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Things Looking Up in Florida?

By Mike Wheatley | May 12, 2011

While most Realtors would tell you that the US property market is recovering very slowly, Pat Neal, a Manatee County developer, sees things quite differently.

Since he first went into the construction business more than 42 years ago, he has lived through almost a dozen boom and bust cycles, and he says that the current one, which has lasted for 6 years now, is by far the longest he has endured.

But Neal is not worried. Far from it, he believes that the good times are just around the corner.


Retiring baby boomers promise to bring the good times back. Courtesy of Channel BF

Eleven million baby boomers are expected to retire in the next couple of years, and Neal is pretty sure that Manatee County will see its fair share of them. Neal thinks that this huge number of retirees will have a massive impact on the state’s housing market, perhaps even quintupling homes sales in Florida over the next two or three years.

To put that in perspective, it would mean 100,000 new homes would be built in the state in 2013, compared to just 20,000 last year.

Slightly ambitious perhaps? But then Neal is not the only one who is feeling optimistic. Another Manatee builder, Brett Williams, says that construction in the county is likely to triple by 2013, from 200 a year now to around 600 in just two years.

New retirement home in Manatee county, Florida

New Manatee County retirement home. Courtesy of Active Rain

“We can see a big improvement in number of new constructions, as well as more resales being absorbed into the market,” he claims. “Right now, the current property inventory in the county only has four months worth of homes, which is down from two years worth when the subprime crisis was at its height.”

Neal is doing everything he possibly can to make his area of Florida more attractive to those nearing retirement. He is offering dozens of new “cottage” homes for a bargain price of $111,000, with as little as 3.6% down payment needed thanks to the FHA financing scheme.

At least someone is confident.

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
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