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Home Buyers' Market More Competitive
Housing Sales Increase In South Florida
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- South Florida's housing market is picking up again, and as sales increase, it is becoming more competitive for buyers to land the home of their dreams.
Shannon Alfele said she and her husband, Scott, have been searching for a new home for about a year. She said they thought this would be the perfect time to sell their three-bedroom Hollywood home to find a bigger house.
"We thought we would have a good opportunity to buy now," Alfele said.
But Alfele said she and her husband were shocked when they were outbid by $180,000 for a home, after they made an educated, reasonable offer.
Realtor Ann McQueen, of Elite Coastal Properties, said situations like Alfele's are occurring in single-family home sales in many South Florida neighborhoods.
"We have a young couple. We put an offer in on six different properties, above asking price on all six. We knew that we had to come in above asking price, and we got outbid on all six," McQueen said.
Affordable pricing, low interest rates and low inventory have turned the buyer's market competitive.
“We actually in the past four months have sold 75 percent of our inventory. That is huge," McQueen said.
Experts said buyers should bring their highest offer to the table from the start. Try to avoid contract contingencies such as having to sell your home first, and make sure your financing is set.
The good news may be for sellers who have been squeezed by dropping property values. Experts said sellers should not get greedy and should keep the pricing realistic.
Luckily for Alfele, she plans on being both a buyer and a seller.
“We have three potential buyers that are waiting on us to find another place in the neighborhood to move to and we just haven’t found the right property yet," Alfele said.
South Florida Housing Market
CBS 4 - 1/27/2009
Big drops in home prices and sales in both Miami Dade and Broward counties will mark 2008 as one of the worst years for our housing market in decades.
Overall in Miami Dade home sales were down 17 percent for single family homes in 2008 and 21 percent for condos, according to new numbers released by the Florida Association of Realtors. Sales in Broward were a little better; single family home sales were only down 4 percent and condo sales were about the same compared to last year.
The report said sales actually saw an increase in December; Miami Dade was up 28 percent compared to sales in December, 2007 and Broward sales saw an increase of 52 percent compared to a year ago. Sales of condos were also up in both counties; Miami Dade sales were up 48 percent compared to December, 2007 while Broward condo sales saw an increase of 31 percent.
Sandra Reyes is among the many South Florida homeowners hoping to sell their home. She put her Hollywood home on the market in June of 2007 for $450 thousand. She received very little interest and didn't receive one offer.
Seven months later she's putting the house back on the market and this time around she feels more confident about getting it sold. She slashed more than $50 thousand from her original asking price and now, it's a whole new ballgame.
"We actually now have two offers on the table and it's a bidding war at this point," says Reyes. "I'm surprised."
One factor that helped push sales as the year closed out were falling home prices.
Prices for a single family home were down 27 percent in 2008 in Miami Dade and condo prices saw a drop of about 12 percent. The median price for a single family home in Miami Dade for 2008 was $276,600; the median price for a condo was $239,400. In Broward, single family home prices fell 23 percent while condo prices were down 29 percent. In Broward, the median price for a single family home in 2008 was $278,000 while the median price for a condo was $132,900.
Real estate experts say it's impossible to know where the housing bottom is but there are encouraging signs that a bottom in South Florida is near. Housing sales in Broward have been on the rise consistently since July. Buyers who have been waiting to purchase are taking advantage of the deals out there.
"In the last two or three months the people now are not only showing the house but people are putting in the offers," says realtor Jeff Mager with Elite Coastal Properties.
According the realtor group, Florida's sagging housing market sales mirrored the national trend. In 2008, a total of 124,215 existing homes in the state were sold; that was a decrease of 4 percent compared to 2007 when 129,855 existing homes were sold.
Statewide the median sales price for an existing homes dropped by about 20 percent. In 2008, the median price for an existing home in Florida was $187,800; in 2007 the statewide median price was $234,300.