Whether you're an individual buyer or seller or hope to make a living as a house flipper or home investor, market analysis is critical when it comes to making wise financial decisions.
In addition to the more fundamental tenets of analysis—market valuation, identifying and measuring comps, the economic health of an area—recognizing market trends is key to your decision-making process. Not only do trends help you weigh the stability of a current market or its above-mentioned economic viability, but they also tell you where the market is heading in the future. Identifying trends now will ensure the long-term strength of your investment.
Let's take a brief glimpse at a watcher’s guide to real estate trends.
Know What You're Looking For
When performing a market analysis, it's easy to get lost in the minutiae of data. The same is true for spotting trends. The more you look, the more you'll find. The more you uncover, the easier it is to drift from your goal of determining if market trends support a particular transaction.
To keep your research centered, focus on four primary trend levels—national, regional, local, and neighborhood or community. Both national and regional trend spotting gives a broad overview of what might be occurring in a particular sector.
COVID-19 gives us a prime example of how trends can inform our decision-making. When the pandemic was at its height, people were forced to work from home. The trend of pandemic-related lifestyle changes occurred nationwide and resulted in those individuals seeking more living space in areas that could provide it—the suburbs and beachfront neighborhoods.
Now, as that same trend was also occurring in places like west Florida, you could instantly identify which communities were benefiting most from increased demand and home prices. Additionally, you could see which ones were losing residents and value.
If the work-from-home trend were not occurring in the Florida gulf coast, that would direct your research to find out what is different here from other parts of the country.
Shifting to local and community trends, the data becomes much more specific. For example, imagine a tech firm announces plans to build a new regional campus in Wellen Park, bringing up to 500 new jobs and millions of dollars of investment to the area over the next decade.
The announcement alone is enough to ensure you keep your eye on both Fort Myers (local) and Venice (neighborhood). More importantly, you now know to track the news's impact for both areas, short and long term.
In the months immediately following the announcement, you can expect an uptick in property transactions for those wanting to get in early on the potential windfall created by the firm's relocation. Then, as the firm's plans come to fruition, you can track which communities within Wellen Park & Venice stand to benefit the most. These may be areas either directly linked to the firm's move or from the additional development that arises from a new economic presence.
Overall, broad-based information at the national or regional level will provide you a general view of what's happening in real estate and potential trends to watch out for. However, as real estate is a location-based proposition, the information you glean locally will better inform your transactions.
Indicators to Watch
Although you can spot a trend practically any place—the coronavirus pandemic has brought to light a number of them—real estate offers some fundamental indicators that should always be on your tracking list. They include:
- Demand for Housing
- New Development
- Average Days on the Market
- Median Sales Price
- Interest Rates
- Job Creation and Unemployment
Changes in any of the above, however slight, can indicate new trends that will impact a specific housing market. Some might be short term, others long, and some may show no trend at all (for example, a multi-million dollar home sitting on the market for more than a year might skew the actual number for a small, gated enclave).
Just remember, while national data on any of the above is useful to have, tracking each as locally as possible will provide you with the best knowledge available. This ensures you make smart long-term decisions, regardless of what your real estate goals may be.
More so than other areas of real estate market analysis, looking out for trends is relatively simple. Though, as with any research, it's easy to lose yourself in the data.
Avoid bogging down by keeping your goals focused, and settle on the exact questions you want answered. For instance:
- What is driving demand in Venice's beachfront community?
- Is COVID-driven migration the same in Venice Fl as in other parts of the country? If not, why is it different?
- Will a new charter school draw more families to downtown than in past years?
Trends help steer you towards the data points that demand more attention and research, and, in the end, towards smart and lucrative real estate transactions.
If you're looking for experts in Venice Florida real estate who can help guide you through every step of a transaction, get in touch with Harvey Davis and The Compass Group Florida team at (941) 223-8147.