Florida Real Estate Outlook for 2009

by January 15, 2009 • 4 comments

Are you the type of person who believes the glass is half full or the glass is half empty?  If you think the glass is half empty, then you probably think that real estate in Florida is in the toilet.  If you’re the positive type and believe just the opposite, you’re probably not listing to the national media who continue to bash the state of the market at every given opportunity.  Don’t believe everything you hear!  Real estate is local in nature, and we in Bay County are very blessed to have many factors working in our favor to turn this market around.

Real estate markets are, by nature, cyclical, and we happen to still be in a downturn.  Take heart though; our real estate downtown began much earlier and was much steeper than many other parts of our fine country.  As you know, we were helped by numerous events beyond anyone’s control (force majeure)…hurricanes, shark attacks, “flippers” (who are, buy the way, speculators, not investors).  Reason, and historical data, both demonstrate that we should be nearing the end of a very ugly time to sell your home.  When buyers ask me, “When do you think the market will reach bottom?”… my answer is always, “When you see it start to go back up.”  You can no more try to time the real estate market than you can the stock market

Despite what you may hear on the media, people are still able to obtain loans for homes.  They may be required to have more down payment money available and to have a good credit score, but there are banks and mortgage brokers lending money.  And, if you are a veteran and can qualify for a VA loan, the time to buy is now.  Also, don’t forget the first time home buyer credit, which is available as a $7,500 tax credit until the middle of 2009.

Although mortgage money is available if you qualify, right now, cash is king.  As fast as investors fled from the market, savvy real estate investors have been dreaming of this time to return. The quintessential buyer’s market!  Now is definitely the time when buyers get to pick and choose among the large inventory and can actually cashflow a property.  For anyone who can buy right now, you should be looking.  NOW!  Opportunities abound, and there will be tremendous returns to those purchasing property right now.  Remember, real estate is always meant for a long turn hold.  The “flipping time” is gone with the wind.  But real estate is tangible and REAL.

So, how’s that stock market treating you right now?

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1 Don January 15, 2009 at 11:41 am

You are right on the money. With the new airport ahead of schedule its timely completion will introduce our area to a new population of guests as the market turns upward. I prefer to think of them as guests rather than as tourist. My hope is that the entire NW Florida area will work collectively to promote the area as opposed to wasting marketing dollars with competing among ourselves. There is enough competition from other areas to warrant that.

Coastal Vision 3000 (THE Beach) is a good start in this direction, but all advertising should be directed to bring in new guests, not to steal them from neighboring areas. A larger population’s awareness of all our area has to offer will help turn our local market and push it upward.

Some people I know are interested in owning in our area and they are waiting for the bottom. The fallacy with this is, as you say, you cannot predict a bottom, it can only be seen from a rear view mirror. They will miss the bottom because they wait too long. Now is the time to buy. Then hold for long term.



2 Noel Newby Beazer Homes January 15, 2009 at 1:35 pm


This is a fantastic article!! Yes, the market is looking up and we have some fantastic homes at Whisper Dunes. We are looking forward to a great 2009 at Panama City Beach!!

Noel Newby


3 Allan January 25, 2009 at 5:58 pm

It is so funny that you mention this article. I have actually been looking for property to invest in PC. People, heck even my family thinks that I am crazy. I think that things are going to turn around, and hopefully in the near future. Call me optimistic or whatever you like, I think that now is the time to buy. This would also be my first home purchase so I assume I would qualify for the $7500 tax credit. I could pay for the units I am looking at in Gulf Highlands with cash, would I do that, no. Not all of it at least, I wouldnt want to wipe out my entire savings on an investment property but I continue to check out panamacitymls almost daily and I am hoping the right one will come into place.



4 Noel Newby Beazer Homes January 26, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Please give us a call and come out to “Whisper Dunes” The best VALUE on Panama City Beach. You can call us at 850-233.3828. We will look forward to hearing from you!!