South Florida real estate creeping back to normal
Distressed real estate — brought on by mortgage woes — now accounts for about half of South Florida’s market. That’s far from normal, but a big improvement from recent years.
South Florida’s real estate market is creeping back toward a more normal era. But the trend might not last long.
New figures show bank-owned homes or those facing foreclosure no longer dominate the resale market, and homes for sale under normal circumstances now account for about half of real estate listings. That’s a switch from a year ago, when distressed properties accounted for 70 percent of listings.
“Normal sales are gaining traction,” said David Dabby, a real estate consultant in Coral Gables. “The normal market is separating itself.”
Douglas Elliman, a brokerage based in Miami Beach, issued a report Thursday showing significant price increases in some of the region’s prime real estate markets. The report estimates the median sales price for a single-family home along the coast in Miami-Dade — generally east of I-95 — increased 26 percent to $176,000 between the start of 2011 and the start of 2012. Analysts credited the shift with a decline in distressed properties: 65 percent of the market in 2011 to 48 percent in 2012. That’s still a long way from normal — Dabby said distressed real estate typically accounts for only about 7 percent of South Florida’s market.
The Douglas Elliman report highlights a common refrain from the real estate industry as it climbs back from a historic crash in values, brought on by too much faith in the housing market during the boom. But the figures also capture the dynamics of South Florida real estate, where sales volume has been surging in recent years while prices have been either approaching a plateau or bouncing off the bottom.
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