Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fort Lauderdale Real Estate | Foreclosure Homes Represent 25% of Sales

We have written before about the growing shortage of foreclosure homes for sale in Broward County, along with our experience that clients face growing competition for those homes. We often see clients competing against multiple asking price offers for short sale and foreclosure homes in the Ft Lauderdale area. In fact, there is growing competition for nearly every home that is priced right on the market for right now. Today, the Sun Sentinel confirmed the current real estate statistics, which suggest an optimistic forecast for the Fort Lauderdale Real estate market in 2012.



I recently read an article on the improvements in the real estate market, and the commenter negativity towards this claim amazed me. One such commenter who claimed to be from "Yale," (the people that I know who go to Yale don't go around telling everyone who will listen, but we digress) claimed that real estate agents are less than honest because they're trying to sell real estate. He perseverated on this point in response to other commenters and called the real estate projections bogus due to the less than honest intentions of real estate agents. Not only was this somewhat surprising, it is inaccurate.

There is no one better informed about the current state of the real estate market than real estate agents. Hardworking agents who are experienced and seasoned in listing and selling homes, especially during the recession, are the people who can tell us the most about the state of the real estate market. From the number of leads per day to the average number of contracts per home to the number of days that well priced listings are on the market, the good agents out there can tell us what will happen in the market before the rest of the world knows. They support their families based on real estate activity, and these professionals' livelihood depends upon the health of the real estate market. Therefore, I see no one more qualified to validate the real estate statistics than the front linemen-real estate agents.

Note that I am not talking about the real estate agents who are less than professional, don't return phone calls, or don't seem to know the market. There are poor excuses for professionals in every line of work, and real estate is no exception. You should choose your own agent based upon experience, professionalism, and whether or not you feel comfortable working with that person. Otherwise, don't waste your time with any slack professional.

Now, back to our point about the market. Our claims about the market are in line with the statistics and the Sun Sentinel article this morning, which reports that distressed housing represents about a quarter of real estate sales in the Fort Lauderdale area. This is much less than what it was one year ago, when distressed housing accounted for a whopping 38% of real estate sales. In fact, foreclosures have fallen in Palm Beach County by an amazing 58% since 2010. These are optimistic numbers that lead us to believe that our real estate market in Fort Lauderdale is beginning to recover.

Yes, we said recover. Houses for sale in Fort Lauderdale seem to be selling more quickly (unless the owner prices the home above market value to stave off a short sale or just because he/she doesn't understand the true value of the home), and clients are having to reduce the home price less often. We often see clients having to put in 4-6 contracts before actually having an offer accepted by the bank or the owner. Last year, this simply wasn't the case. Homes for sale in Fort Lauderdale stayed on the market for longer periods of time, and offers were few and far between. Price reductions helped increase traffic, but many clients were forced to short sale their homes anyway. We are seeing fewer clients resort to short sales and more clients getting asking prices for their properties.

Is there a back log of foreclosure homes? Yes, but this isn't a bad thing. We need more homes on the market here-finding a foreclosure home to buy used to be an easy task, but it's not anymore. Our clients are having to look for much longer and compete much more for the foreclosure homes for sale in Fort Lauderdale. We welcome the new (old?) distressed property inventory, and our buyers will, too.

Condos sales in Fort Lauderdale have picked up, but Miami, Tampa, and West Palm Beach have picked up more. We see the same pattern mentioned above with condo sales here, particularly for the waterfront condos in Ft Lauderdale and on Las Olas. If you're in the market for a condo, location seems to moderate the statistics in that area of real estate.

You can read our own article reporting the statistics which support an optimistic real estate forecast for 2012 here. For those of you who laugh, just know that our clients are laughing on their way to the bank.

Mike Benton is an experienced Fort Lauderdale realtor specializing in real estate investment and sales. Find the best distressed properties andhomes for sale in Fort Lauderdale at the best foreclosure website in South Florida.

Mike Benton is an experienced Fort Lauderdale realtor specializing in real estate investment and sales. Find the best distressed properties and homes for sale in Fort Lauderdale at the best foreclosure website in South Florida.

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