I read a lot of commentary about how much “inventory” is on the Orlando condo market, and a lot of predictions about how long it will take to be absorbed. I think by and large, theÂ predictionsÂ are pretty good, but they don’t always take into account the fact that many condo units are disappearing, often hundreds at a time, as developers get out of the condo business and slide back into the rental business.
Some condominiums have been postponed, others have been axed completely. I can rattle off over half a dozen condo communities that have done a vanishing act like this in the last few months (read more here). The inventory of condos for sale has dropped by several thousand, and the previously much sought after rental property has increased by much the same amount. Take a look at the leasing signs that have appeared outside former conversions in the last few months.
So slowly, the tide is turning and the market, always a slave to market forces, will eventually reach equilibrium again. For those of you waiting for even better pricing, for even better incentives; for those who think the worst is still to come, you may be about to miss the boat – and along with it, the opportunity to acquire property when the going was good. Legions are those who will eventually join the masses to buy – just as soon as the next scramble for equity begins – (which will be just as soon as the media tells you it’s okay to buy again). But by then of course, it will be too late, you’ll be the wrong side of the curve, just another body on an over populated bandwagon. And then will come that familiar refrain: “If only I’d bought when… I’d be laughing right now.”
If you want to be one of Orlando’s future hyenas, the trick is to stop doing what everyone else is doing and get back to basics: Buy low, sell high. It might seem pretty obvious, but if so, why did everyone buy high? Those same investors are now being forced to sell low. Now if you have a house to sell before you can take advantage of the current “buyers” market, I grant that makes life more complicated, but if you’re a first time buyer, there’s really no excuse for waiting. And if you’re hovering simply because relatives are telling you to wait, please shoot them, because developers are bending over backwards right now to sell you their condos. And their offers of free upgrades, waived HOA fees and countless other incentives will disappear overnight, the second the masses decide to join the party again. And that’s a promise.
Everyone wants to get ahead. But it’s impossible to get ahead of the crowd if you’re a follower – if you wait for everyone to tell you that the time is “right”.
Let me put it this way: Don’t you just love it when you’re driving into the city at the end of the day just as everyone else is trying to get out? You should try it some time. It’s fun when you’re doing 70mph eastbound (cough, by which I mean 55mph), while everyone else is doing 10mph westbound. The only people moving on I4 are the folk moving in the opposite direction to everyone else.
Real estate and stock trading are no different. In order to get ahead, you have to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. I have a friend who claims to make more money day trading before his 10am cup of coffee, than he makes the entire rest of the day in his own business. I asked him what his strategy was and he said: “Buy when no one else wants to buy. And sell when no one else feels like selling.” It’s simple economics. And it feels great. Unless, of course, you’re a fan of the parking lot we affectionately call I4.