Is Florida's Economy Picking Up Steam?

Home sales are up from a year ago. Unemployment is down. But are we out of the woods yet? What do you think?

The difficult economy seems like the new normal after so many years of booming real estate and job growth in the Sunshine State.

It seemed like overnight that Florida turned into a leader in foreclosures. Many homeowners, burdened with expensive houses and equity loans, were suddenly "underwater."

Although the good times are not back, the real estate industry is reporting some important gains. According to the Realty Times:

  • "In December 2012, 3,387 homes were sold in the Tampa Bay area with a median price of $126,000. This compares with 3,216 homes sold during the same period last year, which translates into a 5% increase in the number of homes closed and a 15% increase in the median price (from $110,000 to $126,000).
  • "At the end of the month there were 13,884 homes for sale in the area; 24% of the available homes sold in the last month - this translates into an inventory of 4 months."

The Tampa Tribune is also reporting that some builders are moving forward with plans to develop new subdivisions.

In addition, unemployment is at its lowest point in eight years, according to state numbers for November.

Patch wants to know what you think. Is the bust over? Is Florida out of the woods yet?

At the start of 2013, are you feeling secure in your job and optimistic for the future? Let us know in the comments below.

George Carlson January 04, 2013 at 03:02 PM
The Economy is going through a upward blip that started just over a year ago. This is similar to the conditions of the mid 1930s. As of now we are in the " Eye of the storm ". This eye will pass before summers end and the downward cycle of the great storm will continue for several more years. Yes, the Banks Will fail again, Stocks Will Plummet below the 6000 mark and Many Houses Will be foreclosed. This cycle was brought upon the economy mostly by the Rampant Greed that infested the economy in the 1980s and for the last 20 years. Banks should also remember- the more Houses they finance the more mistakes they will make and the more Foreclosures they will have to eat
Eric Evan Darling January 04, 2013 at 04:23 PM
The Economy has been steadily improving since Democrats took over from 8 years of failed Conservative Republican Economic Policies that led to The Great Republican Recession of 2007. It has take President Obama 4 years to lead us back from the brink of economic collapse, but he has done it. The Dow has improved over 30% from that time, Housing is improving steadily, Unemployment is at 8 year lows and dropping, and all leading economic indicators point to continued growth. Now that the housing market has bottomed out and is on the rebound, we can expect a banner year of corporate growth and job gains. 2013 looks to be a very good year indeed, and it's about time!
Jim Watkins January 05, 2013 at 02:22 AM
The Fed has been pumping billions into the economy from out of thin air. Soon, as George Carlson says above, the economy will falter badly. I have taken much of my money out of the market and have put it into very safe investments. Housing market upswing will be short-lived. Another recession is definitely in the offing some time in the next year or so.
Steve Nelson January 14, 2013 at 05:54 PM
There are still too many problems to get excited about this "trend". I am afraid what we are seeing is an artificial euphoria produced by questionable government policy. The democrats are hoping for a magical recovery to bail us out of the long term consequences of their actions.
Michael D. January 14, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Steve, Same can be said about the Republican Congress and Senate. Both parties are playing the game, so don't just blame one or the other. It takes both parties to get legislation through.


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