Home prices drop 41.5% in 3 years
BROOKSVILLE - There has been a 41.5 percent decline in the average sales price of a single-family home in the past three years, according to new information from the property appraiser's office. That is a "sobering" statistic, said Nick Nikkinen, director of special projects for the property appraiser's office. Property Appraiser Alvin Mazourek said he has been property appraiser since 1997, and this is the first year he's seen any significant value drops in terms of home prices that affect tax assessments. "I've never seen the market like this," he said. "Oh, there have been some ups and downs and bumps, but this has been the most fluctuation in values I've ever seen."
And next year should be worse.
"I think basically it's going to be bad, if not worse, as far as actual values of homes and all types of property dropping," Mazourek said. With only 632 single-family home sales through July 1, the county will be hard-pressed to match the 1,619 total achieved in 2008, he said. "I know Realtors are hoping that we've hit bottom, but I don't know," he said. "I don't have a crystal ball."
The new report, which charts historic averages of countywide single-family home price sales, shows that 2003 was the first year Hernando County experienced a double-digit increase — 11.69 percent — in the average sales price from the prior year. Those percentage increases rose steadily through 2005, when it reached a peak of 25.74 percent. In 2006, the percentage change was 16.95 percent. The following year, the bottom fell out. In 2007, for the first time, the county experienced a negative percent change of minus 11.24 percent, followed in 2008 by a minus 15.42 percent change. Through July 1 of this year, there is already a 14.91 percent decline in the average sales price of a single-family home.
Meanwhile, the Florida Association of Realtors issued a report Wednesday that said rising housing prices, stock market gains and the lack of any new setbacks in the national economy have boosted Florida's Consumer Sentiment three points to 70 this month, according to a University of Florida survey. That has led to some encouraging signs in the state's housing market, Chris McCarty, survey director of UF's Bureau of Economic and Business Research, said in a press release. "We are not out of this recession yet, particularly here in Florida, but things are not nearly as bad as they were a year ago," McCarty said. Home sales have picked up both nationally and in Florida, and falling prices suggest a bottoming out of the housing slump, McCarty said. If foreclosures continue, they could depress home prices, McCarty said. The Mortgage Bankers Association has reported that 23 percent of Florida mortgages in the second quarter of 2009 were either in foreclosure or late on payments.