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More homes could be sold in Florida in 2014

The world of residential real estate is changing rapidly in Florida and around the country. Since the housing bubble burst in 2008, many homeowners have been in a difficult situation. Many have been unable to sell their homes as they fight to make their mortgage payments. Floridians struggled with sinking home values, decreased interest from buyers and a larger number of houses on the market.

However, the economy is in a much different place now -- and therefore the future of residential real estate is also changing. Recently the Florida Realtors' 2014 Economic Summit took place. At this summit, economists predicted that home values across the state are expected to rise in 2014. While prices rose around 12 percent over the past 18 months, they are expected to rise an additional five percent this coming year.

In addition to the increased home values, these economists are predicting that the number of homes sold in Florida will also increase in 2014. These experts have estimated that residential property sales will jump about 10 percent next year. This could mean good news for those looking to sell a home. Currently, it takes around a month and a half -- on average -- to sell a home in Florida.

But, with the rising home prices and increased number of sales, also comes an increase in interest rates on home mortgages. Over the last few years, interest rates have been historically low as federal officials were trying to jumpstart the national economy. However, with the recovery, mortgage rates are expected to grow to around five or five-and-a-half percent. Economists say that these rates are still very low compared with historical averages.

For people looking to sell or buy residential real estate in Broward County, this data may be welcomed news, or it could be a sign that now is the time to act. People should make sure they understand their legal options and the home buying process before making a final decision to buy or sell.

Source: WPC, "Florida Housing Market Forecast to Grow in 2014," Francys Vallecillo, Dec. 12, 2013

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