According to Housing Wire, even tough home sales and new housing starts has increased over the past several years, housing activity is still well below sustainable levels. For both economic and demographic reasons, 2014 should be the year when activity reaches the highest level since 2006/2007.

Propelling homes sales are job growth and housing affordability. The latter reflects the interplay of household income, mortgage rates and housing prices. Most economists expect an improved job market in 2014, with employment growth accelerating, and unemployment rate continuing to decline.

Tom: Our regional market peaked over a year sooner than the rest of the country, and it began the recovery over two years sooner. Although we get a lot of investor and foreign buyers in sunny Florida, we are also dependent on our northern neighbors (especially Baby Boomers) to move here and/or buy second homes. Thus, when their regional real estate market improves, that bodes very well for SW Florida.