Playing armchair quarterback analyzing the local Orlando real estate market we can come up with some solid conclusions. December of 2005 the market started its decline with available homes for sale steadily increasing leaps and bounds from that date to an all-time high in October of 2007 to 26,330 listings, over doubled the number of homes for sale.

Real estate is still about supply and demand, homes for sale compared to the number of buyers that are ready, willing and able to purchase, which brings us to today. The news was anticipated among those of us that watch these trends like a hawk, but still great to see. Available homes listed in Central Florida hit an all time low of 9,031, that’s a little over 4 months of inventory with an average of 2,400 properties closing a month.

Sought after communities like Doctor Phillips, Windermere and Winter Park have already seen this past Summer what happens when inventory levels fall to manageable numbers. With fewer then 5 listed single family bank owned homes in Dr Phillips alone and a low of 33 short sales listed it’s no wonder buyers are seeing increased competition trying to pick up one of these great deals.

Banks are very smart about listing homes, sure we hear banks don’t want to be home owners but they also don’t want to lose money. Band owned properties are listed very attractive in TODAY’S market, the value for buyers, 5 plus years of declining home values and a bottoming of a declining one. The value for banks is getting rid of a property at today’s values, what else could they ask for. I have worked with some buyers in the past that are surprised banks don’t just take their cash offer of 75% of the value and be done with it, why would they. At the closing table the bank gets cash either way so what’s the value of a cash offer, it gets rid of the financing contingency. Sure there is value in a cash offer, but it’s not 25% off the list price.

There are still great deals to be had even high demand areas especially going into the Winter months of October through December but I would not recommend waiting much longer. The spring real estate market starts at the end of January where we have year after year activity increase which means for buyers more competition and for sellers listing a little higher because of it.