Upturn in Florida real estate gets thumbs up from J.P. Morgan strategist
Tampa Bay Business Journal by Margie Manning, Quality and Content Editor
Date: Tuesday, January 8, 2013, 9:46am EST
A gradually improving economy, boosted by low interest rates and little risk of inflation, is on the horizon for 2013, saidStuart Schweitzer, J.P. Morgan Private Bank vice chairman and global markets strategist.
Real estate, technology and industrial companies are the investment sectors where Schweitzer sees the most potential in 2013. Schweitzer, who has a home near Naples, is especially bullish on Florida real estate.
While Florida was hit harder than the rest of the nation in the downturn, “there’s clear evidence on the ground that real estate is turning slowly,” he said in an interview with the Tampa Bay Business Journal, citing a 50 percent increase in building permit activity statewide in 2012 compared to 2011. Although building permits are still below their peak levels in 2005, “we are beginning nationwide and in Florida to make progress,” Schweitzer said.
“I think housing will be more of a plus for Florida and for the nation in 2013 than it was in 2012,” he said.
That creates opportunity for investors in housing-related stocks. Schweitzer said he was not surprised by the TBBJ’s Jan. 4 report, showing triple-digit gains in stock price in 2012 at three local companies with business models tied to the residential real estate market.
While there has not yet been a material increase in applications for home mortgages, “I think that will change in 2013,” he said.
Technology is poised for gains in part because it remains a key way to cut costs in the business world, including at manufacturing firms, where the use of robotics allows them to operate with fewer workers.