Southwest Florida's housing market is approaching boom conditions, a panel of builders and realtors agreed at an HBA-organized breakfast at the end of May. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune has this report: ("Region's real estate facing another boom, panel says," by Josh Salman). "We were in a dead period for a while, but now we have a market on steroids," said local real estate broker Michael Saunders.

The boom has drawbacks, the panel noted: "The panelists acknowledged that tight supply constraints and pent-up demand has lifted some Sarasota and Manatee home values to levels many buyers cannot afford," reports the Herald-Tribune. Said Saunders: "It's a real problem trying to find housing for those who want to work and raise a family here." 

Another worry: "While booming sales and rising prices are good news for homeowners still underwater on their mortgages, the dynamics have also created an imbalance of too many investors and too few owner-occupants."