Warning - if you live in Florida, you might not want to read this. And yes, I'm gonna get in a bit of trouble here. But here goes...
Maybe I missed a memo, but when did backwater towns like Tampa start generating household incomes that could find buyers for $500,000 apartments? When did Florida start getting tons of Fortune 500 jobs that could support $1 Million Toll Brothers McMansions? When did Florida get rid of the humidity, the bugs, the race issues, the lack of culture, the Piggly Wigglies and the strip malls from hell? When did Florida stop being the laughing stock of the US?
I suggest it never did. But it got really good at the Housing Ponzi Scheme. It got really good at generating fake income from people buying homes from each other at higher and higher prices. It got really good at no-down, no-doc, negative am financing. It got really good at cash-out refis. It got really good at using Housing ATM loot to buy that big ol' pick up truck with the NASCAR stickers and the confederate plates.
Now it's getting really good at crashing.
Adios Florida. It was fun while it lasted. Now you're heading back to being the laughingstock of the US (again)
Economic gloom tightens grip
Floridians' confidence in the economy plunged this month to its lowest level in 13 years, University of Florida economists said Tuesday.
The chill in the housing market, higher interest rates and fuel prices appear to be taking their toll. National confidence numbers also fell in August, but not as much as they did in Florida.
The Florida Consumer Confidence Index fell 11 points to 76, while the national index, compiled by the Conference Board, went from 107 to 99.6.
The Florida drop is very similar to the one that occurred last September in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, only this time there was no hurricane to blame. Chris McCarty, director of survey research at the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Business Research, thinks the changed outlook for housing is at least partly responsible.
"Florida is in a position to really be affected by a decline in housing," McCarty said. "There are a lot of overvalued markets in Florida, and there are a lot of risky loans, some of which are going to readjust right about now," he said. "Also, a lot of employment increases over the last few years have been related to housing."
August 31, 2006
Posted by blogger at 8/31/2006