I'm off on a week's holidays tomorrow - to the Sunshine State. I never thought I would say this, but I am seriously thinking of buying a place in Florida. New England winters get harder to take all the time, and the choices of destination with sunshine, warmth (after a fashion) and cheap direct flights under 3 hours are few. The Caribs is 5-6 hours and expensive. I don't fancy Arizona. California is as far from here as Paris (and frankly Paris will always win even if it is cold). So Florida it is. The real estate market there has plunged to a level where it is beginning to look attractive. A two-bed, two bath condo in the Tampa/Clearwater area can be had for less than $100,000 US. I saw a very nice one today for $65,000 - a two bedroom, 2.5 bathroom 1,100 square foot townhouse. That is only about 40,000 pounds - 48,000 Euros. Do you know what 40,000 pounds buys in England? A garage in Chiswick - maybe. In Paris? Nothing. Really - nothing. My son's rented chambre de bonne - a studio converted from a maid's room - is worth 78,000 Euros.
And since the cold winters they have been having lately in Europe might convince them to start looking for places in Florida, I want to get ahead of the game. Florida won't be the beginning of the recovery in the property market, it will probably tag along at the end of it, but cheap is cheap. See you in a week!