This Saturday, I attended a symposium of developers and real estate professionals who discussed industry trends and forecasts for 2017. Here's the highlights: The rate of in-migration for FL is about 1100 people per day. Suncoast developers built and sold thousands of units in 2016 to meet this demand. Inventory absorption rates vary according to price, with only a 60 day inventory for homes under $200K, increasing with price up to 2 years for homes over $2mill. There's plenty of buyers under $500K and over 60% of the real estate sales are cash deals. Demand for local real estate is driven in part by the feeder markets from the midwest and northeast and some foreign investment. As long as the retirees can draw from equity and sale of property and other assets, investing in the Suncoast, then this trend will continue. Infrastructure such as the proposed Fort Hammer Road bridge in east Manatee County will provide access to new development. The costs of development and the regulatory environment makes it difficult to keep up with demand, which has lead to increased values. This has also caused a lack of affordable housing for the service industry workers. When asked about real estate as an investment, they noted the distinction of a consumer product vs. investment. While some income producing properties produce income streams from 5-20%, the principal residence is primarily a consumer product. If either appreciate, that's just icing on the cake, but don't bank on it. Resort rental properties offer both income and use-value. A vacation place to stay, may also pay for itself. If you want to hear more about these opportunities, please contact me.