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Tampa Tribune says Florida housing is hot

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People from snow-cold wintery states still flock to Florida in large numbers, like this lovely couple in a recent Tampa Tribune article viewing a relatively new 6,751 sq. ft. home. What’s the cost? Why are they willing to pay it? Read this snippet:

The asking price: $3.9 million.

“It is so cold up north and the weather is resortlike here,” said Jennifer Zales, 36. “Who wouldn’t want to live in Florida?”

It’s buyers like the Zales who are expected to keep Florida’s housing market hot in 2005, even if interest rates rise and sales slow in Northern states.

“The very wealthy are making money in the real estate market right now and not in the stock market,” said David Lereah, chief economist for the Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Realtors. “They are coming into the market and buying two or three homes. At the same time, the baby boomer generation is looking to retire and move to warm weather.”

Although, for $3.9 million, buyers still get much more in Florida than just 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, as Paris Hilton did recently when purchasing her home in California’s Hollywood Hills.

While housing may, and is likely to slow in other parts of the nation in 2005, it is likely that the Tampa Bay housing market will continue to move full steam ahead. Expect rising prices and short to medium stays on the market for homes and condos, whether luxury, waterfront or further inland. Expect to see more investors from Europe investing in Florida real estate, as their currency is worth nearly double the dollar and Florida prices are still below those of both New York and California.

-John Mudd
“Mr. Real Estate”

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