Ocala Real Estate Market Report October 2011

Ocala area home sales were down in October compared to last month. In September there were 360 sales which is 77 more than October. Almost all of the difference was in the sub $100,000- range. Foreclosures are way down from the spring of the year with only 73 sales this month. Inventory is holding steady after a huge drop in the first months of this year.

Have Ocala home prices bottomed out and will there be a big rebound as in this article in today’s Ocala Star Banner? I don’t see how prices can go much lower but I also think several things have to happen before prices will go up too.

1. Out of area buyers have to be able to sell their existing homes.

2. Ocala unemployment has to go way down from the current 12% so locals can buy a house. You can’t buy a house, no matter how cheap, without income.

3. Inventory has to go down considerably in order for prices to rise. More than 6 months inventory is a buyers market. Inventory would have to drop from todays 3700 units to around 2000.

4. The foreclosure inventory, especially newer foreclosures, need to be sold off. Unemployment has to go down to keep more homes from being foreclosed. Banks have to stop using foreclosures and short sales as comparables when doing appraisals. Never ending foreclosures killed the Ocala real estate market.

I do think there is a growing pent up demand for new homes, especially in the 55+ communities. However buyers don’t seem to understand that builders can’t compete on price with current resales.

We are entering Snow Bird season which is great for home selling in Ocala. Winter is an excellent time to sell and if you’re sick of northern winters it’s a great time to buy.

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