Bradenton Florida Real Estate News

Monday, May 14, 2007

UF professor says now is time to buy

UF professor says now is the time to buy

Grant Thrall, a University of Florida land economist, said he believes the state's real estate market is poised to rebound in the not-too-distant future. But first, Florida's Legislature has to get its act together on taxes and insurance.

'Without insurance, you can't get a mortgage, and without a mortgage, you cannot buy a house,' Thrall said. '

If potential buyers think they will either not be able to obtain insurance or believe they will lose their insurance, they won't bother looking or buying in Florida.

'As to taxes, unless millage rates are rolled back and Save Our Homes benefits become portable, Floridians will not trade up into bigger houses or trade down into smaller ones. They will just stay put, he said, and that hurts real estate agents, mortgage brokers, bankers, title agents, appraisers, lawyers and anyone else involved in real estate transactions.

Thrall is convinced that state lawmakers will make the right choices, and once they do real estate prices will stop falling and start climbing again.

Adding to the rise will be the return of the baby boomers.

Part of the reason prices spiked upward so sharply during the boom is that the period coincided with a massive transfer of wealth from the World War II generation to the baby boomer generation -- people born from 1946 to 1964.

'Because prices were rising, many baby boomers rushed into the market, figuring if they did not buy soon, they would forever lose their place in the sun,' Thrall said.

'Housing builders responded with supplies of housing. But the peak of this intergenerational wealth transfer passed, bringing a slowing Florida second home market, softer prices and less urgency to buy.'

Now there is a large inventory of unsold homes hanging over the market. But Thrall thinks that inventory will be depleted quickly as baby boomers start thinking about retirement again.'

Aging is inevitable,' Thrall said. 'Baby boomers' numbers are legend, and baby boomers will eventually seek a place in the sun.'

So anyone who wants a good deal on a house, Thrall said, had better buy before that massive wave of buyers gets geared up again.


Bradenton Real Estate

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