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40 Tough Months In Real Estate

Forty is on my mind today. Yesterday, we celebrated the 40th birthday of my "little" brother Danny, and this month we celebrate the fact that 40 tough months of real estate is most likely behind us.

Danny 10ish

Today, we begin to make the climb up from the bottom of the worst housing market since the Great Depression. Incentives are ripe for home buyers, with federal income tax dollars, low interest rates, and some great buys in the housing market.

Sometimes you have to look backwards to see where you are going. Understanding the cyclical nature of the real estate market gives us a long-term perspective on what we should be expecting.

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Year To Date Home Sales Worst Ever

The graph below is one of my favorite views when trying to figure out how we are doing compared to previous years. It combines both single-family detached home sales with condominium and townhouse sales to show a year-to-date comparison with every year going back to 1991.

Leon County Home Sales Through October of Each Year

The residential real estate market really should be viewed this way, as townhouse sales are encroaching on what historically was more of a single-family detached home market. This is primarily due to the increased cost of land as well as location to popular services such as medical, shopping, employment and dining.

Of course, what strikes me when I look at this graph is that we are recording the worst year on record for home sales in Tallahassee (on record means all recorded home sales going back to 1991).

I find great optimism in this graph because I understand the cyclical nature of the housing market, and that the high levels of sales five years ago have given way to our current recovery period.

Leon County is far more populated than it was in the early 1990s, so I am confident that as this recovery cycle ebbs, we will return to  levels near 400 home sales per month again. Hopefully, we’ll see those numbers by 2012.

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