House prices have been continuously falling for the first time in 70 years, and South Florida homeowners should expect the trend to continue.
A surplus inventory of houses caused by Florida foreclosures and short sales is the mortal enemy of home prices. Lower prices are needed to sell off excess inventories of residential properties, and in turn lower prices encourage more inventories from anxious sellers.
So how big are excess inventories and how long will it take for the real estate market to absorb them?
According to Economic Consultant Gary Shilling, we are currently facing a surplus of up to 2.5 million excess house inventories in the United States, a number that is subject to rise with further foreclosures and falling home prices.
To forecast the length of time to work off this excess inventory and have the market return to more favorable inventory and price conditions, Shilling developed projections of supply and demand for residential units.
Household formation averaged about 900,000 per year over the past decade as measured by the Census Bureau. Shilling uses this number as a reasonable estimate of yearly housing demand. However, with many college students moving back with their parents after graduation, household formation is not happening as fast as it once did.
New construction of single family homes and apartment units is running about 700,000 per year, and about 300,000 U.S. homes are torn down, converted or removed from housing stock each year. Based on these numbers, Shilling calculates new housing supply to be about 400,000.