2015 Looks Strong for Florida's Economy and Housing Market


Big question at the Florida Realtors Summit. "Has Florida found the secret to saving the economy?" That May 2014 headline in The Wall Street Journal points to a bright future in 2015, according to Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Jesse Panuccio. "Things have changed quite remarkably for this state," Panuccio said. "The U.S. Census recently announced that Florida has officially become the third most populous state … about 800 people move to the state each day now. Why are they moving here? We're a destination state again – people feel they can make a future here, and that's good for Florida, the economy and the real estate industry."

Over the past year, Florida's private sector growth rate was 3.4 percent, second only to Texas among the largest states, Panuccio noted. The economic recovery has been broad-based across all industries, and job growth has been consistent across every region. "Our labor force is growing over four times faster than the national labor force " he said. "Of the 10 largest states, we are the fastest-growing labor force in the country." In November 2014, Florida's unemployment rate was 5.8 percent.

Economist are bullish on what's ahead for 2015.  Why? There are several current positive factors: more jobs than anytime in the history of the U.S.; 58 percent of new jobs pay more; mortgage interest rates remain highly affordable; significant demographic demand; and continued strong population growth.  Another major plus for Florida's future is that Florida has the 5th best business climate in the nation, according to a recent tax comparison study conducted by the Tax Foundation.

Florida Realtors' statewide housing data indicates that the market is now growing along "normal" trend lines, according to Dr. Brad O'Connor. "For the first time in a couple of years, we're seeing new listings outpace sales," he said. "Months supply has returned to between 5 to 6 months, which historically we say is a 'balanced' market. In 2013, we saw rapid price increases; in 2014, we saw a return to more historic levels of 4 to 5 percent price increases. Investor participation has started to decline again, slightly. However, as house prices have gone down, rents have gone up, so some of these investment properties remain attractive to rent out."

Key indicators for 2015: Sales growth has slowed but remains positive; New listings outpaced sales enough to bring inventories back into balance; Growth in home values has returned to historical rates; Investor participation is starting to decline (slightly); New construction is back; International sales remain robust; Shadow inventory continues to decline. See full report by Florida Realtors here.

To find out more about our local real estate market please contact Tamara Wright at [email protected] or (239) 438-7898. I am available for consultation on the Naples, Florida, market.



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