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Real Estate Forecast For 2004

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Prices are predicted to pick up for homes sold by many experts in the real estate industry, and they’re likely right. Prices will likely rise, even though home sales are likely to slightly slow in 2004, but 2004 will still see a high volume of both new home sales and pre-existing home sales. High sales volume will also likely exist for condos throughout our local beaches and the islands, and for area homes.

Fannie Mae’s chief economist, David Berson, supports this prediction with one of his own. Berson estimates that 6.73 million homes will sell next year, slightly down from this year’s record-breaking 7.04 million, which broke last year’s record of 6.54 million.

Mortgage rates will likely rise above the 6-percent ceiling, possibly breaking 7-percent, but this should not concern area homeowners or condo owners who may be considering selling, since most buyers in this area aren’t as affected by interest rates at that level. The rate change will more likely effect first time home buyers than it will a luxury home buyer, or a buyer of an island or beach home, or condo.

The new home loan limits that took effect January 1 of this year will likely help sellers who are selling their homes in areas such as Tierra Verde, or in similarly priced areas. The new loan limits increased from 2003’s $322,700 to a new limit of $333,700 in 2004, providing home buyers with more purchasing power to put toward their future home, which will likely fuel more home sales.

The Bayway Islands and the Gulf Beaches will remain a seller’s market throughout the year, as prices will continue to increase and buyers will continue to buy real estate in large numbers throughout this area. With the sweet, serene sunsets to lose ourselves in as we gaze into them, the sensual feeling of sand between our toes as we create beautiful beach memories to be fond of, the capture of another fish reeled in from another bridge-expedition, the view of the tide rising from a window, or being able to sail out to sea from the comfort of your own backyard beach slip, it certainly seems priceless, except when you have to sell, or when you want to sell in order to move into a larger home, and these priceless items will continue to create high demand for area properties, allowing sellers to get their price, as long as they don’t price their property too high to where they’re pricing themselves right out of the market.

-John Mudd

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