As we start 2011 the real estate market both locally and statewide remains extremely depressed and all indications are that it will continue this way throughout 2011 and well into 2012.
Residential foreclosures remain at near record pace and as these residential properties are dumped back onto the local market they will continue to bring down residential real estate prices throughout the Tampa Bay area.
We are also continuing to see upward trends in commercial foreclosures as well, especially in the stand alone office condo market. This trend will continue throughout 2011 as more and more small businesses continue to fail.
Tightened credit by local banks has further compounded the problem, especially with regard to small business owners who have had their lines of credit either terminated completely or substantially reduced. Lay offs and small business closures will continue throughout 2011. And while some commercial landlords have been smart enough to reduce square footage rates in order to assist their tenants in saving their businesses and thus preventing vacancies, some commercial landlords have maintained high rates, due either to a financial inability to reduce rates as a result of their mortgage debt or an outright refusal to modify existing leases. The result has been that small businesses in commercial centers where landlords have refused to modify lease terms have failed as they can no longer compete with those small businesses in centers where landlords have reduced square footage rates.
All indications are that job growth locally will be virtually non-existent, despite some optimistic statements by local media and politicians to the contrary.
2011 is already shaping up as a time to "batten down the hatches" and go into survival mode as we try to maintain our businesses and real property holdings. 2011 will be a time for each of us to get our personal and business holdings in order. And that may we require that we let go of sinking real estate interests in order to preserve assets. Tough decisions ahead!