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Fort Walton Beach Real Estate Law Blog

Florida residential real estate market drawing foreign interest

Florida’s current real estate market isn’t just attracting local people and individuals around the country. The residential real estate market in the Sunshine State is actually putting the state on buyers’ radar worldwide. The state captured more than 20 percent of international purchases in the United States recently, researchers said.

Foreign buyers are highly interested in the United States in general these days. Their purchases increased 35 percent at the end of the year ending this past March. The total value of these sales was more than $92 billion during this period, a huge increase from the more than $68 billion counted the previous year.

Short sales dropping in Florida's residential real estate market

Florida is well-known for being a hot market for buying second homes, as people often enjoy vacationing in the state. However, this may be part of the reason that the residential real estate market in Florida ranks highest in the number of short sales nationwide. Short sales transactions involve selling a home where the amount of money owed on the mortgage is higher than the home is worth.

The short sale count has dropped since 2010. However, it continues to be a major issue. During the years 2005 and 2006, many people bought second homes near the beach, and investors also purchased homes. However, when the economy plummeted, the property owners could not keep up with the mortgage and tax payments.

Florida real estate dispute involves 16-acre property

A major legal battle is occurring in Florida between one couple and a city over a piece of property. The issue revolves around waterfront property spanning 16 acres, which is connected to the restaurant that the couple owns. This legal real estate dispute has already lasted six years, and it doesn't look like it will be resolved anytime soon.

The family had hoped to turn the piece of land into a pier and nature walk, townhouses and a storage facility for dry boats; they bought the land for more than $20 million and spent more than $9 million developing it. However, the city of Ponce Inlet is against the project, with the city’s citizens voicing opposition to it through a 2008 referendum. Citizens felt the dry-boat establishment would become an eyesore and would produce too much traffic in the area.

Southwest Florida a hotspot for residential real estate

If people are looking for potentially rewarding real estate deals, Florida remains a top choice, according to recent data. Specifically, Southwest Florida’s residential real estate market has been heating up this year. A major indicator of the state’s high status in the industry is the fact that two major markets have a supply of finished new homes that aren’t expected to last two weeks.

These two markets include Sarasota-Bradenton and Naples-Fort Myers. The fact that Sarasota-Bradenton, in particular, has a shortage of buildable lots makes it a hotspot, as the area appears highly desirable compared with other parts of the United States, where lots aren’t in high demand. This also means that the housing recovery of this past year in Florida may soon slow down.

Residential real estate demand booms in Florida's luxury market

Florida appears to be a magnet for those who enjoy high-end homes these days. Recent data shows that the state’s residential real estate market is making a huge turnaround. In fact, the quantity of houses purchased for a million dollars or more during the first three months of 2014 was higher than the number purchased during the same period last year in the Palm Beach area.

The increase was 16 percent; this was the second consecutive year for an increase of this nature to take place. Nearly 250 houses sold for at least a million dollars earlier this year, with the priciest sale involving an oceanfront home worth $30 million. This palace featured seven bedrooms, three half-bathrooms and 11 bathrooms.

Commercial real estate outlook makes some gains in Florida

Although the commercial real estate market looks promising in Florida, some aspects of the market are faring better than others. For instance, commercial real estate such as traditional offices is not gaining the momentum one would expect. Meanwhile, the industrial real estate field has made dramatic gains.

Historically, a recovery in the housing market positively affected the traditional office sector. However, this year, those gains have yet to be seen. Still, industrial-sector growth has actually motivated a development company in Manatee County to move forward with plans for building a distribution center/trade port spanning a million square feet, even without any commitments from future tenants.

Residential real estate transactions involving condos drop

People who are interested in the townhouse and condo market in Florida may find comfort in knowing that the inventory remains strong. This is because this past winter in the southern part of the state was the worst season for townhouse and condo resale transactions during the past few years. Several factors have played a part in the decline in residential real estate transactions involving these types of homes.

First, many sellers have been listing their townhouses and condos at prices that are too high for the current market. Second, many competing pre-construction projects are taking place; more than 30,000 new units are slated for development in South Florida. This all resulted in a drop of 6 percent in townhouse and condo transactions in the region. A little more than 24,000 townhouses and condos were resold between November 2013 and April 2014.

Residential real estate still popular but slowing down in Florida

Things are looking bright for home sellers in the Sunshine State as home prices continue to rise. However, those interested in residential real estate in South Florida, specifically, may be interested to learn that the sales momentum today is slowing down. This means that home buyers are broadening their housing choices.

In Miami-Dade County, the median home price increased in April to more than $240,000 -- a jump of 8 percent from last year. In addition, this price is more than 3 percent higher than the price in March. Meanwhile, the median price of a condo increased by more than 10 percent from last year, now lingering at more than $190,000. Still, this price has dropped more than 3 percent since March.

Residential real estate values climb in Brevard County, Florida

Although Florida as a whole has been heating up lately in the real estate market, one county in Florida is specifically seeing an acceleration in the housing recovery. That county is Brevard County. There, according to recent data, properties’ taxable value has increased by 8 percent, compared with last year. This is a sign that residential real estate in the county, as well as in other parts of Florida, may be a promising long-term investment.

For the second year in a row now, property values in the Florida county have gone up. This is major news considering that property values actually declined for five straight years -- during a real estate cooling-off period -- prior to the recent upswing in values. The period of decline occurred when the housing market plummeted as a result of being overheated.

Cash investors target Florida residential real estate

Florida this year appears to be a hotspot for real estate now that the effects of the Great Recession of 2008 are waning. If a person has a sweet stash of cash, then he or she has the best chance of getting a piece of the Florida residential real estate pie. According to a new study, cash appears to reign supreme in our state.

The study revealed that approximately 66 percent of home sales in Florida during the first three months of 2014 were cash deals. This is the greatest rate nationwide. The state's rate is far higher than the nation's average of cash deals, which is almost 43 percent.