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Build Your Own Market Outlook

To analyze the outlook in local and regional markets, look at the basic factors that drive housing demand:

    • Population—census.org. About 161,000 people are projected to move to Florida in 2009, according to the Institute for Economic Competitiveness at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, That’s the equivalent of 75,000 new households.

    • Job—floridajobs.org. With a national recession looming, most Florida markets are unlikely to see significant job growth in 2009. But there are exceptions: look for news reports of company expansions and relocations.

    • Retirees—floridagovernmentonline.com. Seasonal and second-home buyers are scoping out bargains in Florida. The catch: before moving here full time, they need to sell their homes “up north.”

    • International buyers —floridarealtors.org/LegislativeCenter/Research/index.cfm. Warm weather and low prices attract buyers from Canada, Europe and Latin America.

    • Mortgage rates—bankrate.com. Low rates contribute to making homes more affordable; however, availability of credit remains a key concern.

    • Inventory levels—your local MLS. In many markets, the number of homes for sale is starting to fall. But high levels of new condominiums in markets like Miami-Dade will put downward pressure on pricing.