never mind that September housing prices declined 9.7 percent from September 2005, the sharpest decline since 1970. But remember, that won't affect Florida homes because they always go up! All those rich boomers will fix things this winter.

It's all lies people! They are making up the numbers to brainwash you! Lies, Lies, Lies!They need to sell papers and make money! Even the NAR and FAR are trying to brainwash you with their incorrect data! Those damn realtors!

Sorry Pamela, I don't have the time to make it six paragraphs of FACTS today! Going down to Naples for a long weekend. Need to finish packing. Ahhh, the joys of renting! I agree, Florida is paradise! Especially when one isn't tied down by mortgage, insurance, and TAX payments!


October 27, 2006 02:06 PM

Per Forbes Magazine "the population of Tampa will grow by 210,000 in the next five years "hmmm and 20,000 homes in inventory will last how long.
Hey Lizzie that 899,000 dollar house come down to 500,000 yet.Can you get me some koolaid while your at the mall runnin a bit short...

newpaper readine desperate housewife formerly known as lizziebeth

October 27, 2006 06:46 PM


No my $899k house is only $759k. I expect it should come down by spring. There was one house I've been watching started at $800k, it's down to $499k. If I really liked it, I would probably buy it. It's a bargain. I doubt it will be on the market much longer! Obviously, you haven't read my previous posts. I don't need a job, already have one and definately don't run short on my shopping trips. We make sound financial decisions that enable us to enjoy life. We have never made money in real estate, nor do we ever plan to. We just refuse to lose money in real estate.

Florida - Paradise Lost

October 30, 2006 02:03 PM

Updated Available Inventory numbers from FAR:

Tallahassee - 9 months
Jacksonville - 10 months
Orlando - 10 months
Palm Beach/Boca - 11 months
Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater - 15 months
Miami-Dade - 18 months
Sarasota/Bradenton - 23 months



November 1, 2006 12:21 PM

is it a good time to buy a florida lakewood ranch...


November 1, 2006 01:21 PM

Buying Cisco at the height of its popularity sounds like a risk????I dont get it your willing to blow money in stocks but wont invest in a home .Hmmmm...throw money away on rent but shop at the mall ...a pattern is starting to form


November 1, 2006 11:21 PM



November 2, 2006 10:40 AM


Well it depends if you listen to Tricia, Pamela, and Lee(who very well may be the same person), it absolutely is!
If you listen to chief economists for every financial institutions, colleges, and the government, it may not be a good time to buy in Lakewood Ranch. Do your homework, look at how many for sale/rent signs there are. Remember, this is just the beginning. Some ARMS won't reset until next year. Those that are realtors, construction.... will see their incomes drop. They will have a tough time making their mortgage payments as well as their Lexus payments. The number of homes for sale/rent will go up. There is a chance that the Baby Boomers will get sick of winter and buy up all the vacant homes. Of course if you do a little homework, you will find the homes in the north are experiencing the fall out of the bubble as well, thus many will be unable to buy even if they wanted to.
Do the math, if to buy the same house with insurance, taxes, mortgage payments are in line with renting, then do it. We found we are saving over $1,000 a month by renting. If you plan to live in the house for the next 20 years and/or you are able to take a huge loss on your home, then buy now. There certainly are a lot of homes to choose from.


November 3, 2006 11:32 AM


Before buying, check out the article on the front page of the Tampa Trib on Nov. 1st titled "New Buyers Shocked By Tax Bills". This should shed some light on one of the many factors that is causing housing to bust in Florida. When taxes in Florida are higher (for some) than in Taxachusettes, you know we're in trouble! Some will brag of the low taxes Florida enjoys. That's if you bought a home before 2001. The run up of real estate has caused a run up in taxes as well as insurance.


November 4, 2006 08:07 AM

Just another little find by this Newspaper Reading Desperate Housewife.

More mortgage fraud reported. This time involving the BIG BOYS, Lehman Bros. They are suing for what other than investors overinflating the value of properties. Just another example that Florida prices got way out of whack, and illegally in some cases! Buckle up! The ride is getting bumpy now!


November 4, 2006 08:56 AM

The Newspaper Reading Desperate Housewife is at it again! Just can't help myself! I love to read the paper!

Some of our The Baby Boomers wanting to move to Florida for the wonderful weather will save us crowd may frown upon my latest find. Sorry!

The Sarasota Herald had an article titled "Retired Baby Boomers Not All Great Gatsby's". Pierro Rivolta, Chairman of the Rivolta group and developer of the Rivo condos on Main Street in Sarasota says that although record number of baby boomers are retiring, not very many of them are Great Gatsby Boomers. They can't afford to buy up the million dollar condos(not to mention the insurance, taxes...)

While the article discussed the typical out dated realtor rhetoric ie: 1,000 people a day moving to Florida, job growth.... they also focused on affordable housing. Rivolta wasn't afraid to say he believed the market was "frothy". He said "people lost their minds" in in valuing southwest florida's properities. BRAVO, a developer saying it like it is!

In the article they discussed that the mortgage brokers have new products to help people afford homes. New longer term mortgages(ooh, now there
s a great idea), Bridge loans.... Hopefully the sheeple will realize, that they are just renting from the Bank rather than landlords!

I think the paper did a nice job of pointing out all isn't well, but still let the "florida real estate always goes up crowd" have their say.


November 4, 2006 09:10 AM

Orlando Sentinal had an article titled: "Tax Bill Forces Upleasant Choices"

The "snowbirds" are getting squeezed thanks to SOH tax exemption, insurance, gas..... Lake County property appraiser Ed Havill said "some of these people are really getting into trouble. What happens when you get into trouble is you get rid of the toys. In Florida the second homes are the toys.",0,193448.story?coll=orl-home-headlines


November 9, 2006 10:33 AM

Lizzie, I cant say I missed your rantings .But I think I understand your plight now .You dont have enough money to put a solid enough downpayment on a house .Then you should rent.But between dilusional rants understand peolpe in the generation above you are not going to put the minimum down and get a crazy ARM.The flippers and a few ignorant so called investors will.If your to poor to be able to afford Florida there is alway Detoit.Your a walking contradiction you say everything is ovrpriced then say evrything has dropped to the bottom . Fact is you probably want the finer things but cant quite afford it.This is what I suggest buy a house that you can afford.If you put half down on a 300 k house your mortgage will be much less than rent and you will be gaining equity.Novel idea huh???????????????????????


November 9, 2006 05:07 PM

Thanks for the advice Lee. You must be so frustrated to be so concerned with my financial situation. Yes, the bottom is here. Quite frankly, I don't need to post anymore. There are no greater fools left. I don't need to worry about more victims of the bubble. If they pick up the paper, watch the news... they know. For those willing to pay $300k for a $150k house plus pay the taxes and insurance... then it's their problem. If you read Business Week's other articles, you'd know that real estate is a mess.

Good Luck, it seems that you are in deep! Construction in Florida is hurting. Builders are laying off all over Florida. I'm sorry for you. Had the builders seen beyond their greed, they could have prevented this.

By the way, I'm a young Baby Boomer. Thanks for the advice on money, I think I'm doing just fine without it. If I wanted a $300k house, I could pay cash. I know that misery loves company. Maybe you'll find a few fools to buy into your hype and join you.


November 10, 2006 05:26 PM

I agree with Lee's comment that Lizziebeth, most likely does not have the monies to purchase a home. All she does is boast about renting. Anyone that brags as much as she does about renting, has that RENTAL MENTALITY. I am so glad I don't live next door to her. Have fun shopping at the mall Lizziebeth.Tricia


November 13, 2006 12:54 AM


Below is my personal history in the real estate world.

Well I caught the bulk of the explosion. I was pre approved for a mortgage in the summer of 2000. I was intimidated by the prospect of buying a home so I waited. After 4 years of renting, I bought a 3/2 villa in Feb 2004 for $164K in davie. At the time I was making 70K & had no debt. I got a fixed 5.75% 30 year mortgage. I wanted to put nothing down but WAMU said I made too much money to qualify for their program. IRONICALLY, I made too little money to afford a house on a lawn with a garage too!!! It was all I could afford. I saw a 135K increase in my value by the peak in South FL, which was about Jan 2006. With a 153K mortgage, I will be just fine. However, a strange part of me wishes I sold for $300K in Jan & just rented until things come back down. I have no doubt in my mind that I will probably sell my place in 2009 for exactly what I paid & move into a real house with nothing to put down... but at least my salary will be higher!!! ;)

The smartest thing anyone could have done in S FL in 2000 would have been to STRETCH themselves paper thin to buy the biggest freakin house on the block. But then again hind sight is always 20-20. Also as Sir Isaac Newton postulated way back when... what goes up must come down.


November 14, 2006 01:47 PM

Hello my dear friend Tricia. Now please, if I had no money, I wouldn't have anything to lose. Would I? There is so much free money out there, liars loans... I could easily purchase a house with little risk except to my credit. Why would I rent if I could buy a home and if it turns out I can't afford it, give the keys back to the bank. Just this weekend in the Herald, they qouted local realtors talking about investors just giving the keys back to the bank. Florida leads the nation in foreclosures, yes Lee, even before Michigan. People Just walking away.

It's because I have a lot to lose, that I refuse to. I'd rather rent from a landlord for less and with no risk than rent from a mortgage company or worse yet, put my cash in an asset that is volatile! Prices are coming down. Until the market is stable, I will save my money. Unless you are a complete moron, you know that the real estate market is unstable.

Tricia, trust me, you would love to have me for a neighbor. I have never had a neighbor that didn't love me. As a matter of fact my old neighbors from Texas are coming to spend Thanksgiving with us. I can't wait to show them your comment! They will get a laugh out of it.

I am not bragging about renting. I'm warning others and pointing out the hard core facts! The fundamentals of econ 101 are at work here! In this market, where housing costs artificailly soared, it is cheaper to rent than to buy! Until the fundamentals to support the costs of housing in Florida, people will rent! Yes, I agree with Jason. Sir Isaac Newton's theory is at work in florida and across the nation.

I did have fun at the mall. Almost done with my Christmas shopping.

DKK Consulting

November 20, 2006 05:08 PM

Well, I think there are a few people on this blog that need to come back to south FL and put on a pair of reality spectacles. National Homebuilders are slashing and doing whatever is necessary to clean their inventory for the new year. Centex Rooney one of the biggest builders in the nation has closed its JAX office and is cutting 30-50% of its workforce for the PBC office. On top of that they have just come out with a mandate to sell all homes by the ned of Q1 '07 even if it means selling at cost!!!!! So I ask "What do you think will happen when alll of those new homes go on the market for half of what they were selling for less than a year ago?" What kind of effect will that have for all of the over inflated prices of existing homes? There will be a very sizable down-turn (-50 to 60%) for a substantial amount of time (5-10 years). On another note Centex has an inventory of new homes in FL for 5 years at current sales rates. PBC has 5 times the inventory of new and existing homes than it did just 18 months ago and new contracts have gone down by 80%. Not to be a doom and gloomer but I have lived here my whole life and since I can remember exponential growth has never leveled out just been followed by a big down-turn!!!!!!
For those of you that have only lived here for the past 5-10 years FL is not recession proof and it definately has its frenzied activity. Back in the mid 80's the bottom fell out of the construction market and prices didn't rebound until early to mid 90's this was maily due to the high interest rates 12-15%.
Now instead of the high interest rates you have taxes that have gone up 100-200% and insurance rates that have increased 200-400%. We all know that neither the insurance companies or the local govts don't like lowering their income


November 27, 2006 11:38 AM

HELP!!!! My husband has been in the construction industry here in central florida for the past 15 we need to run now???? Money in the bank is starting to become an issue and i'm not sure what to expect in the coming months. i know that most of you on this site are investors in real estate just looking for some additional insight. any builders that are still building????


November 28, 2006 10:46 AM

I haven't wrote in a while, but am glad people are keeping this alive. I just wanted to toss 2 more cents in from my personal experience renting a condo in Tampa.

We are paying $1050 a month in rent for a decent 2BDR 2BA. We have lived there since August and our landlord is wanting us to buy the place. She has offered us 3 different prices since we moved in the past 4 months we have lived there.

She does real estate for a living and I know she just jumped on this place and wanted to make a quick buck (like everyone else). The original price she wanted was $276k in August. 2 months later the price was at $255k. Another 2 months and it is at $200k. Which is actually starting to get in the realistic price range.

Anyways... to those who have patiently waited like me for the bubble to pop, we are almost there!! Pretty soon us normal (not filthy rich or in real estate ppl) will be able to actually look at housing without laughing at the outrages prices while those who were trying to make a quick buck will lose! IT WILL BE GREAT :)


November 28, 2006 01:49 PM

According to many, commercial construction is holding up the construction industry(at least for awhile). He may want to look at that avenue. What about home remodeling. So many of my friends can't move because of the Homestead taxes. They are adding on and remodeling. Maybe he can go to some of the upscale, older neighborhoods and pass out flyers in mailboxes. Those that are settled and not Heloc'd to their eyeballs still have money to paint, decorate, add custom cabinetry, crown molding.......


December 4, 2006 02:04 PM

Jenn ,relax florida is experiencing what the hole nation is.Work in the construction feild has switched to residential rehab and commercial.Florida new home construction is improving already as where most other parts of the nation are not.Dont listen to the doomsday people they usually rant from sour grapes.As Money magazine said the south and west are on their way back and the midwest and northeast have at least 13 to 15 months before it starts to turn.People (well Homeowners that is,sorry Lizzie)spend money on their homes .Just look at Lowes and Home depots forcast.. just have to work the right market.Dont drop work in new construction I know plenty of people who regret doing it .Build a base in both markets than you will become recession proof.

Florida - Paradise Lost

December 4, 2006 03:34 PM

Just calculated the latest numbers (from FAR and Things jumped around, but that is to be expected on a month-to-month basis. All figures double-checked.

For October 2006:

Orlando - 9 months
Jacksonville - 10 months
Tallahassee - 12 months
Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater - 15 months
Sarasota/Bradenton - 18 months
Palm Beach/Boca - 40 months
Miami-Dade - 42 months



December 5, 2006 11:38 AM


Jenn is looking for money to pay their bills. I agree with you that her husand should look into remodeling and commercial development(for a short while). Your advice that new home contruction is rebounding is completely irresponsible! Stop the rhetoric. New construction is not recovering in Florida. Everyday Builders are laying off workers, going out of business here in Florida. To qoute Money Magazine, which is the People magazine of the investment world, is insane! Jenn, if you want real advice, check out where the professional investment analysts turn to Reuters, Bloomerg, Wall Street Journal, Business Week..... afterall, it was Money magazine reading investors that caused the artificial demand in housing.

Hey Lee, you are wrong to say I'm not a homeowner. I own one rental property(no mortgage), a log home in the North Carolina Mountains(50%financed) and 1/4 of a beach home in the Carolinas(no morrtgage). We don't currently own a primary residence here in Bradenton. We don't have sour grapes. We just have no desire to throw our money away! It appears we are not alone!


December 7, 2006 10:43 AM

Interesting article in the Sarasota Herald. Land prices are plummeting! One realtor, Barbara Anson, who has successfully sold land over the last six months was qouted as saying "People had to realize the bubble had burst. If they wanted to sell, they needed to lower their prices. Prices have come down to where they were five years ago". She also said "Every five years there is a cycle in real estate. We were at the top and riding high 18 months ago. I made some sellers millionaires, and the boom didn't hurt me either".

Jack McCabe a real estate consultant also had some interesting qoutes. "no matter how many realtors say this is a good time to buy, buyers are more savvy now. They understand that it doesn't make sense to buy in a falling market". Hmmmmm, where have I heard that one before???? Oh yeah, that's my theme song. "Don't want to buy a depreciating asset"! He also said"The faster real estate agents and their clients can come to the conclusion that Florida real estate prices need to come down, the faster the recovery can begin". HMMMM, seems I may have said that as well in one of my doomsday rants.


December 11, 2006 06:13 PM

Another great read in the St. Pete times. Precisely the reason I've been posting here! To prevent further innocent folks from getting hurt in the bubble caused by fraud!

They write about Sky Development: "They hosted swanky penthouse parties, owned a 2.3 million dollar waterfront home and declared they would become the biggest developer in America".

"Now the house sits empty and Sky Development's creators have fled the country".

"Detectives think Natalia and Victor Wolf slipped out the country, leaving behind more than 100 victims and taking more than $20 million from fraudulent transactions".

Are your seatbelts tight??????? The ride down is so much harder than the ride up!!!!


December 13, 2006 10:46 PM

Does anyone think that we should sell our primary residence that we own free and clear. We purchased last year at 25K under market at that time. We can tolerate losing no more than 25K over what we paid to break even. This market is frightening and need the truth to be told. It does appear the market is crashing everyday. has listings that are over a year old and the prices have dropped 10,20,30,40K or more over time. I really would like to know what to do.


December 15, 2006 09:47 AM

I would stay unless you plan on moving in the next year or two. I wouldn't sell just because the market is diving if you can afford your payments, insurance, taxes..... We lived in Texas during the last bust, and while those that bought at the peak never really made any money for about ten years, those that stayed didn't end up losing either. I did have a few friends that lost some money when they went to move up to a larger home, but I would cross that bridge when it happens. Don't try and sell your house now and compete with all the speculations, foreclosures and builders unless you absolutely have to!


December 20, 2006 12:22 PM

I live in GA and travel to FL in my business. Have also lived in Miami for five years in the 60's. I'm down there and travel it extensively at least 6 times a year. The real estate market is a perfect trap for greed. But the game was over some months ago. The boomers haven't come close to reaching their zenith but it's over as far as investment is concerned. Look for a horrendous fall in RE for the next ten years.
It'll be the result of absurd taxes, Mother nature, greedy insurance companies, hyper inflation, traffic nightmares, illegal immigration costs - and poor job earnings as tourism drops to unbelievable new lows. The moral fiber of those below the poverty line and lack thereof in respect for law in the near future will be very telling. Bail now if you can. It's like musical chairs, but this time more than your butt is on the line.


December 21, 2006 05:28 PM

At the risk of sounding like Pamela and Tricia, Kev, I have to disagree with you. Yes, Florida real estate is doomed. We will go back to being an inexpensive place to live as we've always been! With that said, Florida is an incredible place to live!

Crime will increase, but so it will elsewhere. The illegals are all over this country. They will go where the jobs are! The great people of this state will band together to make sure Florida remains paradise! Yes, it will take some time for Florida to come back. I doubt it will ever see the real estate values it attained in my lifetime, but it isn't reason to believe the state is doomed forever. Texas has had a real estate bust, California too. Other bubble areas will experience the same fallout as Florida. We will recover!


January 1, 2007 01:37 PM

"to those who have patiently waited like me for the bubble to pop, we are almost there!!"
Prices will only go higher. Dollar is crashing. Now it's about 1.32 per 1 EURO 32% loss since 2002
So, instead of talking about house prices bubble, thing how much money actually you should make to live in US. Cause, really 60-80k/ USD year is a peanuts, sounds like a welfare. You cannot even get decent live in Moscow, Russia for
that kind of money. If you will make 20k-50k/month, then probably 500k house will not surprise you. What I mean is that the prices for houses is right on the money, just most people are making almost nothing, working for food. Does not expect prices go back down. So not everybody who comes to Florida looking for lousy 9-5 job for 10$ per hour. trust me. Also, many people now working Online..
Maybe you have to start thinking how to create some business on the side to afford a house instead of crying, that you cannot buy one, working at Burger King and waiting for some bubble to burst. There is no bubble!!! Don't be surprise, if Dollar will crash even more and real value things like GOLD/Properties will sky-rocket even higher. I'm actually looking to GOLD hit over $700 per OZ in 1-2 month. Besides 200k USD is only 151k EUROS. So if same person in Germany, perhaps making 80k Euros that means, he making 32% (so far) more than you. So, if you cannot afford buying house in Florida, then French, Germans, UK, even Russian people can. So there are no worries for supply.
Waterfront properties will only be going up.
Condos 1 mil-1.5 mil for 2/2 looks overpriced but, if cheap, dying Dollar taking into consideration, then it's actually looking very reasonable.

Happy New Year!


January 2, 2007 03:49 PM

US DOLLAR is A REAL BUBBLE!!! not the housing!
.GOV just printing more and more $USD to cover their crazy expenses. Paying almost $20 for special PIZZA around here. People in NY City with minimum wage working
2 hours for pack of cigarettes. Other Countries getting tired to support USD by holding it and start dumping $USD to convert their holding into EUROS and GOLD. And you telling me that the 3 bedroom house should cost cost 300k devaluating USD? LOL. Right.
Wait till China dump their $300bil $USD
holdings and see what the price of the Property would be! Only a fool can exchange peace of valuable
property for the green paper, which loosing ground day by day. But again, I’m only talking about real Home Owners not the Mortgage holders, cause really, they own nothing but DEBT. Their Bank is their homeowner.
The end of the $USD is near and ain't going to be pretty!
Read this:

Good luck!

Florida - Paradise Lost

January 3, 2007 08:20 AM

Great writeup, Borat. By the way - LOVED your movie!


January 8, 2007 05:46 AM

I moved here to be closer to my young son. And I don't want to say I hate it here (in Orlando, FL), so I'll use a euphemism like "I h8te it here". But he's the sole reason I'm here and so long as that's the case, I guess I'm staying...

Looked around at properties and yeah - the weed must be especially potent, the drugs extremely pure if peeps think they'll get 200K / 300K + for these teeny tiny houses. So, unless I get a deal at about 80% LTV (subject to appraisal of course with some leeway on the upper range in price) - they can keep their house(s)...its amazing how nuts some of these people are...they're in foreclosure...its a matter of time before the credits totally shot, and the house is forcibly sold, but even when there are For Sale signs at every 4th house (look at Suncrest in UCF) peeps got them heels dug in. I can wait...if I buy at all...but there's just too much out there on the market, and since November, I've seen prices drop...250k to 235k to 220k now in January...I think I WILL wait...until I get that better deal.

Do wanna address a few things though that were mentioned in earlier posts...

1 - Its totally insane to compare NY with FL. NY has been the metropolitan hub of this country for at least a century. FL has nothing on NY. Okay, its sunnier. I'm not from NY, I'm from CT...and I miss you CT...if I ever move back, I won't have to worry about frozen locks and snow since the greenhouse effect will remedy that in a few years.

2 - On the way down here, I met a fairly attractive woman who was in RE in Naples. Same old they're drilled on this stuff - "They aren't making any more land", "don't miss out sitting on the sidelines" - ok...she forgot "ignore all the 'for sale' signs", the fact that too many people don't make a decent wage, etc...As far the brokers go - their best pal is a real estate agent...they must go to the same programming classes..."Frankie say 'there is no bubble..."

3 - I love to meet peeps from up north, because they affirm that there's something really wrong here. Like the fact that wages are sooo low, and prices are sooo high. Some of them have been here for 12 + years and they'd love to leave, but they're stuck. My point is, the disparity between wages and housing costs IS real, and I don't believe its going to change.

4 - I also, in my "gut" (which is usually pretty accurate) agree with Kev... the storms, taxes, immigration issues (must be seen to be believed), poor wages, and what I'll call ghetto sprawl - nah, the-powers-that-be aren't that pro- or co-active to handle those issues...the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. I bet the Poor will continue to get larger as a group, and that never helps.

5 - As someone familiar with day-trading (currency), an experienced trader has the following advantages over RE investors...A) - We can make money in Bull or Bear markets, B) - We tend to drop losing trades in a heartbeat...the rationale for holding losers rings hollow after you do it a few times.

6 - If you think the USD is weak now, wait till the Euro hits $1.50 - I bet it will do so inside a year. But I wouldn't count on euros and pounds to purchase the housing overstock...If I were European, I'd hit New Zealand or Australia - even the dollar has some strength there (for now) much more the Euro or GBP? Subtract the negatives of FL (like increasing crime and poor wages that contribute to increasing crime), and damn - it makes sense.


January 9, 2007 03:28 PM

Just last week in the Sarasota Herald Tribune, it stated, that the market is starting to change, yes it will be slow, but it is changing. My 2 neighbors, have just increased their selling prices $24,000 and $15,000. That means that the market is changing, no Realtor is going to let their seller increase their price, unless they are certain the market has changed. So for all of you individuals complaining about Florida, just remember Florida, will always be a retirement State. There are plenty of good paying jobs, if you are educated.


January 11, 2007 11:45 AM

Oh I just love Tricia's comments. As a newspaper reading, desperate housewife, I too read the article in the Sarasota Herald. It's quite entertaining! The article was a national article. It said that existing home sales rose a whopping .06% nationally. It also stated that new home construction rose 3.4%. This statistics do not take into account cancellations, which are at an all time high. Many reputable sources are calling these figures fuzzy. The Nar spins the numbers to their advantage. Given the number of construction lay offs, mortgage fraud at an all time high, insurance and taxes out of control in Florida, I'd say, yep, it's recovery time. Maybe resales will rise .07% next month.

Of course you may be referring to the article announcing the realtor associations plea campaign called the "Time 2 Buy" campaign! Talk about desperation! Glad your neighbors raised their prices. Good Luck! Houses I've been watching, have either been rented, taken off the market, or reduced drastically. Hopefully they will find a buyer that doesn't mind subsidizing their neighbors taxes by paying double to three times what some of their neighbors are paying. Hopefully they will find a buyer that's willing to pay double to triple insurance on a house than they paid up north. Hopefully they will find a buyer that is willing to pay double what the house sold for just four years ago.

Obviously, you missed the articles in the Herald "Is money greener up north" as well as the articles by a former Herald staff member who moved to SC. Many retirees are taking their money to other mild climates where it's less expensive to live than Florida. Most baby boomers are not retiring millionaires as the bubble taught us to believe they were. Most are living month to month, making high taxes, constantly increasing insurance difficult for most retirees to handle along with their medication and medical bills. So while many retirees will continue to head south in their golden years, many will choose SC,GA,NC, TN over Florida. There's a billboard near Hilton Head that says "FLORIDA is FULL". They need to change it to "Florida is too expensive".

By the way, thanks to the new rent vs buy calculator out there, I now can state that renting definately pays off for us. If we purchased a $750k with $400k down vs. renting a similar home for $3000 a month(which we are), we wouldn't break even after 30 years. Yeah, I'm going to rush out and buy in this recovery before I'm priced out forever!


January 12, 2007 02:14 AM

Tricia made an interesting comment there..."There are plenty of good paying jobs, if you are educated.". I know someone that's been here since 2002...has a masters and a bachelors. Topped-out at $15/hr...For a Florida native, that might be good money(not to me, and not to her), until you consider what housing costs. All personal preferences aside (I'm a total Yankee), I can't see buying in this market. If, after hurricane season, prices rise and stay raised and I see the vast inventory lessen, ok...maybe then. An upward move and decreased inventory would say - de facto - that I was wrong, and I'd have more confidence. I can live with that much easier than buying in this market.

But I don't think I'll do much else than rent a house now. I won't be "scared" into buying now just in case I'm wrong, and I'd be stupid and worse to ignore the number of homes for sale and not raise atleast an eyebrow. Just my own take.

Anybody see the Bank Of England Interest rate hike?


January 15, 2007 03:30 PM


Tricia makes lots of good comments on this blog. I find them quite entertaining! Plenty of high paying jobs if you are educated...hee hee.... Of course all those college grads making peanuts aren't laughing.

One of my all time favorites is"it amazes me that people don't realize that florida sellers are over due for price appreciation" Yeah, it's our right for housing to double in value, because we worked so hard for the money by living in a house.

What Housing Bubble?

January 20, 2007 01:19 AM

There is too much hipe in the news. Rates are still near historical lows. There are micromarkets that seem to deviate from the majority of the regional markets. I read the facts on the trends and base my analysis on real stats not hipe. I found a site that gives pure facts about past direction of the real estate market. You can predict for yourself based on the direction of your local market. Check out and you decide.

Steve from Detroit

January 21, 2007 01:32 AM

Hey I'm back. The Florida market has not hit an equilibrium bottom yet. Interest rates are more powerfull than gravity, and their being so low pulled demand through the roof. My brother paid 140k for his 3/2/3 in 2002 (New Tampa). In 4/2005 he could have gotten close to 400K. They have overbuilt so massively he could be looking at 120K now if he is lucky. The boom attracted lots of people from the bottom strata of society (ours and the 3rd world's)(I really have not come up with a name for them yet-Romans called them the "Head-Count)to work in the construction field (and they are not leaving). Now that it's over, many new houses are empty, and they are future crime bases, and crack houses. I'm glad I moved to GA. The Problem with GA is that it has been controlled by a Dixie-Crat monopoly for 140 years. No tax was ever unreasonable. They even taxed your underwear, and your car ($800 per year av. still).Real Property tax rates are so high (4X Michigan)(but only half of Fla), that the interest rate bubble was cancelled out here. Now that the Republicans are in control, they are planning on slashing taxes, and when that happens, it will be like a gun going off, and the Baby Boomers will come here. Global Warming has passed Florida's weather on to GA. No hurricanes here, it rarely freezes, and they have the most charming cute little Charleston style Town-Houses here,(like the one Scarlett O'hara lived in with Ashlee in GWTW, not those FLA cement-block Furher-Bunkers painted pastel colors!). Later this year the GA Republican gun will go off-so listen for it.
The Blue-Collar Florida retirement dream is over people, so deal with it. I would not want my mom to live there, it's too dangerous, even if she got UZI training.
Just a little peek into my crystal ball.


January 21, 2007 10:39 PM

Anybody remember that show "Land Of The Lost" from the 70s? I used to love that show...hadn't thought of it in years that I'm in Florida, I think of it often...must be the palm trees and prehistoric flora...perhaps the rude people remind me of Paku...could also be the lizards that scuttle about in the middle of January...or maybe its just that for all the peeps who get here, so many want to get out, and have a hard time finding the way.


January 23, 2007 01:01 PM

I'm just outside of Ft Lauderdale and on average prices have fallen about 15%. But, most houses are still significantly overpriced. That 15% reduction hasn't brought many areas back to 2005. I think Sellers here are just going to hold pat "Pay my price or get lost" attitude. You know what, with taxes and insurance and rentals appearing to come down, I think I'll happily get lost.


January 23, 2007 01:26 PM

Great comments!


If you hate it in florida, why are you here???? It's one thing to follow your apron strings to a place that you like, but why would you move to be in a place you are miserable? Maybe your misery has deeper roots. As far as your peeps who hate it here, why can't they leave? Nobody held them back when they moved here? If they bought a home at the height, then too bad! Anyone that moved down here and paid double what a home cost two years ago, isn't to be felt sorry for. Anyone that's been here awhile and has HELOC"d themselves to being "stuck", isn't to be felt sorry for. Or just the greedy peep that wants to make some cash on their "investment" isn't to be felt sorry for either! A mother that moves to be near her son but is miserable isn't to be felt sorry for either. Time to cut the apron strings! I'm sure your son doesn't appreciate you coming to be near him just to be miserable.

Friends in GA and NC are reporting the same folks from NJ, NY.... moving down to buy their mcmansions and then piss and moan that they can't find a decent bagel, pizza, bakery.....schools, roads...... If all you folks love it so much, why did you move????? You need to start a website called I think I'll start one called www.miserableyankeegohome/WEDON"!


January 23, 2007 01:31 PM

What housing bubble? You clearly don't live in Florida. If you do, you are a realtor or mortgage broker. Just today, WCI communities announced home cancellations outnumbered new contracts! No bubble here! Mortgage companies are being closed down for fraud! Builders report it will take years for them to recover. Over half the homes for sale are empty in Florida. The only ones blowing any air are realtors, homeowners in denial and mortgage brokers. They need to put bread and butter on their table, not to mention gas in their Lexus!


January 24, 2007 04:10 AM


Asking a question like "why did you move here" when you knew the answer - its just instigating isn't it?

Accept, just for a moment, that Florida isn't all that to everyone. I'm in Orlando, and yes, it sucks here - in the worst way - no doubt about it. But I have a choice, my son or my comfort...and he wins out. Like so many others I'll adapt - and living here will be like walking with a pebble in your shoe...possible but not comfortable. That's got little to do with with the RE situation here (which sucks as well - in the worst way) but c'est la vie...

My point in short is, so far as a place to live - this place blows chunks. I'm in my 3rd month here, so maybe that'll change...maybe it won't. Second part of the point, is that whether you love it or hate it, Orlando, and perhaps FL itself are in for real adjustments regarding RE. The fact that wages are sooo low here still isn't a plus...the fact that INS or ICS - whatever they call themselves - really need to check some of these illegals is still true. The fact that this place has a rep as being good for kids is still bogus. Great schools? University High - great school to get stabbed in. So anyone moving down here factor an additional 6-10K per year per child for a private school.

In closing, I don't know how native Floridians avoided the whole 6 fingers and swollen tongue thing, but there's still lots of evidence that many Floridians still "keep it in the family". I mean, just because your siblings may be good-looking, its no reason to get conjugal - know what I mean?

To the 3% or so of Floridians that aren't the product of inbreeding, I apologize.


January 25, 2007 08:44 AM

Lizziebeth, thanks for the great post with lots of information on Florida. I was born and raised in Florida but have lived in Atlanta for many years. I remember when Florida was a beautiful place, not crowded and affordable. I would live in Florida but it is too expensive. I was actually born in Tampa, love the area, and have friends there. I will be visiting in February and look forward to driving around and talking to people. I look for your posts because they are so informative.


January 25, 2007 02:09 PM


No, I don't know the answer as to why you moved here? If your son is an adult, there was no reason. If your son is a minor, I question why he doesn't live with you? Oh, well, from your posting, I guess we know the answer.


January 25, 2007 03:02 PM

Thanks Barbara! It's my love of this place that keeps me posting! I hope every last developer leaves this state.

There is a horrible event happening in a Lennar community called Stoneybrook in Venice. The builder was able to get the get the corrupt county commissioners to grant them the ability to tax the residents of that communuity over $6 million for the infrastructure of streets and sewers. The neighborhood is only half built and doesn't look like they will be finishing it anytime soon. The article is in the Sarasota Herald. Things got absolutely out of control.

By the way, I hope you are okay to drive around Tampa with your six fingers. I don't have a problem with driving but my swollen tongue can get in the way when I'm drinking. Of course it does help that I dont have no teeth. You'll have to share psycho yankee's take on 97% of Floridians with your inbred family and friends. Be careful not to spit on eachother.


January 25, 2007 08:12 PM

To idontmuchlikeithere.....Are you sure you are not the product of inbreeding? These postings are
not to nice to the residents of Florida. Sounds like your brain is swollen. Don't let the door hit you on your way out of Orlando. People like you, we can do without. Cherio.


January 27, 2007 11:19 AM

See? See? Its Cheerio - not cherio...what more proof do I need?

Seriously, I don't think anyone could sincerely believe that. But, for the sensitive among us - if I offended (it was obviously a joke) - I apologize.

Now, we can all unclench our jaws and watch the RE market as time will tell...



January 29, 2007 12:33 PM


Come on now. Who picks on a person's spelling, grammar on a blog???? You haven't typed so fast that you left a leter out or acidwentally hit an extra letttter????

Your comments were prejudiced whether meant as a joke or not. It's no different than making fun of someone from another country, a different religion, or race.... Rudeness is rudeness. Of course we do all know that you aren't a happy person, so we don't expect any different from you.

Yes, let's get back to the business at hand the RE market in Florida.


January 30, 2007 08:50 AM

Hi everyone!

Well, my family is excited to say things have picked up nicely in The Villages area near Ocala.
We had two closings yesterday and one more closing in a couple of weeks. This is on land parcels. We even made money. However at the closing in Sarasota our Attorney said Manatee county is still very very slow. This is Lizzie Beth's neck of the woods. I do agree with her that it would be best for developers to move on down the road. Its not like they are building anything that will be spoken about in a high regard..Why is it necessary for ALL of them to slap the same gross color of beige on every home?


January 31, 2007 11:06 AM

Searching the web, I came across this site. There are some interesting comments. My family is moving south to Sarasota for my husbands job. Looking at homes, I am sad at what we can get for $500k. We thought we'd at least get what we have here. I am so confused. Should we rent, should we buy? Where are the good schools? We are not looking forward to this move. Any suggestions would be appreciated!


February 2, 2007 01:31 PM

Don't buy,RENT! At least until the market is holding it's own. If you have to buy, check out the county tax appraisers office for the sales price, permits(to see if any major improvements were done since purchase), and just value of the property in question. You can look up the records by name or adress. If you can get a home close to 2002 prices, I'd say you are doing well. Don't buy anything built in 2005 or 2006. Most were built by flippers who didnt' care about the quality of construction.

I am not familiar with Sarasota's schools, but do know first hand that Manatee County has some fine schools. My kids go to McNeal elementary. I highly recommend this school! I know my neighbors are happy with Nolan Middle and Lakewood Ranch High. I've heard wonderful things about Braden River elementary and Willis Elementary as well. I do not know much about Braden River Middle or High. I assume these schools are just as fine as the Lakewood Ranch schools.

We rent in Lakewood Ranch which allows my children to ride their bikes to school. There are tons of kids and nice people. There are also tons of flips(empty homes) and rentals. Depending on where in Sarasota you will be working, this may be a good option. Traffic on 75 can be a horrible. Especially when it rains or the snowbirds are in town and driving 45! Funny note, the retirees like to drive with their flashers on when it rains. It's very annoying!

I question what the number of pre foreclosures and foreclosures are. So many bought more home than they could afford using exotic mortgages and now find they are struggling. This is another reason I would suggest renting. I'm not saying I have a crystal ball and prices will definately come down, but I do know enough about economics to know that things are not looking to rosy for this area!


February 2, 2007 08:02 PM

Southbound: I have to agree with Lizziebeth, my daughter attends Braden River Elementary,which is in East county-Manatee. I have only heard good things about the middle schools, although drugs in the Lakewood Ranch High school, seems to be a major problem. I know many parents that have pulled their kids out of there. Lakewood Ranch High School is very overcrowded with 2500 kids. Sarasota schools have always scored the highest in the State. You can't go wrong there. And, they have the gifted school, Pine View-which is free. For high schools, you have public and Cardinal Mooney, along with the Sarasota Military-which is also free. Cardinal Mooney is private. Take tours of the schools before registering your children. Good luck.


February 4, 2007 08:11 PM

Look, all of the doomsday forecasters need to settle down. Real estate in Florida is not going to crash, it is not going to dip and never see the highs of 2005 until our children grow old.

Real estate in Florida is going to continue to grow. Relax, go to work, come home-kiss your wife. Florida is a great place to live and will continue to grow.


February 5, 2007 01:10 PM

Thanks Shep! Now I can breathe better! All those empty houses bought by specuvestors were making me worry. Guess I'll go buy one. Hey better yet, I'll go by the house I've been watching sit on the market for over a year that the owner is trying to make 150K in less than two years! He obviously needs help paying his HELOC'd mortgage off.

By the way, I've taken on a new hobby, watching foreclosures! Every week new houses go into foreclosure. Thank goodness the banks don't need to worry about all those foreclosures. Please be sure to let them know all is healthy and well in the housing market. Realtors can take on a new campaign, "It's Time 2 Buy because SHEP KNOWS!"

jim09091 (Jim)

February 8, 2007 10:10 AM

Lizziebeth, if you bought a place for a quick return you got what you deserved. Real estate, just like any other type of investing, is a risk. If you got the money to play with, go for it. If not, buy a house that you don't mind living in more than 12-18 months, which seems to not be the case around here. People have forgotten a home is a place to live in, not a get-rich quick scheme. If you have the money to invest and buy multiple properties than go for it! Some people were smart and bought waterfront just 5-6 years ago when it was "affordable" and even with the swing in the market their property is still appreciating and waterfront is still selling... just not in the 7-10 days it may have 2 years ago.

On the other hand, many people are finding renting to be the best thing. A lot of it depends on what region of the state you are in and when you got here. I've watched my own area (Bonita Beach/Springs, Estero, Naples, etc). go crazy. If you made smart buys you did ok; if you bought into cookie-cutter condos and homes and held them too long then things probably don't look so hot.

P.S. To everyone who is leaving, bye!


February 10, 2007 05:02 PM

I live in Palm Bay, Florida. I have the real take. What happened after the 2004 hurricanes,is the prices of the new and existing homes soared drastically the builders, investors and homeowners along with realtors inflated prices.They built like crazy on speculation. An investor could put $1000 down on a new home that was to be built in 12 months time. They would then assign the contract to about three unsuspecting buyer then it would be flipped again and again.They never had to show up at the closing table. Anticipation killed the investors who got stuck when the market dropped back to normal and he had contracts on a lot of homes. Then the builders began to suffer. A new home you could purchase for less than $200.000 increased to $319,000. The builders hired illegal immigrants they replaced American workers. Suppressed wages and the workmanship on the new homes is horrible. That is why the inventory of new homes is so high. The interior walls have aluminum studs. How do you hang a picture? I can squeeze them with my hands. I compare those studs with a coke can. The trusses can be seen through the roofs. There are many defects in the electrical,plumbing and other structures. Also the new homes are built in area's where the roads are horrible and there is well water. The well water is not potable. The city code enforcement have had these homes built in area's undeveloped built way to high leaving very dangerous deep 4' X 4' deep ditches in the front yards.Very dangerous! How can anyone mow a lawn that steep? The water in these ditches are breeding grounds for mosquito's but have the most beautiful salt water fish you have ever seen. These new homes prices have dropped to the lowest $174-$199 to unsuspecting buyers who are not from the area.The homes were built in 2005- 2007. I am talking about homes 1400' - 2700' a square foot under air. Most of the existing homes being sold now are from people who where looking to move up. Now they are stuck with two homes There are beautiful homes but I would suggest if relocating to Florida to ask for the best area's. Florida is still very affordable compared to the Northern States. So our taxes range from $700-2800 per year. There are homestead exemptions which reduce in half your property tax as long as it is your primary residence. I have lived here in paradise for 20 years and never seen anything like the storms of 2004. It was not fun, but for all the homeowners who knew they needed new roofs and hoped for the hurricanes to tear it off got what they deserved (a damaged home)! I would say Florida is back to normal. Things are looking up for all except for the home owners who financed their homes to the hilt, when the prices where high. Now they are trying to bail out because they can't afford to live in the home and their price is not realistic. The median sales price of an existing home (NICE) in Florida is $243,000. I am posting this review it is true and honest and the real take. Please spread this around. Florida is not full. From New Jersey myself Florida is still a wonderful place to live and back to reality as far a there prices. I am not a realtor but know of some beautiful homes for sale reasonable in my area that are well built.We are hearing here the national builders Mercedes,Maronda,KB, Adams, are in financial trouble? They are leaving our area. Good Bye to them and there illegal workers taking jobs from's reputable contractors.
Posted by Lisa at February 10, 2007 04:32 PM


February 10, 2007 10:01 PM

lizziebeth, I never said there were not issues such as the ones you mentioned occurring in the housing market. My point was, real estate, just like all other markets, is cyclical. The people you are referring to are investors paying the Risk part of the "risk/reward" equation of investing. These are houses; they are places to live, not penny stocks. So settle down. FYI--I am not a realtor, I work for Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Dept.


February 12, 2007 11:38 AM

Well Shep,
If you are a sheriff, thanks for your service. Yes, Shep markets are cyclical. Problem is, this will take YEARS to correct. We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg! Look at the .com. Most of those stocks that made multimillionaires over night and then the rug was pulled out from underneath them. It's been almost seven years and those stocks haven't come back around yet. It will be years before they come back to the price at the top. The real estate crash is even bigger. People that wouldn't dream of investing in tech stocks jumped on the housing bandwagon. Who wouldn't, you could put little or nothing down and purchase a property that you could flip for huge profits. In the dot com craze, you had to put down cold hard cash. This is just begining to unravel.


April 9, 2007 02:13 PM


I recently moved to fl, and can't believe how many homes for sale? So what is the consensus? Should I wait or buy? What is goign on with these prices. The resales are higher than the new homes?

Crazy G

April 10, 2007 09:30 PM

reply to Paul...
Your analysis is correct, and with the price of lumber dropping by 40% over the last two years, you probably could build a new home from scratch, with a needy [hungry] builder, and get the best deal....
a lot of the resales, are a high cost flippers...

BESURE, BESURE, BESURE...TO GET THE SELLERS COST from the property tax appraiser....
NEXT, NEXT, NEXT....find out from Reg. of deeds what, "IF"" anything he owes on it, and

"""THEN, AND ONLY THEN"""" consider buying anything....."""AT A DISCOUNT"""

Crazy G

April 10, 2007 10:02 PM

Reply to ShepKnows.....The county Sherriff...

Do you still think there is nothing to worry about???
Over here on the East Coast of Florida, Volusia County is considering laying of a good chunk of the sherriffs depart, because of lack of revenues....
Seems the home construction industry has taken a down turn, and people can't afford the $400K houses builders like to sell...
NO....I don't agree with your myoptic view of things...I hope you can shoot straiter than you think...cuz this is going down big time, with the sub-prime, and alt-a's taking a hit, and few if any qualified buyers anteing up with the cash for down payments....
The major developer of our community, hasn't sold a home, THIS CALENDER YEAR YET...3 1/2 mos....they've got 85 sitting empty, and another several hundred in other developments....
In addition, maybe 50-60, sitting unfinished now for 3-4mos...


April 11, 2007 09:30 AM

Hi Crazy G. Thanks for the advice. It will come in handy!


April 29, 2007 01:26 PM

This cannot be right. There is no bubble in FL. Investors should continue to buy. Housing prices only go up.

So said Mark Vitner of Wachovia Corp. in late 2005. He is an "economist". Next to GOD in knowledge as we are told.


May 8, 2007 06:12 PM

Being a young professional with a bachelor's making mid 30's a year, I can barely afford an apartment on my own. Buying a house is out of the question and it seems as long as I remain in Fl, it will stay that way.

There is no incentive for those of us under 30 to even stay in the state when we can barely afford it. I love Fl, it's my home, but it's becoming more and more the place where people go to die or try to rip you off in the housing market.

If you disagree, you are here to die or are in the housing market. =o) Kidding, but it really seems that way on this thread.

So for those of you making 60k, 70k+ a year and are on this thread complaining about the housing prices; shut up for a bit and think about those of us who have it a heck of alot worse than you do. At least you can afford a home.

Unlike most of you, I'm stuck living in the same apartment complexes that people making 10k a year are living in (You know the places; 8 people to a 1 bedroom apt and section 8 housing). Try having no other choice but to get a CWP to carry(concealed weapons permit for those of you who are unfamiliar w/ the term) just so you are safe walking from your car to your front door, and even then once inside you are not exactly "safe".

Safe, cheap apartment complexes are a non-existant item in any city in Florida. Yet if you only have a single income that's the only option you have. And the option of me buying a house to call my own? You say it exists? Hah. Please, tell me another. I love lies.


May 9, 2007 09:40 AM

Rob, I only make $35,5K annually and recently rented a very nice two-bedroom townhome in Carrollwood, by an A-rated school, for $975 a month. I don't understand why you would have to be living in Section 8-type housing if you earn in the mid-thirties. I didn't have any trouble making rent. The neighbors are nice, and the area is quiet. Lots of traffic, but at least it's centrally-located to everything.

I just bought a home in (the nice side) of Plant City (north of I-4 off Knights Griffin) for $196K. The house had been on the market for almost a year and the sellers were motivated enough to drop down their price from $229K.

There are places are out there - you just have to be diligent and patient in your search.


May 10, 2007 08:06 PM

Although I see a glimmer of hope from what you are doing, I still don't see financially how it's possible. I'm extremely strict w/ my budget (car, ins, and cell are my only main bills with the exception of utilities) yet anything over 600 is just not possible unless I wanted to skip eating every other month.

I refuse to dig into my 401k for any extra support since social security will probably be non-existant by the time I am ready to retire.

It may just be the area I'm living in (Lakeland area, central florida) but even if I was lucky enough to find a home within what I could afford, I couldn't cover the insurance or taxes. With the recent legislature convention unable to come to any real decisions (no surprise there) it doesn't look like relief in that department is in sight.

I don't know, maybe I'm missing something everyone else can easily see. If so, most of my fellow bachelors in the same situation are missing it as well; for they are in the same situation as I am with no real hope in sight. One even stated the other day he would be stuck as a renter for life unless he wins the lotto.


May 14, 2007 10:11 PM

I spoke with a realtor who tried to justify why houses were still selling higher than Just Market Value. She told me to compare the selling prices of houses that have sold in the last 6 months in whatever area I'm looking at.

I tried comparing a few local areas of interest in the Tampa area and there are only a few that are starting to compare at or slightly below Just Market Value, which is too high to begin with, in my opinion.

Until the owners greatly inflated perception of what their home is worth becomes more realistic, the housing slump will continue for a long time and time is on our side.

I recently read an article that stated, "the under-pricing game is now over. You are free to bid far lower than the asking price. You might be
pleasantly surprised to find out how desperate the sellers are."

We were told by our realtor that we should not underbid because it may insult the seller. I'm insulted by the sellers that are still trying to get June 2005 prices on a house when it's supposedly a buyer's market.

The rules have changed. One cannot compare prices in an area within the last 6 months, because the most recent month is the most telling statement of what a house is worth in that particular area. And each month, that number continues to drop.

There's no sign in the near future that this will end anytime soon. Economist Gary Shilling forecasts a drop of 40 to 50 percent in home prices in overpriced areas such as CA and FL. While that may not be good news for the realty business, it's wonderful news for us. This
downward spiral is predicted to last at least 5 to 10 years.

My wife and I make close to $100k combined. We're in no hurry to buy an over-priced house, especially when prices will continue to fall and when the market is over-flooded with houses. There will be plenty of opportunity to buy a house for years to come.


May 15, 2007 02:13 PM

Well in our area, Manatee/Sarasota-Lakewood Ranch area, the houses are selling. We just listed our home, and our Realtor has had 37 houses under contract and closed since the 1st of the year, she has the proof to back it up, not just talk. We along with 1 other area in Florida, seem to be doing fine. Yes, there are still alot of houses on the market, but they are going under contract.
This is nonsense when you hear people say Florida will take 5 years to recover, we have had 6 showings in 1 month. We have only been on the market for 1 1/2 months. People are definitely shopping and buying. I do believe we have one of the best areas around. Rated A schools, gorgeous beaches, plenty of employment if you are educated.
All new shopping, great golf courses. If you look at Texas and California, their weather is not to good, and I understand Texas is booming. So alot of the baby boomers will be headed down to Florida. Who wants those freezing winters.


May 21, 2007 03:58 PM

Addendum to my above commentary!!!

I had previously posted that the developer of our community had NOT sold a house in here in 3 1/2 months....WELL!!!! They finally sold """ONE """...that they had in inventory for 2 years.... it sold for $1.7 Million, with the buyer taking a $700,000 mortgage....
84 houses still sitting, and approx 125 for resale & with approx 10 units in various stages of foreclosure.... All this in a 1500 unit development!!!!


May 22, 2007 08:34 AM

Ahh Tricia, so glad you're back. I knew you would come bringing the good news of Bradenton. Yes, houses are finally selling! Guess what??? We even bought a house! 45%below original asking price! Your comment is very true! Houses are selling here! People are looking! What you forgot to mention is that the homes that are selling are selling for 2003 prices. Homes By Towne, Lee Whetherington, Bruce Williams.... have flushed away their inventory! Discounts up to 45% off peak prices. What you also don't mention is the poor folks who are selling their homes at a loss! I know one family that was so desperate they took a $100k loss over what they paid just to get rid of the house! Yes, houses are selling, but they are bargains. This is just the first wave. People are assuming 2003 prices are the bottom. We'll have to wait and see, but given the number of people who make a living in building, real estate... here, I doubt this is the bottom! There are so many desperate people here! You can paint a rosy picture, but facts are facts!


May 22, 2007 01:42 PM

One more fact to mention, based on the volume of homes on the market, I'd guress only 5% of homes are selling. I see a contract pending on 1 out of every 100 homes listed for sale. We still have a LONG way to go.


May 22, 2007 06:10 PM

AAHH!!! YES!!! I had dinner over at Mr. William's house one evening, maybe 5 years ago...
Incidently, his first name is NOT Bruce!!!!
We were talking about their company, going into the construction of homes in NC.....

>>>> NO WAY

""IF"" you get a chance, swing by, and say Hi!!! from Crazy!!!!


May 31, 2007 12:49 PM

Hello Again,

So what is the consensus? I walked into a few new home builders in northern Florida this past week, and they are taking 65K off without any complaints. Thats on a new home not even built yet. I still think the prices of new construction is about 30% overpriced at least. Looking forward to hear back.



Crazy G

June 4, 2007 04:30 PM

Bottom line, for builders is their costs..plane and simple.....
Lumber prices has ""PLUMMETTED"" 40-50% of recent, and labor has also gone down significantly, as many a construction worker, would currently be happy to have any job....


It cost most builders approx. $75-95/ sq ft to build a house....depending on the amenities...Throw in the land for $35/sq ft [?], and you're talking $100-135/ sq ft """"MAX"""...

Many of the bastards are trying to push $200-225/ sq ft....

"""IF"" you have any doubt about my calculations, then I'd advise to go to the County Property Appraisers website, and see the amount the building permit was taken out for!!!!

I see you were looking in the North Florida region....ICI a major home builder in NE Florida, has much of their costs 'pegged' at $76 for construction, as does Toll Bros....

The wife and I were up in St. Mary's Ga, and talked to a local builder, who said he'd build me a """NICE""" house for $95...[I mean nice]...



June 5, 2007 11:45 AM

Crazy G,

Thanks for the feedback. Appreciate the insight. Still looking to find the right house at a reasonable price.



July 18, 2007 07:15 PM

Aloha from Maui ... can anyone in this wonderful board give any updates on the Ave Maria development in East Naples ... we understand there have been accredidation issues for the Univ. ... but in terms of the build out of the Community ... with all of the proposed ammenties ... eventually becoming self sustaining providing for needs of residents w/out having to do the 30 min drive West Gas,Food,Shopping, etc
thank you ... we really enjoy the board from this side of the pond...

July 31, 2007 11:00 PM

Did Tricia sell her crappy home or is she still sitting on it refusing to reduce her price?


August 1, 2007 02:03 AM

A couple months ago, my parents stole a house in Valrico. 2100+ SQ FT, 2 car garage, .38 acres (huge corner lot), inground pool under a huge lanai, giant 50 foot plus trees everywhere. They paid $247,500. Comps had been 300 plus so the appraisal split the difference and came in at $280K so as not to crush the neighborhood all at once... LOL! Nice job mom & dad!!!

affordable pre-construction pricing

August 1, 2007 05:09 PM

A lot of people ask me how I like living in Costa Rica. My answer is, it was the best decision that I made in my life. I came to Costa Rica 7 years ago on a vacation and quickly fell in love with the beauty of the country and the hospitality of the people here. I couldn't wait to come back. I started coming here about 4 times per year and always had a great time and didn't want to leave. Two years ago, I decided to leave Arizona and come live in Paradise. I can not tell you how happy I am that I made that decision. Today, I wake up next to the ocean and run on the beach every morning. I eat the most delicious fruits, vegetables and fresh seafood. My stress levels are much lower than when I was living in the States and the potential here for investing, truly is unlimited. The best part of living here is showing our clients this country. I really don't feel like I have a job for the first time in my life. The joy I receive when I see the look on people's faces when they get into the warm water of the Pacific ocean is truly priceless. For those of you that have come and discovered paradise, you know what I am talking about. For those of you that are on the way, I can't wait to get you here. And to those who are thinking about Costa Rica, please do yourself a favor and come down. You will have the time of your life.


August 24, 2007 09:51 AM

Couldn't resist the temptation to come back and say "Told ya so"! So Tricia and Pamela, do you still believe there is nothing wrong with Florida's housing market????

How are them there houses selling in River Club????? Oh, I know, THEY AREN'T! One house listed well in the $800k's(maybe even more before I started following it) went down to $699 six months ago. the realtor said the owners wanted to bite the bullet and lower the price so they could just get the thing sold. Six months later still $699 and not sold!

The number of foreclosures is astronomical,even i couldn't predict it would be as bad as it is! About 90% of the houses for sale are heloc'd for 100's of thousands more than they paid just a few years ago. Now they are so far under water! This is going to be worse than I thought. The dominoes are just starting to fall.


August 28, 2007 06:00 PM

I just bought a home in Lehigh Acres as an investment. Can any one tell me how the market is doing there? I know i'm going to have to sit on it for years to come, to be able to regain my initial investment. Just curious what any one has to share about Lehigh Acres. Are people dying to move to that part of Florida?


September 7, 2007 01:17 PM

Lehigh Acres, Cape Coral, and Ft. Myers region are ranking up as some of the highest in foreclosures.


September 9, 2007 09:37 PM


If you just bought in Lehigh Acres you jus screwed yourself royally. Tons of homes for sale, crime way up and foreclosures everywhere.

Not the best decision you made. Did you buy it without even seeing it?


September 16, 2007 07:11 PM

Moving to Tampa possibly. Moving from Ohio. Any suggestions on trendy and/or historical areas to buy a home? Looking for something that would have good resale value, but we are not afraid to fix it up either. Please help!


September 27, 2007 08:18 PM

Hey Amanda,
I too am from Ohio. Akron area to be precise. I think there are alot of great areas here in Tampa. I really like South Tampa, Hyde Park, and Davis Island. There are also some great areas in St. Pete/Clearwater (I live in Safety Harbor which is very nice).

I hope you are very wealthy since the housing prices are much more expensive down here then Ohio. I actually am thinking about relocating due to the housing prices being so high even though they are dropping like a rock.

The Tampa area is a great place to live if you have $$$!!!

Crazy G

October 1, 2007 08:24 AM

Just a note to Lizziebreath!!!!

I won't be bugging you any more, as we have purchased a nice home up in NC...And hopefully should be out of Florida by Thanksgiving....
Tax rate is less than .70/ per hundred, instead of 2.4% here....
So, my annual taxes are approx. the same as my current monthly rent...
Homeowners insurance is NO problem, and we can come down and visit Florida for a couple months every year, just on the savings from NOT living here...
The accronym for Florida is:
""" FUBAR ed"...
""Fucked up Beyond Any Repair""


October 17, 2007 08:20 AM

From reading back in these posts, I wonder what some of these shills have to say.....Costa Rica, now that is the place to to look around. Been thinking of that for close to 6 years now. Might already have been there if some thief of a builder here in Florida did not abandon our project at about 50% and force me to move here and finish it myself for free. Sue them you say. Been there and done that to the tune of aprox. another thirty thousand to find at arbitration the shell corp. has no assets. Imagine my shock (lack thereof)at this point. I know have home that cost about 150 k. more than I can ever get for it at this point, did 50% of the work myself and the price is still falling. Someone in one of the posts mentioned no consumer protection here in florida, he is right and every shiester and huckster in the country seems to be here. Caveat emptor is the phrase for the day. Still dreaming and trying to get to Costa Rica. This fascist country is turning into a police state anyway, leave why you still can. Anyone know anything about the civilian prison workcamps being built all over the country.....suggest you find out. Have a nice day amerikku.


December 8, 2007 12:29 AM

The taxes in FL are causing people to leave. The market might not crash as it did in the midwest but we have thousanda of houses, condos, lofts sitting empty. About 1/3 of my upscale neighborhood is for sale and I've never seen that before. Only those who can afford to sit this mess out are going to come out on top. Others are going to take losses.

Lorna J Mellen

January 21, 2008 04:01 PM

I live on Saint Pete Beach. I've been trying to sell my condo for quite some time now. Compared to some properties here , its very reasonable just 165,000 for 2 bedrooms 2 bathrooms 1035 sq ft. I think there comes a point when people have to decide to either move to other areas where properties are less expensive or live with the prices. Coastal areas are always going to be more expensive because they are more sought after. I'm thinking that the snowbirds visiting and the retiree's are having a hard time selling northern properties and it is snowballing into our economy. Just a thought.


February 3, 2008 04:23 PM

I own a waterfront property on the east coast of Florida. This property was appraised in 2006 at 1,200,000. I lost my husband in 06 and am trying to sell. I cant even get an offer of 800,000. I have to auction my property starting at 609,000 because my taxes and insurance are eating up all of my money. What a disgrace.

John Weller

February 4, 2008 08:40 PM

My suggestion to any of you selling right now is to contact a realitor who focuses on european clients. I am friends with the owner of a german focused firm in Sarasota Florida and he has been selling property so fast he can not keep up.


March 10, 2008 11:56 PM

Where are you???????


November 21, 2008 11:50 AM

I used to read these comments almost daily over the past couple of years. I finally moved out of Florida and back to Ohio. I am so glad that we got out. My old job has had tons of layoffs and the economy is in a horrible place right now as we all know. We almost bought near the top of the housing bubble in FL. I couldn't imagine being stuck in that small house, losing 40% in equity and worrying about my job security. Obviously, any of the real estate people on here won't be writing anytime soon as even the most blind would have to admit that there was a HUGE housing bubble and it has popped over a year ago.

I feel bad for anyone that is stuck in a bad situation, but feel no remorse for the real estate/mortgage people who were just giving money away so that they could make a hefty commission. It will take a decade for this real estate market to get back on track.

I miss the nice weather in FL, but do not miss the traffic, being broke, and the overall rat race.


November 21, 2008 09:24 PM

Wow! Just surfing the web and thought I'd check in. Even I had no idea how bad this was going to get. For once in my life, I wish I was wrong! Good Luck to all, even those die hard cheerleaders (Tricia, Pamela...). You were just victims of this awful mess.


January 30, 2009 06:25 PM

Found this article while searching for something else.

I live in the sunshine state and was wondering if the economist who wrote this article understands what "bubble" meant. Perhaps not.


February 27, 2009 12:10 PM

Hey, Steve from Detriot where are you??


February 27, 2009 01:04 PM

Hey, Steve from Detriot where are you??


June 4, 2009 10:19 AM

Just looked back on these posts and have enjoyed your portent insights through the years. Are you still renting or even considering buying yet? One good thing about the bubble bursting is the drop in property taxes.

Glim Leaper

August 30, 2009 10:17 AM

Note to Lizzie,
Sorry not to have hung around Hillsborough County to support you in this blog, but seriously. The writing was on the wall when we hauled ass back to our beloved Texas in 2003. :)

Thank you for your interest. This blog is no longer active.



BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.

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