Florida – Residents Hoping for a Sunny Housing Recovery
There’s no doubt about it – Florida got hit hard when the recession hit. Because its economy relies so heavily on tourism (hey, they don’t call it the “Sunshine State” for nothing!), Florida lost a ton of money when people simply couldn’t afford to come visit.
Plus, Florida’s housing prices had skyrocketed to some of the highest during the country before the bubble burst – especially in South Florida – so it was a long way down when prices plummeted. Now, nearly five years later, Floridians are still trying to recover.
So, what does Florida’s housing market look like today?
Right now, mortgages in Florida are still not healthy. In fact, at the end of 2012, the Sunshine State led the country in the number of homes in some sort of foreclosure. Since the bubble burst, nearly 500,000 Florida homes have been foreclosed on.
Still, though, homes for sale in Florida are slowly but surely starting to creep back onto the market. Both inventory and prices rose in South Florida to close out 2012. In fact, Miami-Dade County saw prices steadily increase in each month of 2012.
The most popular homes for sale in South Florida right now are multi-family units – like condos and townhomes. In fact, in Broward County (where Ft. Lauderdale is located), the median sales price for condos and townhouses rose nearly 23% in 2012.
What about the rest of the state?
Real estate experts in the Tampa area are smiling. There are so many new homes for sale in Tampa that contractors are having a hard time getting ahold of materials like drywall. In Hernando County (about an hour north of Tampa), the number of annual home sales just topped 3,000 for the first time in years.
Over in Jacksonville Beach, realtors are so busy that the area has been deemed a “seller’s market” by local experts. In fact, realtors in Florida say they’re being flooded with calls over properties that are close to the water – especially by investors, who want to get a jump on any type of recovery.
And speaking of realtors in Florida, many of them are seeing an increase in all-cash transactions. Thanks to investors who don’t want to go through the red tape of a lender, the number of all-cash sales is on the rise in the Sunshine State – especially in the southern part of the state. In Miami-Dade County, all-cash sales made up 63% of the real estate transactions in November 2012.
What if you want to rent?
If you’re ready to move to the Sunshine State – but aren’t ready to commit to a mortgage – be prepared to pay quite a bit. In Jacksonville, one-bedroom apartments for rent cost, on average, $870 per month. In West Palm Beach, be prepared to pay over $1,000 for a one-bedroom apartment. In Miami, one-bedroom apartments for rent run about $1,500 per month.