Happy New Year everybody! 2013 is here and 2012 is now in the record books. Today, I'm going to open the Marco Island MLS record book and share some stats with you on what can only be described as an incredible year. Prices are up. Volume is up. Spirits are up. The market has turned around solidly.
Over the last few years, we all have been attempting to read the tea leaves to determine when the bottom of the market had been finally reached. From early 2006 until 2009, we watched the Florida real estate market free-fall. Prices plummeted. Foreclosures skyrocketed. There seemed to be no bottom. Finally in mid-2009, the free-fall subsided and prices have started to stabilize slightly but still were creeping lower. Any tiny spike was proclaimed the beginning of a rebound but this was wishful thinking. Any positive move would be soon followed by a new low. Late-2011 actually started to look like the bottom when the market started to maintain slight gains without giving them back.
2012 has proven to be a very solid year. Prices have increased and inventory has shrunken considerably. The market has seemed to find its bottom and the election and the fiscal cliff have not dampered spirits at all. Let's look at the final tally of the year of the dragon.
The most positive aspects of these stats are the fact that the activity was consistent throughout the year and gradually strengthening as the year ended. The legitimate fears that the market would continue to fall have subsided and there has been a rush to grab properties at these levels. Now, the fear that prices may spike upward is driving many people to buy. While we may see a few small spikes, I don't think we'll see any extraordinary gains for some time. I think appreciation in the ballpark of 5% per year will be a welcomed change by anyone that holds real estate in Florida for years to come.