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Rays of Sunshine? February 13, 2009

Posted by shaferfinancial in Finance.
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Frankly, I have gone out of the prediction business because I realized the future is unknowable!  But that hasn’t stopped the economic prediction industry from chugging along.  So on this Friday before St. Valentines Day I though I would point out a couple of items.  As to the meaning of these items for the future, I will let the reader ascertain that!

Real Estate values in the county I live in have stopped their precipitous drop.  Here in Pinellas County, Florida we are one of the most hard it areas when it comes to total value drop (32% peak to valley).  Of course, we had a 200% run up before that!  But of that 32% drop only 4% of it is in the last 6 months.  Real Estate sales are on the way up.  Way up, with a 30% climb in January compared to the year before.  Supply of real estate is starting to drop.  Last year it was over a 12 month supply, now down to 9 months.  Foreclosures actually went down in January.  I think that is probably a temporary drop because of the Fannie/Freddie moratorium, but it could also mean we have gone through the sub-prime foreclosures.  Either way, it is a ray of sunshine.

With all the job losses, we have two large companies actually increasing jobs in the area.  And no local banks have gone bankrupt, although Florida’s largest, Bank United, out of Miami is severely injured and probably won’t make it without massive Federal Assistance.

The Super Bowl added a couple of hundred million dollars to the local economy.  And there are tourist here crowding our highways and beaches!

So, have a great Valentine’s Day.

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