This weekend I heard an interesting story on NPR. It's now up on their website and worth a read. Part of the story talks about how some in Florida are seeing a little rebound in the housing market.
But those who follow the real estate market here are starting to see some signs of hope. Brett Ellis, a real estate agent with RE/MAX, sums it up: "Sales are picking up and the inventory is going down."
The increase in sales has been especially notable in Cape Coral. The Florida Association of Realtors reported a 43 percent increase in January over last year's sales in Lee County.
In his office, Ellis says the increase has been more than 70 percent, and half of those sales are taking place in Cape Coral. It's an upward trend that's been taking shape over the past year. After a devastating 2007, prices began dropping in 2008 and the market responded.
"Buyers got their confidence up, their moxie up in 2008," Ellis says. "They recognized good value; they jumped on it. The banks responded, everyone responded, the market moved and the transactions started flowing again — even the short sales and the foreclosures."
I was down in that area this last weekend and can report that signs of a recovery are present. The stores and malls I drove by were mostly open and many busy. The beach was crowded with tourists. Sure many are probably locals out for their 'staycation' but business appeared to be hopping.