Real Estate Sales Find a Heartbeat in 2009

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Real estate markets in various parts of the U.S. are showing positive signs since January of this year. Looking at four cities and speaking with top realtors in those areas we get a picture of conditions in Sarasota, Florida; Los Angeles, California; Myrtle Beach and Greenville, South Carolina.

From California to SC & Florida

Whether it's the beautiful weather we are having in Southern California, a return to focusing on real estate after the holidays, lower home prices, or the favorable interest rates, we can tell that the buyers are coming back into the market. Our open houses are busier, and prospective buyers are talking about buying.

"When it's in the teens up North and in other parts of the country, everybody wants to live in Florida," says Allen Real Estate Services Agent, Annette Ashley Smith. Annette notes that most of the country is aware that Sarasota real estate is now on sale, and buyers are coming from Europe and Canada -- even Naples and the east coast of Florida, since real estate prices have come down considerably.

Sarasota, Florida's climate continues to tempt retirees and second home buyers to buy homes and condos in waterfront, golf course and country club communities even in this difficult economy. Sellers, more realistic than in recent years, are finally making deals and buyers are reaping the rewards. On RealtyTrac's list of top 100 cities with foreclosed homes Sarasota, FL was number 11 with 4.5% foreclosures.

In addition to intriguing Sarasota neighborhoods, Sarasota's revitalized downtown continues to be a hot location for buyers of Sarasota condos. Looking for an urban lifestyle, downtown Sarasota condo buyers have several new choices available in the area: The Tower Residences at the Ritz-Carlton, the condominiums at 1350 Main, and 100 Central are three of the best. You can live, work and play all within a few blocks in these downtown Sarasota condos.

"The Greenville SC real estate market is holding value in the current economy. While there were not as many Greenville SC homes selling, the average home price actually appreciated in 2008," states Greenville realtor Lee Cunningham of RE/MAX realty professionals. We are also seeing an increase in buyer activity on the internet and in closed sales in January 2009.

Greenville County has been blessed with a 6.9% unemployment rate through November of 2008 compared to the state of South Carolina at about 8.4%. The 10-county area in the upstate of South Carolina also managed to add about 5800 jobs last year, with $2.2 billion in capital investment in a year when many companies around the country were cutting back. The Upstate's 10-county region actually vies for position as one of the top metro areas for real estate development growth. Greenville South Carolina leads the way with the most jobs created, at 1387. Greenville has also become a hot spot for retirees in recent years, in no small part because of the revitalization the downtown area has experienced.

"We are definitely seeing an increase in activity since the new year," states Fran Vernon, one-half of the realtor team of Fran and Rowena, Dilbeck Realtors GMAC, covering Los Angeles real estate. "Whether it's the beautiful weather we are having in Southern California, a return to focusing on real estate after the holidays, lower home prices, or the favorable interest rates, we can tell that the buyers are coming back into the market. Our open houses are busier, and prospective buyers are talking about buying."

Southern California real estate has been a benchmark of the real estate market. Known as "the entertainment capital of the world", Southern California attracts millions of people with its lovely year-round weather, abundant cultural and recreational activities, and prestigious educational institutions and popular beaches. The "California lifestyle" continues to be an American dream.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina agents have seen buyer inquiries nearly double with the new year. Website traffic and MLS searches are equal to or higher than last summer. Many of the foreclosures are now off the market, but buyers are still seeking the rock bottom prices they continue to hear about. The South Carolina vacation industry historically boosts Myrtle Beach Real Estate sales in the summer season, so 2009 holds much promise for an improved market.

Rental reservations taken during December for 2009 were at an all-time high, according to Martin Brown of CondoLux, Inc., one of the most well-known Myrtle Beach property management companies. This will be a big help to the many condo investors that have suffered through the real estate crunch and managed to hold on for better economic times.

As well, internet interest for other SC, Georgia, and Florida oceanfront property has seemingly rebounded in the new year. Cities such as Charleston and Miami and are showing improvement -- although, like Myrtle Beach, many of the inquiries are for foreclosures and deeply discounted beachfront condominiums. All in all, the east coast beaches are looking up in the forecast for real estate sales and rentals.

From coast to coast, real estate continues to attract home buyers and investors. Those who can look past the challenges and recognize the opportunities may find their real estate dreams come true in 2009.

For the best in professional real estate services in any of the above areas, please contact the authors below.

Lee Cunningham
Re/Max Realty Professionals
600 Independence Boulevard
Greenville, SC 29615
Office: 864.679.0707

Fran and Rowena
Dilbeck Realtors GMAC
1030 Foothill Blvd
La Canada, CA 91011
(818) 952-0077

Annette Ashley Smith
Allen Real Estate Services, Inc.
7131 Curtis Avenue, Suite 1
Sarasota, FL 34231
(941) 504-3922

Richard Brooks
Condolux Real Estate Sales
311 17th Ave South
North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582
(843) 333-0470

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