How did 2012 measure up and what is ahead for 2013 in the Gasparilla Island-area housing market?
Ask any real estate professional, economist, statistician or politician and no two answers will be the same.
The most common question from buyers and sellers alike: "Are we in a housing recovery?" Although I want to give them the answer they want to hear, my standard response is it depends on what recovery looks like to you.
The BRC Group LLC of Boca Grande listed a five-bedroom, 4½-bath waterfront home at 13150 Joseffa Court in the exclusive gated Placida Bay Estates for $1.325 million.
Yes, it is true that more homes sold in 2012 than in 2011. Yes, it is true there is less inventory on the market and demand is greater because of it. Supply drives demand and demand drives price.
Yes, prices are ticking up in some segments of the market but not in all. The fastest-moving market is under $100,000 as this is a very popular price point for first-time homebuyers, seasonal buyers and investors.
We are definitely seeing investor money coming back into the area especially in bulk land purchases, which is a significant factor in a market recovery.
Kristen "K.C." Conti can be reached at (941) 270-7181.
The recent governmental decision to extend the Mortgage Debt Relief Act until the end of 2013 also aided homeowners on the fence between doing a short sale and letting homes go into foreclosure.
The most significant changes are in the luxury market where the depths of one's pockets do not make it any easier to "throw good money after bad."
Those who were able to hold on for the first few years of the downturn have had to reconsider just how long they can continue to do so and if doing so is in their best interests.
We are seeing more $500,000-and-up properties coming into inventory as short sale and REO listings and I believe this trend will continue.
In almost every case, high-end properties draw the greatest number of cash buyers and spur a multiple-offer bidding war. This indicates there is money out there but buyers need to perceive excellent value in order to let it out of a tight grip.
Sellers have come to the realization they need to price their homes competitively. They are competing with short sales and foreclosures and have to factor that in when determining a sales price.
Buyers are still making crazy offers believing banks are going to give away property because they do not want in on their books. This is one of the greatest myths of the market. It's simply not true.
Those who do understand the process are closing great deals in this beautiful part of Southwest Florida. The others continue to be frustrated with the process rather than blaming their own unreasonable offers.
As is true in so many industries, 20 percent of the Realtors are doing 80 percent of the business and the same great ones make it happen year after year despite market condition.
Government decisions will greatly affect the financial fears and have a tremendous impact on the real estate market this year. Americans sheared by the fiscal cliff fear what is happening within our government. For many this fear is causing some paralysis when it comes to making major financial decisions.
The year 2012 was dominated by several months of political campaigning that left all of us exhausted no matter what your party affiliation. As in the other five presidential elections I have witnessed as a real estate agent, every one slows the market. 2012 was no exception to this rule.
But with the end of election politicking, 2013 brings hope of a better year.