Headline: “Triple Punch of Bad News”

James Thorner, we are sick of negative articles about the real estate market. I think your article in the St. Petersburg Times on April 30 is just a little too dramatic. We all know that Tampa Bay area home prices are back to 2005 prices. That’s nothing new. And, except for the people who bought houses in the later part of 2005 and early 2006, it’s really not so bad as you try to make it sound. Home prices have risen steadily over the past 10 years in the Tampa Bay area. What more we could ask for? Your article says “sales prices are about 89 percent higher than they were at the start of 2000” – that in itself is a very good thing. The whole country has suffered a downturn in housing prices and the economy and we, in the Tampa Bay area, are in fact better off than many other places around the United States. We have so much going for ourselves here and now, due to the pricing decrease in home prices, we are only that much more desireable to people up north who want to move here.

Toward the later part of 2005, when home prices were at their peak many of my friends and colleges were leaving the Tampa Bay area because they felt they could no longer afford homes, taxes, and insurance. And, many people thought they had missed the boat on Florida relocation. I, for one, am glad that is no longer the case. Our area is a great place to live and home prices have become affordable once again. So come on down ya’ all – we will take good care of you!