Florida is a wonderful place to live. The state has abundant sunshine, great recreation and entertainment as well as superior infrastructure. The Florida lifestyle with its unique mix of superb golf courses, beaches, theme parks, theatres, smart shops and fine restaurants draws people from all over the US and abroad. Florida is also home to Disney World and Universal Studios, both of which make it a popular tourist destination.
As the demand for homes in Florida grew, housing construction intensified and a variety of quality homes came up across the state. Property prices shot up between 2000 and 2005, bolstered by demand from individuals and investors as well as the easy availability of credit. As prices touched historic highs, many found themselves priced out of the market. However, the price surge didn’t last long and houses across the state are more affordable today.
This could be the right time to find your place in the sun. Property prices are well below their peak values in 2005. In 2009, some premium properties were quoting at 50% of their 2005 values. In some parts of the state such as Sarasota, houses are available for as little as $47 per square foot. NBC featured Sarasota, which is less crowded than many other cities in the state, as one of the best places to live in the US with its theatres, beaches, fine dining and some great shopping. In Orlando, it’s possible to find high quality new builds at around $140 per square foot.
Few property markets in the US have fallen as hard as Florida. According to economists, home values will continue to decline in 2011 but not as sharply as in the past. Florida’s property boom came to an abrupt end in 2008 as the recession took hold, bringing unemployment, a severe credit squeeze and a spate of foreclosures in its wake. As demand dried up, real estate inventories piled up across the state. With new developments remaining unsold, construction almost came to a halt in 2009, creating a buyer’s market.
Excess supply continues to drive prices down. There are plenty of unsold properties, especially condominiums in south Florida. For the greater part of 2010, the median price of condominiums remained below $100,000 in Broward and Palm Beach. Prices might look up in 2011 because investors concluded a few bulk deals towards the end of 2010.
In Miami, the condominium market has been hit particularly badly and will take longer to recover because finance is difficult to come by. Cash buyers might find some good bargains under the circumstances. Real estate analysts expect central Florida, a popular tourist destination because of Disney World and Universal Studios, to recover earlier than most other locations in Florida.
Going into 2011, prices are continuing their downward trend but most analysts are not expecting the steep double-digit declines of 2009 and 2010. The general forecast is that taxable values will fall by around 1.45% on a state wide average in 2011, which is definitely encouraging considering those values fell by 11.09% in 2010.
Though sales volumes began to climb in 2009 and the gloom has lifted somewhat, industry experts are generally not expecting a robust recovery any time soon. Researchers at the Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies, University of Florida, found that the near-term outlook continues to be uncertain due to job losses, foreclosures and the lack of credit. However, the center director pointed to a revival of investor interest in some markets as expectations become more realistic and the gap between bids and asking prices narrows.
For those who have long wanted a vacation home in Florida, 2011 is likely a good time to shop around for well-built houses, which are nowhere near as expensive as they were in the past. With more than a few bargains to be found in south, central and north-west Florida, interesting opportunities exist for both international and domestic buyers. The good thing is that there are a number of premium properties built to word-class specifications available at more realistic prices now.
Currently, Florida Real Estate offers better value for money than many places in Europe. Properties are spacious and modern and within easy reach of excellent recreation and entertainment spots. According to analysts, those who invest in 2011 are likely to see reasonably good returns on their investment five years or more from now.
By www.holprop.com (February 3rd, 2011)
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