Thursday, August 3, 2017

Fort Lauderdale Homes Approach Pre-Crash Prices

Home prices increased in June in Fort Lauderdale, throughout Broward County and across South Florida, continuing to approach the all-time peaks hit before the great real estate market collapse a decade ago.
Even so, analysts are not forecasting another meltdown.
“Most economic indicators support today’s prices,” explains Ken Johnson, a professor and economist at Florida Atlantic University. “I don’t see us waking up one day like we did in 2008 or 2009, realizing we are in free fall.”
According to the latest statistics released by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Relators, Broward’s median price for existing single family homes hit $355,000, up 9% over June 2016. The Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches reported an 8% increase in the value of existing single-family homes over the past annum in Palm Beach County, where the median price is now $345,000. In Miami-Dade, the median price was $335,000 according to the Miami Association of Realtors, which represents an increase of 6% over the past 12 months.
Home values in these three counties, which comprise the geographic reporting area of South Florida, have been climbing steadily since the real estate market began to recover around 2010.
At this point Broward County is only 9% off its peak median price of $391,100, achieved in November 2005. Palm Beach County is 18% off its pinnacle of $421,500, also reported that same month, while Miami-Dade County is 16% below it’s high of $401,100, hit in May, 2007.

What’s Different This Time Around?

Why are matters looking different this time around? There are a number of factors.
First and foremost is probably the fact that home prices have been climbing steadily, but not unreasonably, with periods of consolidation, which indicates a healthy market.
Take a look at the graphic below. This is the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index for the reporting area of South Florida going back to the 1970s (compared to the U.S. Average, which is the green line). You can see what the market did between 2003 to 2005. To be perfectly frank, it went nuts. Some homes practically doubled in value over those two years. Look at that spike. That’s what an impending bubble looks like.

 One thing I always find interesting about this chart – if you draw a trend line from the 70s through 2010, you see that even though our market had that incredible spike, followed by that precipitous fall, it still pretty much came back to where it should have been.

At any rate, we are not seeing home prices increasing by double digits annually in Fort Lauderdale and South Florida. Historically an appreciation driven market experiencing boom and bust cycles while continuing to trend upward, in a normal year it is not unusual for home values in Fort Lauderdale to go up 7-9%. Coming out of the market meltdown we had a couple pretty strong years. Median Sale Price for Single Family Homes in Broward increased 27-30% over 2012 and 2013, depending whose statistics you want to quote, but the following year the market consolidated, and the Median Price showed only a modest 5.9% increase in 2014, followed by 7.8% in 2015 and 6.5% in 2016.
This was a very good sign, showing we had a healthy market which could sustain good long term growth.

Supply and Demand

Another dynamic playing a large role in shaping our local real estate market is supply and demand. Inventory is very tight and sales are down.
Palm Beach County reported 1,855 closings in June, which is an increase of 2% over the past 12 months, while sales in Miami-Dade sales were up 4%.
It was a different story in Fort Lauderdale, however, the most desirable location in the state of Florida. Through the suburban communities of Broward County sales were down 6% from the previous June, marking the third consecutive month of declining sales.
“Closings were down in most of the country because interested buyers are being tripped up by supply that remains stuck at a meager level and price growth that’s straining their budget,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors.
“Demand for buying a home is as strong as it has been since before the Great Recession,” added Yun. “Listings in the affordable price range continue to be scooped up rapidly, but the severe housing shortages inflicting many markets are keeping a large segment of would-be buyers on the sidelines.”
According to Zillow’s chief economist, Svenja Gudell, this lack of homes for sale nationwide is “bordering on an inventory crisis.”
Gudell released a statement which pointed out: “There are about as many homes for sale now as there were in 1994, except there are about 63 million more people in this country now than there were then.”

They’re Not Making Any More

Frankly, nowhere is this lack of inventory more apparent than in Fort Lauderdale and its surrounding suburbs. Broward County is not large. The whole county is about 27 miles tall, around 45 miles wide. Almost 60% of this area are waterways and wetlands, however, which can’t be developed without cutting off our water supply, leaving only 471 square miles of developable dry land.
At this point this land is 99.99999% developed. There are no more big chunks of pasture and scrub forest for developers to bull doze into acres of tract homes. Even so, the population of Broward County continues to swell. Florida recently surpassed New York to become the nation’s third most populous state, mainly because you never have to shovel sunshine off your driveway. Now home to $1.6 million, by the early 2020s this is projected to over two million residents. That’s an increase of nearly 30% more people squeezing into the same 471 square miles of developable dry land.

Connecting the dots, the prospects for appreciation in home values in Fort Lauderdale and across South Florida seems like pretty much a No-Brainer. Barring acts of God, asteroid impacts and/or Godzilla rising from the Atlantic Ocean, it is difficult to conclude property prices can do much more than appreciate significantly over the foreseeable property values seems relatively inevitable.
Additionally, whatever rate of appreciation might be projected for the entire  county, prime real estate – waterfont homes, ocean front condos, houses and townhomes in premier neighborhoods near the coast – should out-perform.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Median Price for Condos in Fort Lauderdale Showing 10% Annual Appreciation

The median sales price for an existing single-family home in the state of Florida rose to $234,900, appreciating 10.3% over the course of the 12-month period ending in April, 2017 according to the latest real estate statistics released by the research department of the Florida Association of Realtors. Through that period the statewide median price for condo, co-op and townhome properties increased 7.2% to $172,000. April marked the 65th consecutive month the median price for both housing sectors reported year-over-year appreciation.

Tight inventory of properties on the market ramains the prevailing trend in Florida real estate, resulting in a slight drop in total sales of single-family homes, which totaled 23,829 in April of 2017, a decrease of 1.2% when compared to April, 2016.

These stats are compiled by the Florida Association of Realtors from MLS data supplied by local realtor boards and associations. Median price represents the midpoint: half the homes sold for more, half for less.

Florida Realtors President Maria Wells is quoted as saying: "It puts consumers in a position where they have to be prepared and ready to buy, as many Realtors around the state report seeing more instances of multiple offers. And without more for-sale homes median prices will continue to rise due to demand. In April, sellers of existing single-family homes received (a median percentage of)96.2% of their original listing price, while those selling townhouse and condominium properties received 94.7% – an indication the listed price is extremely close to market value.

"Working with a local Realtor enables consumers to have the advice of an expert in their local housing market – someone who can guide them through their home search and help them find the right home that fits their budget and their lifestyle."

As usual property appreciation in Florida significantly out-performed the U.S. average. According to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median sales price for existing single-family homes in April 2017 was $246,100, representing an annual increase of 6.1% on sales which decreased 2.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4,950,000. Median price for existing condos was $234,600, a 5.6% rise over the previous annum.

Focusing on FortLauderdale and the surrounding neighborhoods, the median price for an existing single family home in Broward County appreciated 6.5% over the last year, while the median price for condos and townhomes increased 10.0%

Other stats reported show closed sales of single-family homes declined in 14 of Florida's 22 metro areas compared to the previous April, and dropped 1.2% statewide.

"There is no indication demand is falling off," said Dr. Brad O'Connor, the Florida Realtors Chief Economist. "Rather, all signs continue to point to a market being held back by a shortage of homes for sale. As of the end of April, the statewide inventory of single-family homes for sale was down nearly 5% compared to where it was a year ago.

"Additionally, single-family homes which did sell in April were snapped up as quickly as in any month in recent years. According to Florida Realtors median-time-to-sale metric, half the single-family homes selling in April of last year went from listing to close in 90 days or less, but this April, that figure declined to 85 days or less – a 5.6% drop."

O'Connor also noted condominium and townhome market has been relatively more balanced than the single-family market from a statewide perspective, but local markets experience more variance in their condo and townhouse inventory levels.

April's inventory remained constricted with a 4-months' supply for single-family homes and a 6.1-months' supply for townhome and condominium, according to Florida Realtors.

Meanwhile the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.05% in April of 2017 according to Freddie Mac, a fairly significan increase from the 3.61% average reported during the same month the previous year.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Pay More Taxes, Get Less Appreciation, AND Freeze Your Butt Off. Sounds Like A Great Idea.

A number of interesting research reports have recently been released by WalletHub, a personal finance website, ranking the states in the country: which states have the highest and lowest property taxes; which states have the highest and lowest overall tax burdens; which states have the highest and lowest cost of living.

As always, going over these stats, we wonder why anybody wants to buy real estate in or live anywhere besides FortLauderdale.

Lowest Property Taxes


The average American household spends $2,149 on property taxes for their homes each year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Which states pack the biggest property-tax punch? WalletHub analyzed the 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of real-estate taxes.

 (Rank, State, Property Tax Rate, Taxes on $179k Home, Median Price)

1.) Hawaii, 0.27%, $487, $515,300
2.) Alabama, 0.43%, $773, $125,500
3.) Louisiana, 0.49%, $876, $144,100
4.) Delaware, 0.54%, $969, $231,500
5.) District of Columbia, 0.56%, $1,000, $475,800
6.) South Carolina, 0.57%, $1,019, $139,900
7.) West Virginia, 0.58%, $1,044, $103,800
8.) Colorado, 0.60%, $1,073, $247,800
9.) Wyoming, 0.61%, $1,097, $194,800
10.) Arkansas, 0.62%, $1,111, $111,400
11.) Utah, 0.68%, $1,218, $215,900
12.) New Mexico, 0.74%, $1,324, $160,300
13.) Tennessee, 0.75%, $1,335, $142,100
14.) Idaho, 0.76%, $1,366, $162,900
15.) Mississippi, 0.79%, $1,408, $103,100
16.) Virginia, 0.80%, $1,420, $245,000
17.) California, 0.81%, $1,438, $385,500
18.) Arizona, 0.81%, $1,446, $167,500
19.) Kentucky, 0.81%, $1,511, $123,200
20.) Nevada, 0.81%, $1,523, $173,700
21.) North Carolina, 0.81%, $1,524, $124,200
22.) Montana, 0.81%, $1,525, $193,500
23.) Indiana, 0.87%, $1,560, $124,200
24.) Oklahoma, 0.88%, $1,569, $117,900
25.) Georgia, 0.94%, $1,685, $148,100
26.) Missouri, 1.00%, $1,790, $138,400
27.) Florida, 1.06%, $1,894, $159,000
28.) Oregon, 1.08%, $1,929, $237,300
29.) Washington, 1.08%, $1,931, $259,500
30.) Maryland, 1.10%, $1,956, $286,900
31.) North Dakota, 1.12%, $2,000, $153,800
32.) Minnesota, 1.18%, $2,110, $186,200
33.) Alaska, 1.18%, $2,112, $250,000
34.) Massachusetts, 1.20%, $2,139, $333,100
35.) Maine, 1.30%, $2,321, $173,800
36.) South Dakota, 1.34%, $2,389, $140,500
37.) Kansas, 1.40%, $2,502, $132,000
38.) Iowa, 1.48%, $2,649, $129,200
39.) Pennsylvania, 1.53%, $2,725, $166,000
40.) Ohio, 1.56%, $2,794, $129,600
41.) New York, 1.62%, $2,899, $283,400
42.) Rhode Island, 1.63%, $2,915, $238,000
43.) Vermont, 1.75%, $3,116, $217,500
44.) Michigan, 1.78%, $3,172, $122,400
45.) Nebraska, 1.85%, $3,308, $133,200
46.) Texas, 1.90%, $3,386, $136,600
47.) Wisconsin, 1.96%, $3,499, $165,800
48.) Connecticut, $1.97%, $3,517, $270,500
49.) New Hampshire, 2.15%, $3,838, $237,300
50.) Illinois, 2.30%, $4,105, $173,800
51.) New Jersey, 2.35%, $4,189, $315,900

The Highest Tax Rates

WalletHub also compiled a report ranking which states had the highest and lowest tax burdens.

1.) Rank
2.) State
3.) Effective Total Local and State Tax Rates on Median U.S. Household. Assumes “Median U.S. Household” has an annual income of $54,286 (mean third quintile U.S. income); owns a home valued at $178,600 (median U.S. home value); owns a car valued at $23,070 (the highest-selling car of 2016); and spends annually an amount equal to the spending of a household earning the median U.S. income.
4.) Annual State and Local Taxes on Median U.S Household.
Adjusted Overall Rank based on Cost of Living Index

1.) Alaska, 5.64%, $3,060, 5
2.) Delaware, 6.07%, $3,293, 1
3.) Montana, 6.89%, $3,741, 3
4.) Wyoming, 7.43%, $4,036, 2
5.) Nevada, 7.66%, $4,157, 7
6.) Tennessee, 7.97%, $4,3276, 4
7.) Idaho, 8.48%, $4,604, 6
8.) California, 8.79%, $4,774, 34
9.) South Carolina, 8.84%, $4,800, 11
10.) Florida, 8.94%, $4,851, 10
11.) Oregon, 9.22%, $5,004, 26
12.) Utah, 9.25%, $5,019, 8
13.) Colorado, 9.34%, $5,071, 14
14.) Alabama, 9.43%, $5,120, 9
15.) Arizona, 9.60%, $5,211, 12
16.) South Dakota, 9.77%, $5,302, 21
17.) District of Columbia, 10.0%, $5,428, 45
18.) North Dakota, 10.03%, $5,447, 17
19.) New Hampshire, 10.09%, $5,475, 35
20.) Louisiana, 10.33%, $5,608, 16
21.) Hawaii, 10.33%, $5,610, 49
22.) West Virginia, 10.38%, $5,635, 18
23.) Georgia, 10.57%, $5,739, 15
24.) North Carolina, 10.63%, $5,773, 20
25.) Oklahoma, 10.70%, $5,809, 13
26.) New Mexico, 10.73%, $5,825, 23
27.) Virginia, 10.89%, $5,943, 29
28.) Vermont, 10.89%, $5,913, 42
29.) Missouri,11.02%, $5,981, 19
30.) Texas, 11.12%, $6,034, 22
31.) Massachusetts, 11.52%, $6,253, 47
32.) Minnesota, 11.59%%, $6,291, 32
33.) Maine, 11.64%, $6,316, 40
34.) Washington, 11.72%, $6,363, 37
35.) Indiana, 11.87%, $6,444, 24
36.) Maryland, 11.92%, $6,470, 44
37.) Kentucky, 12.01%, $6,522, 28
38.) Mississippi, 12.14%, $6,589, 25
39.) Kansas, 1.28%, $6,665, 30
40.) Arkansas, 12.28%, $6,665, 27
41.) Pennsylvania, 12.33%, $6,691, 39
42.) New Jersey, 12.63%, $6,855, 46
43.) Iowa, 12.84%, $6,968, 33
44.) Michigan, 13.00%, $7,058, 31
45.) Ohio, 13.06%, $7,087, 36
46.) Connecticut, 13.56%, $7,361, 50
47.) Rhode Island, 13.57%, $7,367, 48
48.) New York, 13.58%, $7,370, 51
49.) Wisconsin, 13.60%, $7,384, 41
50.) Nebraska, 13.80%, $7,493, 38
51.) Illinois, 14.76%, $8,011, 43</li>

Adjusted Cost of Living

WalletHub incorporated these factors to then compile a ranking of the states by Adjusted Overall Rank based on Cost of Living Index.

1.) Delaware
2.) Wyoming
3.) Montana
4.) Tennessee
5.) Alaska
6.) Idaho
7.) Nevada
8.) Utah
9.) Alabama
10.) Florida
11.) South Carolina
12.) Arizona
13.) Oklahoma
14.) Colorado
15.) Georgia
16.) Louisiana
17.) North Dakota
18.) West Virginia
19.) Missouri
20.) North Carolina
21.) South Dakota
22.) Texas
23.) New Mexico
24.) Indiana
25.) Mississippi
26.) Oregon
27.) Arkansas
28.) Kentucky
29.) Virginia
30.) Kansas
31.) Michigan
32.) Minnesota
33.) Iowa
34.) California
35.) New Hampshire
36.) Ohio
37.) Washington
38.) Nebraska
39.) Pennsylvania
40.) Maine
41.) Wisconsin
42.) Vermont
43.) Illinois
44.) Maryland
45.) District of Columbia
46.) New Jersey
47.) Massachusetts
48.) Rhode Island
49.) Hawaii
50.) Connecticut
51.) New York




Monday, November 7, 2016

The Best Thing About Fort Lauderdale Real Estate

One of the most highly respected sources of real estate statistics, the CoreLogic Home Price Index, was recently released for September, 2016.

Once again, analyzing these numbers illustrates why buying property in Fort Lauderdale is such a smart investment.

According to this report home values in the Sunshine State appreciated 7.5% in the 12 month period which concluded in September, 2016. That number tops the national average of 6.3% and ranks Florida the 6th best state in the country in home appreciation.

Delving a little deeper into these stats, however, it is particularly intriguing to look at the forecasts for the upcoming year. CoreLogic projects property values in Florida will increase 7% over the next annum. That ranks 3rd best in the U.S. behind California and Nevada, and illustrates the true strength of the Sunshine State's real estate market.

Over the past few months the Pacific Northwest has been very hot. In this Setember 2016 HPI the highest home price appreciation was found in Washington state (10.3%), Oregon (10.1%), Colorado (8.6%), Utah (7.8%) and Idaho (7.7%).

Florida ranked 6th at 7.5%.

Well, every dog has their day. Anytime you see Utah leading the nation in anything other than great salt lakes you have to know there's a story in there somewhere. In large part I think this is because home prices nationwide have recovered unevenly. The whole country took a hit when the nationwide real estate market collapsed. It took a while to stabilize. The more desirable locations like Florida and California snapped back first, then the recovery spread across the rest of the nation, through the Northeast, Midwest and the West.

Still, while other states cycled in and out of the Top Five, the Top 10 in home price appreciation, Florida has remained near the top of the rankings. Maybe it wasn’t Number One in the nation, but as these reports were released, month after month, year after year, the Sunshine State was always in the Top Five.

A couple years ago the Midwest was hot. Wisconsin ranked near the top of the nation high in home price appreciation. Before that it was the Southwest; the highest increases in property values were found in Arizona. Before that it was the Northeast – New York and New Jersey.

Like hotshot gunfighters riding into town, looking to make themselves a name, these states came and went. Meantime, month after month, year after year, Florida remained high on the list.

The real insight in this latest report can be found not only considering at the appreciation over the past year, but looking at the CoreLogic forecast for the upcoming annum.

Washington reported a home price increase of 10.3%, but CoreLogic projects only 5.8% growth over the course of the upcoming year. Oregon homes went up 10.1%, yet the forecast for the next annum is only 6.1%. Colorado showed an 8.6% increase; projection for the next 12 months is 5.7%. Utah and Idaho reported increases of 7.8% and 7.7% respectively for the year ending in September 2016, but over the next annum home values in those states are only projected to rise 5.1% and 4.9%.

According to this CoreLogic HPI home prices in Florida rose 7.5% in the 12 months which concluded in September, 2106, but are projected to increase 7% over the next year. That ranks 3rd in the United States.

What does this tell you? First, it is relatively obvious these other markets are experiencing a temporary uptick in high appreciation as the housing recovery cycles through their geographic region. Secondly, that Florida's real estate market offers a much more consistent, reliable appreciation. This is what has always made the state, and South Florida especially, such an attractive location for investors, and frankly anyone who wants to make money in real estate.

Florida is an appreciation driven market, which has always operated on a boom and bust cycle. In a normal year home prices will typically appreciate 7-8%. Perhaps once a decade the market spikes and you’ll see property values increasing 10-12%, sometimes even more, but those times are usually followed by periods of consolidation when the market cools.

In Fort Lauderdale and Broward County, specifically, home prices are projected to keep rising at a significant rate. It is all but inevitable. Not only because Fort Lauderdale is a tropical paradise with no state income tax and a relatively low cost of living where you can swim in the ocean all year round and you must remember to turn on your car heater every so often, not because you need it, but just to keep it from rusting through.

It's a simple matter of supply and demand.

There is an old adage which is usually recited about beach front property: “They're not making any more of it.”

That has never been truer than it is in Fort Lauderdale, the primo location in the state of Florida. There is only so much land. Broward County is not large, approximately 27 miles north and south, perhaps 45 miles east to west. However, around 60% of this geographic area is comprised of wetlands which cannot be developed without cutting off their own water supply. They can no longer build any anything else beyond the Sawgrass Expressway and US-27, which are somewhere between 10 and 15 miles from the coast. The entire county is 1,320 square miles with 115 square miles of waterways, but when you boil it all down this leaves only 471 square miles of developable dry land.

At this point this developable land is now 99.99% developed. There are no more swaths of scrub forest east of US-27 and the Sawgrass which can be bull-dozed into housing projects. Occasionally you see quotes from developers bemoaning the fact there’s no more chunks of empty land. This is like a whaling boat Captain complaining it’s getting harder to find Sperm Whales. You know, pal, if you weren’t there SHOOTING THEM WITH HARPOONS, might be a few more of them around.

Still, drive the Sawgrass Expressway through northern Broward you see housing developments and commercial properties along the east side of the road, and along the west side of the highway it is literally The Everglades – whip grass, wading birds and alligators.

The lack of land, however, is not stopping the influx of people moving on down. Florida recently surpassed New York as the third most populous state in the nation. This trend will undoubtedly continue as Baby Boomers across the U.S. retire and seek a warmer climate. You never have to shovel sunshine off your driveway. Broward County is simply the most desirable part of the state. In 1960 they took the Census, there were 60,000 residents. Ten years later in 1970 there were 600,000. Currently the population is around 1.75 million and projected to climb to almost 2.3 million by the year 2020.

That's over a half million more residents – an additional 31% – moving into the same 471 square miles of developable dry land.

Talk about a No Brainer, this would seem to be a simple matter of connecting the dots, what this should mean for property values in Fort Lauderdale and throughout Broward County. 1) We don't have much land. 2) The population is growing.

Add these factors up significant appreciation in property values seems relatively inevitable. In addition, whatever rate of appreciation you might wish to forecast for the overall county-wide average, it will undoubtedly be greater in prime real estate such as waterfont homes, oceanfront condos, houses and townhomes in the better nieghborhoods along the coast.
You can read a more detailed analysis of the prospects for appreciation in Fort Lauderdale property values by clicking on this link to the Investor Central page of my website at Fort Lauderdale Beach Property (dot com).

Friday, July 29, 2016

Shocked! Shocked, I Say!

A crack-down by the U.S. Treasury Department on money laundering in the lucrative South Florida real estate market has been expanded to include Broward and Palm Beach.

In January of 2016 the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network enacted a “geographic targeting order” which requires title insurance firms to require names of owners of offshore shell companies that pay cash to purchase high-end property in Manhattan and Miami. That policy has now been expanded to include Broward and Palm Beach Counties, as well as other luxury real estate markets in New York, California and Texas.

According to “FinCen” roughly a quarter of reported transactions in Miami and Manhattan involved people who were separately the subject of suspicious activity reports by banks and other financial institutions, indicating possible criminal activity.

The Miami Herald published an interesting article last April (which you can read by clicking this link ) discussing the possibility that much of this funny money might have fueled the city’s luxury condo boom and inflate property prices.

One reported instance concerned a corrupt South American government official who was accused to stealing millions from his country, who set up a shell corporation in the Cayman Islands and then purchased high-end property in Miami.

On the surface, this might not seem so out of the ordinary. For starters, name one story out of Miami that does NOT included a corrupt South American government official, let alone stolen millions and shell corporations in the Caymans.

We still find it shocking, however, to think some people might be laundering money through our real estate market.

This is South Florida. I thought we only laundered drug money here.

As Omar Little once said: “Man’s got to have a code.”

Friday, August 14, 2015

No More Sperm Whales in Fort Lauderdale

As home construction picks up around the nation, it remains at a low level around Fort Lauderdale.
According to the U.S. Commerce Department housing starts increased 26.6% in June (2015) year over year, and Building Permits were up 30% through that same period.
Around Fort Lauderdale and Broward County, Florida, however, home building is hovering around an all-time low. From 1992 through 2006 the South Florida reporting area – which encompasses Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties – typically averaged between 20,000 and 30,000 housing starts per year.
Now, those counties average around 7,000 housing starts per year, with Broward accounting for the fewest – only a projected 1,200 for 2015.
There’s a very good reason for this – we simply don’t have any more land.
In all Broward County there is only 471 miles of developable dry land and at this point it is essentially all developed.
Saw an article last year where a developer was bemoaning this fact, explaining wistfully: “There aren’t any more open green fields.”
That’s like whaling boat captains complaining it’s getting harder to find sperm whales.
Well, pal, maybe if you weren’t out there, you know – shooting them with HARPOONS – there might be a few more of them around.
Ponce de Leon landed in Florida in 1513. Developers discovered it in the Sixties. The U.S. Census in 1960 reported the population for Broward County at 60,000. Ten years later in 1970 the population was 600,000. Through the 70s and 80s, aside from tourism and serving alcohol the only industry in South Florida was construction. People moved to Fort Lauderdale and got jobs building houses for the next bunch of people who showed up. Developers drained swamps, bulldozed scrub forest, built miles of tract homes. Eventually they reached the edge of the Everglades, were not allowed to go any further, since it would be cutting off our water supply.
As a result Fort Lauderdale is now a perfect example of that old real estate adage – they’re not making any more of it.
Broward County, Florida
Broward County is fully developed, but people keep moving here from those sub-arctic urban crapholes up north. Late night comedians might crack jokes about Florida, but you don’t have to shovel sunshine out of your driveway. After two brutal winters folks up north are now bracing for what is predicted to be a “Godzilla” El Nino, so the exodus to the South is not likely to slacken. Our population stands currently around 1.75 million and some projections expect this number to climb to 2.3 Million by the early 2020s. That’s an increase of 30% within the next 5-6 years.
The effect this shall have on our property values should be truly profound.
The Fort Lauderdale area is quite simply the best part of Florida. It is not a Third-World urban city like Miami, nor the tractless waste which is Palm Beach. Broward County is not large, only 1,323 square miles. The western portion of the county, however, over 60% of it, is wetlands – the Everglades – which is the water supply for all South Florida, and therefore cannot be developed. Boil it all down that leaves only 471 square miles of developable dry land, which as we’ve pointed out is fully developed.
Talk about a No Brainer, this would seem to be a simple matter of connecting the dots, what this should mean for property values in Fort Lauderdale and throughout Broward County. 1) We don't have much land. 2) Population is growing. 3) Demand is increasing. And 4) Prime property will outperform the overall average.
Add these factors up significant appreciation in property values seems relatively inevitable. In addition, whatever rate of appreciation you might wish to forecast for the overall county-wide average, it should be markedly greater in prime real estate such as waterfont homes, oceanfront condos, houses and townhomes in better neighborhoods along the coast.
In my professional opinion we are looking at a pretty good stretch into the foreseeable future in South Florida – barring Acts of God, asteroid impacts and/or the total collapse of Western Civilization. Bouncing off the bottom real estate values have already come up sharply, then consolidated. Better locations throughout Fort Lauderdale and Broward County are up almost 30% in recent years. Don't listen to skeptics who act like this is somehow a bad thing. You are not going to get 20% a year on your investment. That is simply unsustainable. Still, property appreciation might average 8-10% over the next four to five years. If that's not good enough for you, good luck and God bless.
In 2010 I started telling customers to start buying. The housing market in Fort Lauderdale had stabilized, had started inching upward. I told people as soon as real estate investors noticed prices heading up in South Florida we’d have a mini land rush. Well, I was right. Customers who listened have already seen nice appreciation.
Others, however, started citing stuff they were reading on the Internet about the “Shadow Inventory” – this mythical tidal wave of impending foreclosures that was going to swamp our market like a tsunami. Well, according to the Internet I win the Nigerian Lottery three times a week. Again, I tried to explain with Florida being a judicial foreclosure state there was simply no way the banks could ever release waves of REO properties again, especially once they got caught in that whole “Robo-Signing” scandal. Meanwhile, statistics released by leading real estate data sources such as CoreLogic and RealtyTrac showed foreclosures dropping by double digits month after month. The latest stats (the CoreLogic Foreclosure Report for June, 2015) shows the foreclosure inventory in Florida dropped 54% year over year, and completed foreclosures declined 17% in that same people.
So now those people are sitting in a little rubber raft on the beach in rain slickers and floppy hats, waiting for the big wave, while customers who listened lounge on the balcony of their luxury oceanfront residence, sipping champagne and laughing at those crackpots in the rubber rafts.
For an in-depth analysis of how the projected increase in the population of Fort Lauderdale and Broward County should effect our home values, check out the “Investor Central” page of my website at Fort Lauderdale Beach Property (dot com).

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Great Affordable Family Pool Home

Around South Florida reasonably priced family homes between $200-300,000 are in high demand.
Well, we just got a great Listing for an affordable family pool home in a great family neighborhood, just in time for some lucky family to settle into before school starts in September.
This home is in absolute tip-top condition. These are the owners you want to buy a house from.
Located between University and Pine Island, just south of Commercial, this 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath home features many upgrades, went through a major remodel just over a year ago. It features: an Atrium in the middle of the home; high ceilings; hardwood floors; a gourmet kitchen with custom solid wood cabinetry, granite counters and backsplash; double hurricane-glass front doors; an updated master bath; newer appliances, window treatments, and aluminum garage door.
The swimming pool is in a screened porch, heated, with a spa, and the backyard is very private, surrounded by lush tropical landscaping.
To see more details, watch an exclusive Video Tour, go to the “Great Deals” page of our website at Fort Lauderdale Beach Property (dot com)