Home Prices Increase in Broward, PB Counties

The repost below is from Steve Roberge, my South Florida contributor writing about market conditions in Ft Lauderdale.  Steve is a top producing agent with Coldwell Banker in Ft. Lauderdale.  Steve will be a regular contributor to my blog. Steve.Roberge@gmail.com

Confirmation of what we are seeing in the Ft Lauderdale market. “After the six years of turmoil that we had, it’s good to see the trends strongly moving in the right direction,” John Tuccillo, chief economist for the Florida Realtors. A repost by Paul Bowers.

By Paul Bowers , Sun Sentinel Blog

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South Florida’s housing recovery continued in August with higher prices and robust sales.

Broward County’s median price for existing homes last month was $214,950, a 13 percent increase from $191,000 a year ago, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors said Wednesday.

There were 1,369 homes changing hands in August, up 15 percent from August 2011.

Palm Beach County’s median was $215,000, a 12 percent increase from a year ago, according to the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches. The county had 1,247 home sales, up 8 percent.

Many areas across the country are seeing housing conditions improve following years of price declines.

“After the six years of turmoil that we had, it’s good to see the trends strongly moving in the right direction,” John Tuccillo, chief economist for the Florida Realtors, said in a statement.

Sellers now are commanding more money for homes, largely due to a lack of properties for sale.

At the end of August, Broward had 4,784 homes on the market, less than half the number from a year ago. Palm Beach County’s inventory is down 44 percent.

When a home hits the market, buyers usually flood the listing agent with requests for showings.

“I feel like we’re back in 2004 and 2005, where we’re having to race the customer to the house,” said Terry Story, a real estate agent in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

First-time buyer Gabrielle Harbin got married last week, but she had to interrupt wedding preparations and her work schedule to tour a Boca Raton house that just hit the market. The seller accepted her offer, and she hopes to close on the deal by October.

Harbin, 29, said the market is so tight that buyers can’t wait until the weekends to leisurely visit homes and make offers. “It just feels so rushed,” she said. “But that’s just the reality of it all.”

Connie Adcock listed her Davie home for sale or lease after taking a new job in California. She figured the process might take six months, but she had six offers in six days.

Zack Spinks sold his five-bedroom Coral Springs home this summer for $400,000. He had 25 showings in two and a half weeks and ended up with two offers.

“I was getting calls every day and had three or four showings a day,” Spinks said. “I was shocked. I didn’t expect that kind of activity.”

Meanwhile, data released Wednesday show that the South Florida metro area remains a top spot for home flipping.

Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties rank fourth nationwide with 5,114 flips during the first half of the year, according to RealtyTrac Inc. That’s up 59 percent from the same period of 2011.

The flippers – investors who buy homes and resell them within six months – earned a profit of $38,943, RealtyTrac said. The average number of days per flip is 105.

During the housing boom, flippers often bought and sold homes within days or weeks, capitalizing on rapid price appreciation. Today’s flippers are renovating the homes and adding value before reselling, RealtyTrac spokesman Daren Blomquist said.

“Ultimately, that’s good for the market,” he said. “They’re fixing these homes up so they’re the best properties for sale in the neighborhood.”

Categories: South Florida home prices (96)