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A Look Back at South Florida Real Estate Activity in 2011

The year 2011 was marked by increasing sales volumes, international home buyers using cash only and depressed home prices, according to a recent report from the Miami Association of Realtors.

Continue reading to learn more about how the South Florida real estate market fared at the end of 2011 – and what local real estate experts are predicting for 2012.

Florida Homes for Sale in the Aventura, Hallandale and Golden Beach Areas

Here’s an overview of some of the trends that South Florida REALTORS saw on the local housing market in 2011:

  • International home buyers spent about $3.5 billion in cash on distressed South Florida real estate
  • Although home sales increased and the total housing inventory decreased in South Florida, home prices remained relatively stagnant.
  • The South Florida rental market saw growth as former home owners became renters.
  • The home inventory in South Florida dropped to 28,000, or by about 40 percent.
  • Meanwhile, the shadow inventory of foreclosed homes that are not listed for sale yet increased to more than 200,000.
  • South Florida existing home sales increased at a slower rate than earlier in the year, although median home prices began to increase.
  • In Miami-Dade County, there were 1,064 condo sales in November, up 2 percent from November 2010.
  • Meanwhile, single family home sales increased by 11 percent year-over-year, to 755.
  • In Broward County, there were 1,089 condo sales in November, down 1 percent from November 2010.
  • Meanwhile, single-family home sales increased by 22 percent year-over-year, to 961.

Analysts are cautiously optimistic about what 2012 will bring for the South Florida real estate market.

While some believe that there isn’t likely to be any real market rebounds until 2013, others believe housing market activity will improve considerably in 2012.

Here are three predictions that the Miami Association of Realtors made for the new year:

  • Home prices will remain low. Experts believe that the high number of distressed properties on the market will keep home values depressed. As an illustration, more than half of all South Florida home sales in November involved a foreclosure or short sale. In a normal market, those types of properties would have made up less than 5 percent of sales.
  • There will be an increase in foreclosed properties on the South Florida real estate market. In 2011, there was a slowdown in foreclosed properties entering the market as banks dealt with a backlog of court repossession paperwork. But experts predict that slowdown will end in 2012, possibly dragging down home values further.
  • More people invest in the rental market, fueling South Florida home sales. While it may seem counter intuitive, an increasing number of South Florida investors are buying homes to turn them into rental properties because of the high demand for rental properties in the area. This in turn is helping create activity on the local real estate market.

Your South Florida Real Estate Expert

While we may not be out of the woods yet, there are plenty of signs to suggest that the sluggish South Florida real estate market is beginning to improve.

The year 2012 may become a turning point on the South Florida real estate market.

For expert advice on the best way to navigate the local housing market as a home buyer or a home seller, make sure to contact me, Scott Patterson.

As your South Florida real estate expert, I have extensive experience working in such local housing markets as:

Until next time,