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Ft Lauderdale Real Estate News 7/25/17

Fort Lauderdale Single Family Home Prices Approach All Time Highs

Home prices increased in June in Fort Lauderdale, throughout Broward County and across South Florida, continuing to approach the all-time peaks hit before the great real estate market collapse a decade ago.

Even so, analysts are not forecasting another meltdown.

“Most economic indicators support today’s prices," explains Ken Johnson, a professor and economist at Florida Atlantic University. "I don’t see us waking up one day like we did in 2008 or 2009, realizing we are in free fall.”

According to the latest statistics released by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Relators, Broward’s median price for existing single family homes hit $355,000, up 9% over June 2016. The Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches reported an 8% increase in the value of existing single-family homes over the past annum in Palm Beach County, where the median price is now $345,000. In Miami-Dade, the median price was $335,000 according to the Miami Association of Realtors, which represents an increase of 6% over the past 12 months.

Home values in these three counties, which comprise the geographic reporting area of South Florida, have been climbing steadily since the real estate market began to recover around 2010.

At this point Broward County is only 9% off its peak median price of $391,100, achieved in November 2005. Palm Beach County is 18% off its pinnacle of $421,500, also reported that same month, while Miami-Dade County is 16% below it's high of $401,100, hit in May, 2007.

What's Different This Time Around?


Why are matters looking different this time around? There are a number of factors.

First and foremost is probably the fact that home prices have been climbing steadily, but not unreasonably, with periods of consolidation, which indicates a healthy market.

Take a look at the graphic below. This is the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index for the reporting area of South Florida going back to the 1970s. You can see what the market did between 2003 to 2005. To be perfectly frank, it went nuts. Some homes practically doubled in value over those two years. Look at that spike. That's what an impending bubble looks like.


Fort Lauderdale Home Price Index


most recent fort lauderdale home price index standard and poor's case shiller


Standard & Poor's / Case-Shiller Home Price Index
for South Florida (the Fort Lauderdale, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach reporting area)
versus the U.S. Average

One thing I always find interesting about this chart – if you draw a trend line from the 70s through 2010, you see that even though our market had that incredible spike, followed by that precipitous fall, it still pretty much came back to where it should have been.


most recent fort lauderdale home price index standard and poor's case shiller

At any rate, we are not seeing home prices increasing by double digits annually in Fort Lauderdale and South Florida. Historically an appreciation driven market experiencing boom and bust cycles while continuing to trend upward, in a normal year it is not unusual for home values in Fort Lauderdale to go up 7-9%. Coming out of the market meltdown we had a couple pretty strong years. Median Sale Price for Single Family Homes in Broward increased 27-30% over 2012 and 2013, depending whose statistics you want to quote, but the following year the market consolidated, and the Median Price showed only a modest 5.9% increase in 2014, followed by 7.8% in 2015 and 6.5% in 2016.

This was a very good sign, showing we had a healthy market which could sustain good long term growth.

Supply and Demand


Another dynamic playing a large role in shaping our local real estate market is supply and demand. Inventory is very tight and sales are down.

Palm Beach County reported 1,855 closings in June, which is an increase of 2% over the past 12 months, while sales in Miami-Dade sales were up 4%.

It was a different story in Fort Lauderdale, however, the most desirable location in the state of Florida. Through the suburban communities of Broward County sales were down 6% from the previous June, marking the third consecutive month of declining sales.

“Closings were down in most of the country because interested buyers are being tripped up by supply that remains stuck at a meager level and price growth that’s straining their budget,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors.

“Demand for buying a home is as strong as it has been since before the Great Recession,” added Yun. “Listings in the affordable price range continue to be scooped up rapidly, but the severe housing shortages inflicting many markets are keeping a large segment of would-be buyers on the sidelines.”

According to Zillow's chief economist, Svenja Gudell, this lack of homes for sale nationwide is “bordering on an inventory crisis."

Gudell released a statement which pointed out: “There are about as many homes for sale now as there were in 1994, except there are about 63 million more people in this country now than there were then."

They're Not Making Any More


Frankly, nowhere is this lack of inventory more apparent than in Fort Lauderdale and its surrounding suburbs. Broward County is not large. The whole county is about 27 miles tall, around 45 miles wide. Almost 60% of this area are waterways and wetlands, however, which can't be developed without cutting off our water supply, leaving only 471 square miles of developable dry land.

At this point this land is 99.99999% developed. There are no more big chunks of pasture and scrub forest for developers to bull doze into acres of tract homes. Even so, the population of Broward County continues to swell. Florida recently surpassed New York to become the nation's third most populous state, mainly because you never have to shovel sunshine off your driveway. Now home to $1.6 million, by the early 2020s this is projected to over two million residents. That's an increase of nearly 30% more people squeezing into the same 471 square miles of developable dry land.

Connecting the dots, the prospects for appreciation in home values in Fort Lauderdale and across South Florida seems like pretty much a No-Brainer. Barring acts of God, asteroid impacts and/or Godzilla rising from the Atlantic Ocean, it is difficult to conclude property prices can do much more than appreciate significantly over the foreseeable property values seems relatively inevitable.

Additionally, whatever rate of appreciation might be projected for the entire county, prime real estate – waterfont homes, ocean front condos, houses and townhomes in premier neighborhoods near the coast – should out-perform.

Some Charts you might find interesting

Fort Lauderdale Home Price Index


most recent fort lauderdale home price index standard and poor's case shiller


The latest Standard & Poor's / Case-Shiller Home Price Index
for South Florida (the Fort Lauderdale, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach reporting area)
versus the U.S. Average

Median Sale Price History Single Family Homes in Fort Lauderdale (Broward)


monthly median sale price single family homes in Fort Lauderdale


Foreclosure Activity Top 10 States


Florida Foreclosures Drop 39%


foreclosure activity according to Black Knight Financial Services Mortgage Monitor Report shows decrease in Florida foreclosures of 39%


Florida's 39% Reduction in Foreclosure Activity in 2015 was the sharpest decline of any state according to the Black Knight Financial Services Mortgage Monitor Report. Based upon current Foreclosure Sales activity Florida has only a 3 Year Pipeline


Year By Year Foreclosure Activity


historical foreclosure activity in United States according to Black Knight Financial Services Mortgage Monitor Report


Source: Black Knight Financial Services Mortgage Monitor Report, December 2015

Foreclosure Down 30% In Past Year


foreclosures decline according to realtytrac starts and completions chart

Interactive Chart

Foreclosure Rates, Broward County

(Run your mouse over the Zip Codes to see)


Year End Real Estate Market Reports


Click on the buttons to download a pdf of statistical reports.


Fort Lauderdale A Top Market for Home Appreciation


best market for home appreciation fort lauderdale florida


The Best Home Appreciation in The U.S.


best market for home appreciation fort lauderdale florida


Freddie Mac Fort Lauderdale HPI


most recent freddie mac house price index for fort lauderdale and south florida


Freddie Mac U.S. House Price Index


latest national house price index from mortgage company freddie mac


The latest Freddie Mac National House Price Index

Property Taxes vs. Median Price

Florida ranks 29th Among All States

(Click on Graphic Below to Call Up / Download Larger pdf Version)


propety taxes versus median price


Jim Esposito


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