Since July of 2007 home prices have dipped in almost every region of Florida. Zillow.com reports that average home prices in the southern state have stabilized in the last several months. When comparing December 2011 to November of 2011 prices have seen a slight increase of 0.1%. Although this is not a big number it shows that the housing market is not in a free fall like the recent past. Note that when comparing year over year home prices are down 5.4%.
According to Zillow, average home prices are at $120,000 for the entire state of Florida. When looking at St Augustine, Florida statistics show that home prices are up 12.3% when comparing the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2011. The average price listing in this historical part of Florida is up to $264,000 this week compared to $260,000 last week. It is very important to note that the data only show four homes sold so far in the first quarter of 2012. To come up with a true statistical analysis we will need much more data that will conclude at the end of March.
Over the last several weeks average 30 year fixed mortgage rates have moved slightly higher to a level around 3.8%. This move higher has followed the move up in the 10 year treasury rate yield. In the month of February the 10 year yield has increased from 1.8% to 2.01%. As of February 20th the 10 year treasury rate yield sits above its 50 day moving average which will likely hold as support around 1.95%.
The state of Florida will be in the news quite a bit in the month of February as the Daytona 500 will kick off the NASCAR Sprint Cup season and the NBA All Star game will take place in Orlando. Both of these huge sporting events will occur during the final Sunday of February on the 26th. Fox Sports will be broadcasting the “Great American Race” while TNT will have exclusive coverage of the 61st NBA All Star game. Both television stations will likely have many blimp TV shots that will show the expansion of both Daytona Beach and Orlando.
Although many people do not think of big time sporting events as a way to improve the housing market it is definitely a way to bring money into a community. Millions of dollars will be spent during Speed Week in Daytona Beach and the city of Orlando will see shoppers galore at the many outlet malls and other areas near Universal Studios and Disney World. Some of these visitors may recognize that home prices are at attractive levels. Any type of extra exposure to a housing market is often a good thing.
There are several housing markets in the United States that have put in a bottom over the last several months and February might be the turn around that the state of Florida needs. When the data is released for the first quarter analysts will be able to better decide if a significant run up in home prices is going to happen in the next year and beyond. Finding a buyers market in the United States is not difficult as investors are finding low interest rates and extremely low home prices easy to come by with a credit score above 740 and a debt to income ratio around 20%.
Year to date the S&P 500 is up over 8% while the NASDAQ has powered higher by 13.6%. This move higher in technology and the broader indices likely means that many individuals have seen their net worth expand. With a little bit more money to spend some feel as if the housing market could grow quite rapidly in certain areas of the country. Florida is very attractive to small business owners and athletes because there is no state income tax. Although this should not be the only reason to move to the Sunshine state it does cause many to consider relocation.
In the coming weeks we will begin to learn a lot more about the housing market in the state of Florida as the government will release home price data that will illustrate the overall landscape of home sales. If homes are being sold simply to investors then it may take awhile to see a steady increase in prices. If homes are being sold to everyday Americans looking for a place to reside then the bottom may have been put in.