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Fort Walton Beach Real Estate Law Blog

Residential real estate market thriving, drawing more agents

An increasing quantity of sales and rising prices are just a couple of signs that the real estate market in Florida is rejuvenated. Yet another sign of the success of Florida's residential real estate market is that more people are becoming real estate agents. The increase started in 2012 and has been growing since then.

Last year, more than 24,100 people were able to pass the Florida state licensing test to become sales associates. This was a jump of 36 percent from 2013, and it is the largest increase since 2009. Class sizes shrank drastically during the most recent recession, but they are bouncing during this period of recovery.

East Florida to see a burst in commercial real estate

In the central and eastern part of Florida, the real estate market is expected to heat up in 2015. People will likely see a huge growth in commercial real estate development, leading to extra office space and restaurants. In addition, more  medical facilities, retailers and boutique condominiums are expected to sprout up, specifically in the area of Brevard County.

Part of the reason for this real estate activity burst is relatively low interest rates, which may come to an end in the near future. Construction costs have also continued to stay competitive. Furthermore, lenders appear to be more open to financing projects now than they did in the years following the start of the Great Recession of 2008.

Florida commercial real estate market slated to grow in 2015

Industry researchers indicate that 2015 will likely be a promising year for South Florida's real estate market. The commercial real estate market, in particular, is slated to grow. Florida's gross domestic product was at a high at the end of 2014, revealing that the state's economy is relatively healthy compared with those of other states.

Retail sales in Florida are currently higher than the United States' average. In addition, tourism set records in 2014. The retail and multifamily sectors of Florida's real estate market are expected to perform strongly throughout the rest of this year as well.

Florida residential real estate appeal seems to be increasing

For those interested in buying properties in Florida, the new year appears to be promising. Several investors entered the state's residential real estate market years ago during the recession that began in 2008, but, now, price increases are beginning to slow down. As a result, investors are expected to soon begin selling off the homes they purchased in bulk during this period.

The average value of investment properties in Florida has risen by more than 20 percent since early 2012. Now, with prices stabilizing, institutional investors are expected to start marketing the dozens or even hundreds of homes they snatched up during the economic slowdown. While this is not a statewide expectation, it does seem to be occurring in multiple areas.

Residential real estate prices rise in 2014 in South Florida

Selling a home in South Florida this year has proved to be the most profitable it has been in recent years. This is because residential real estate prices have been increasing in this part of the state, thus enabling homeowners to finally escape burdensome mortgages. This may be good news for South Floridians who are interested in selling their homes in the near future.

In the fall of 2014, more than 43,000 homeowners had mortgages that were "underwater," meaning that the amount owed on a home was higher than the property's value. This was a decrease of a whopping 36 percent compared with the previous year. It is also a 60 percent decrease from the corresponding figure back in 2011.

More cash being used to buy Florida residential real estate

In Florida, cash is king when it comes to buying homes. Over a million fewer mortgage loans exist in the state's residential real estate market today compared with several years ago. This is due to foreclosures as well as short sales that occurred while the recession was taking place.

The number of mortgage loans decreased from over four million in 2007's third quarter to a little more than three million during the same time period of 2014. Florida's 25 percent drop in mortgages was the biggest decrease in the United States. In many situations, distressed properties that were foreclosed on in the recession ended up being purchased by people who paid in cash.

Residential real estate market remains strong in Central Florida

The central part of the state of Florida continued to experience a real estate recovery this year, and the same positive results are expected for 2015. The residential real estate market is currently considered to be the perfect market for sellers. However, buyers in 2014 witnessed an increase in the total amount of inventory available.

Home buyers had over 30 percent more homes from which to choose in the area of greater Orlando in 2014. In addition, interest rates are still lingering at around 4 percent, which is relatively affordable for many home buyers. This is positive news for buyers who wish to claim their dream homes.

Residential real estate demand in Florida grows among snowbirds

When winter weather is bad in the northern part of the United States, real estate brokers in Florida are cheering. This is because the snow and icy wind is driving more people south, which positively impacts the state's residential real estate market. In particular, cold weather typically motivates pre-retirees and wealthy buyers to visit the Sunshine State more frequently or to remain in the state longer. When snowbirds spend more time in Florida, this results in more viewing of real estate and, in turn, more sales.

Real estate sales in Miami remained flat during the first six months of this year, compared with 2013. However, the average prices of homes increased 10 percent. This winter season is expected to remain strong, with many brokers already getting many emails and calls about home showings.

Residential real estate market in Florida to boom during winter

In Florida, housing continues to be a gold mine for sellers and investors. Sales of existing homes in the Southwest Florida area continued to go up last month, with area residential real estate prices rebounding from the flat September prices. This signals yet another solid winter for the area's real estate market.

Statistics show that real estate agents sold more than 2,100 houses and condos in Charlotte, Manatee and Sarasota counties back in October. This was a boost of more than 6 percent from the month of September. It was also an increase of more than 16 percent from the exact same period in 2013.

Florida commercial real estate drawing international interest

Property in the United States is increasingly being purchased by international buyers. The Florida commercial real estate market, in particular, is drawing interest abroad. The fact that the Sunshine State is a hot spot for buyers may give confidence to those who are interested in selling their Florida properties or buying property in a highly valued area.

Besides Florida, other parts of the country that are attracting buyers include the Southwest and Northeast. The nation's capital is also a popular area to make purchases. Not only are buyers targeting commercial properties, but they are also focusing on residential properties as well.