I’m always on the lookout for news I can impart to my customers, and a recent presentation by our National Association of Realtor’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, is filled with reasons why this is a great time to buy Florida real estate.

According to Mr. Yun, the Affordability Index, which takes into account house pricing, income and mortgage rates, has been growing as prices, rates and income have fallen, leading to a projection by NAR that 2009 will be the most affordable year to buy a home in a generation. For those wondering whether we’ve seen “the bottom” yet, Mr. Yun predicts a correction to 1998 levels (or about 10% from where we are now say my calculations), based on the fact that 1998 was the last time that income, construction and rental costs were in equilibrium and based on the fact that existing home sales in 2007 and 2008 have settled just below 300,000, or about the same level as in the mid to late 1990s.

The economic outlook, according to Mr. Yun, is for slow growth in the first half of 2009, with improvement in the second half, leading to positive growth in 2010. In the housing market, he predicts that stimulus will bring buyers into the market, stabilizing inventory and prices, eventually boosting home sales. However, he says, don’t expect to see builder recovery until 2010. BUY, BUY, BUY!

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