Two news articles earlier in June would have worried, even helped scare us to death! On June 2nd, one reported that foreclosures filed this year are 23 percent ahead of last year’s record pace “with no end in sight.” Then on June 17th, another referred to a report by the Brookings Institution which ranked the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice metropolitan area as 20th worst in the country in terms of the negative impacts brought on by the recession (Bradenton relied “too much on tourism and inflated real estate prices to keep its economy going,” it said.) Although I won’t dispute the claims, I will and can choose to look at these reports differently.
Yes, our tourism figures are down. However, at a 7 percent decline over last year, we are still way ahead of the Orlando market, down in the double digits. Although Manatee County foreclosures are higher this quarter than same time last year, the truth is foreclosures seem to be most prevalent in easterly communities which were built up at the height of the artificial market. In reality, foreclosures on the Island are actually down by half, while additionally, my review of statistics shows that although sales are down by unit volume, Island inventory has shrunk 12%–from 525 active listings at the end of May 2008, to 410 in 2009. In Manatee County, the active market shrank 35% for the same comparative periods.
The numbers show inventory decreasing with pricing slightly up or holding steady, and that shows promise. It also tells me to put out a brighter face!