Behind The Numbers Market corrections follow three basic recovery patterns. A V-shaped recovery where a market experiences a sharp, fast decline but comes out strong once it hits bottom; a U-shaped recovery, where prices decline gradually and recover slowly; and an L-shaped curve, a hard, fast fall with paltry price bounceback following the market trough.
The differences between a V-shaped market and a U-shaped one has to do with barriers to growth. High vacancy rates and high investor share can hurt a market, but if the local economy remains strong and housing stock affordable it’s only a matter of how long it takes to absorb the excess inventory.
Tampa is a perfect candidate for a V-shaped recovery, according to research from Moody’s Economy.com, an economic analysis, forecasting and credit risk firm. The local economy remains strong, and subprime lending is relatively low.
Tampa’s problem? A high investor share that lead to high vacancy rates. When the market turned sour in 2005, more than 25% of Tampa homes were owned as investment properties. Investors are quicker to flee during a downturn, thus creating a glut of available housing stock. In Tampa’s case, vacancy rates now stand at 3.5%.
“As investors exit, the market revives,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist at West Chester, Pa.-based research firm Moody’s Economy.com, as fewer speculative buyers results in a more stable market. “Tampa’s a pretty affordable market and first-time buyers can come in once prices fall.”
Based on Moody’s Economy projections, Tampa should burn off its excess inventory and hit a price trough in the first quarter of 2008, at which point prices are expected to increase by 10.6% the following year.
These projections take into account housing affordability, vacancy rates, the strength of the local economy and job market, investor share in 2005 and the share of subprime mortgages. Data comes from Moody’s, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Federal Reserve’s Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.
Predicting the bottom of any asset market, especially real estate, is a difficult thing. While these projections are based on sound data and advanced modeling by Moody’s, no one can predict futures markets with absolute certainty.
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