UF Survey: Florida Real Estate Professionals Optimistic about Outlook
Based on data from the first quarter of 2012, Florida’s real estate professionals are optimistic about the industry’s outlook, a recent survey by the University of Florida revealed. This optimism stems largely from the falling unemployment rate and increased activity in observed in rental housing, such as lease signings.
“Positive outlooks for occupancy and rent growth along with an improving employment trend are increasing our respondents’ optimism about the real estate markets in Florida,” said Timothy S. Becker, director of the Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies at UF’s Warrington College of Business Administration.
The UF Commercial Real Estate Sentiment Index, a measure of the respondents’ own business outlook, reached its highest level since 2007. Bergstrom Center officials attributed the rise to lenders and owners sensing a better lending environment with banks as well as an improving economy.
While there is optimism about the real estate industry outlook and the overall economy, there are concerns about the upcoming presidential election and the state government’s financial situation, the survey revealed.
Respondents are not optimistic that several major issues would be resolved before the November election, which could lead to harsh economic results. Among the issues are the Bush tax cuts and the payroll tax break, which are both scheduled to expire after 2012, and $1.2 trillion in spending cuts that are set to take effect in 2013. Other concerns related to artificially low interest rates, inflation and increased gas prices.
Overall, the survey found that, while the future for real estate in Florida looks positive, a majority of respondents expect a slow and measured recovery until the conclusion of the presidential election.
The survey was conducted among 189 Florida professional real estate analysts and investors, representing 13 urban regions and up to 15 property types.